Committing to reflection and evaluation after an event is as important as committing to planning. It allows you and your group to learn from the event and make decisions in the future about other events your group will host. Soon after the event, the planning team should gather to discuss the event.
You can use this student group event template document to guide the reflection and evaluation. The template can serve as a template for the full timeline of event planning (from generating ideas to post-event evaluation).
Eight Essential Questions for Post-Event Reflection¶
Regardless of the event, your post-event evaluation should address the following questions at a minimum:
- How did we meet or not meet our goals for this event?
- What resources (e.g., human resources, financial resources, space resources) did we utilize to execute this event? In what ways was it enough? In what ways did we need more resources?
- What was the communication and promotion plan for the event? How was it successful? How can it be improved?
- Were there any extraneous factors impacting our event’s success (e.g., conflicting events, weather, changes in group membership, security and safety concerns)?
- How was our professionalism in planning and executing the event?
- What conflicts within the group occurred during the planning/execution of the event? How did we address group conflict as it arose?
- In general, would we do this event again? What would we change? What would we keep the same?
- How did this event allow us to develop critical leadership and/or professional skills?
In answering the above questions, your group should also consider the following aspects of the event:
- Cost effectiveness of different aspects of the event
- Timeliness of execution
- Attendance and audience reception of the event
- Venue Choice
- Food & Beverage
- Communications & Event Promotion
- Crowd Management
- Flow of the event
Post-Event Evaluation Report¶
The Post-Event Evaluation does nothing for your group if it is not recorded for future event planners and group members. The event planning team should prepare some form of written documentation to convey the Post-Event Evaluation to future members. Generally, a post-event evaluation should include enough detail where a new member could easily replicate the event from the documentation.
You may use the student group event template document to build a report for current and future members. Otherwise, below is what could be included in the post-event evaluation report:
- Contact Information for…
- Event planning team
- Co-hosting/Sponsoring organizations
- Projected expenses vs. Actual expenses
- If projected did not match actual, an explanation for the deviation
- For the financial records involved with this event, see Student Group Finances – Record-Keeping for best practices
- Contracts and Confirmations from…
- Partnership agreements
- Venue reservations
- Permits as applicable
- Security/Safety personnel and precautions
- Promotion and Communication Materials
- Example social media posts
- Example flyers
- Photos or Videos from the event
- Other promotions and communications
- Answer the above Essential Questions for Post-Event Reflection. Answers don’t need to be long, but they should be thorough enough to give insight and advice to future event planners.