After months and months of hard work, your event is finally over. Time to put your feet up and relax… But wait!
Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to whip out your event brief template and bring your team members together to fill it out with all the data you gathered from your event and tons of constructive feedback to help improve your future events.
Now sure how to debrief an event properly? Our event experts who’ve helped thousands of leading businesses in the professional services and life science industry to build 10,000,000+ event relationships in the past 20+ years know what it takes to do a thorough event brief.
So, to make things easy for you, we’ve created a free event debrief template that will guide you through running a successful event briefing. Read on to find out more about how to debrief after an event and how to make the most of our template.
Or download our free event debrief template now to start using it right away.
What’s an event debrief and why do you need one?
You’ve just finished hosting your event and you’re exhausted. You know it was great, but what worked best? What could have gone better? And how can you use this experience to make future events better?
The answer is to do an event debrief (with an event brief template!)
An event debrief takes place after your event is over. And it’s a way to fully assess your event’s success. It allows you to take a step back and reflect on what went right, what mistakes were made, and what you can do better in the future.
You should do an event debrief after any kind of event – virtual, hybrid, or in-person. And in any industry, from professional services and manufacturing to life sciences and technology.
The aim of doing a debrief is to identify areas where you can improve for next time. Plus, it helps you take note of any opportunities you may have missed.
By taking time to assess your event using a detailed event debrief template, you’ll gain useful insights into how to make your events better and better each time. This will help you ensure that each one runs smoothly. And that you get the results you want!
Benefits of using an event debrief template
The problem many event planners face is not knowing where to start with an event debrief, which is where an event debrief template can come in handy.
Here are some of the benefits that come with using an event debrief template like ours:
- It’s easy to use and helps make the whole event briefing process more efficient.
- It helps you stay organized, as you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you debrief an event.
- It’s a great way to keep all your event metrics in one place.
- You can save time by having everything already laid out for you, so you don’t have to think too much about what to put in it.
- You have a visual framework that can provide structure and help identify points of strengths and weaknesses.
- You can easily add or modify anything to fit your own specific needs.
- It’s free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try!
Using an event debrief template allows you to ensure that you evaluate each and every one of your events properly. This leads to better future events and stronger relationships with sponsors and attendees alike!
How to debrief after an event
When it comes to a post event debrief, it pays to have the right questions in mind. So, what do you need to consider when debriefing an event?
Who was involved?
It’s key to make a list of everyone who was involved in your event debrief template. That way, you can get their opinions on how it unfolded and what went well or not so well. It also helps to pinpoint any responsibilities that you may have overlooked or didn’t give enough attention to during the event.
What were your goals?
To see whether you achieved your goals for the event – and if not, why that might be – you need to have a clear understanding of what those goals were in the first place.
Were they big-picture goals such as increasing engagement or building relationships? Or were they nitty-gritty objectives such as bringing in more attendees or boosting product sales?
Knowing your KPIs inside out will give you a baseline against which you can measure your success and refine future plans.
Pro tip: We suggest copying and pasting your KPIs straight out of your event brief into your event debrief so you can track what you achieved. Download our ultimate event brief template now and use it alongside this event debrief template to run better events.
What went right? What went wrong?
Part of debriefing involves recognizing both the successes and shortfalls of your event. Taking note of what went right in your event brief template helps inform your future decisions. On the other hand, understanding where things didn’t go as planned gives you insights into where to improve.
Who to invite to your event debrief
Whether it’s a networking event, seminar, corporate retreat, or conference, your post event debrief is a key part of running successful events. But who should you invite to your event debrief?
Here are 3 key people to consider:
1. Host or organizer
The event host or organizer is a no-brainer when it comes to deciding who should take part in the event debrief. If there are multiple organizers or hosts, make sure they can all attend and voice their opinions in the meeting.
2. Sponsors & Partners
Inviting sponsors and partners not only shows that you value their feedback but also gives them a chance to reflect on how well the sponsorship ended up performing after the event. They may have insights that would be beneficial for future events.
If you ran an in-person or hybrid event, your volunteers were on the ground for most of it – enforcing parking rules, managing registration queues, and all that jazz.
So it’s essential to include them in your post event debrief so they can tell you about how everything went in practice. They may highlight points that you missed during planning.
Pro tip: Although it’s impossible to invite the hundreds of attendees from your event to your event debrief, it’s important to find out what they thought of your event too. You could run an event debrief with a small group of attendees. But the best way to get their feedback is to send out a survey immediately after your event while it’s still fresh in their minds. Our event experts recommend sending it within 24 hours after the end of your event.
For ways to keep your audience engaged after your event and get them excited about what’s next for your brand, check out our article with our top 10 post event engagement tips.
When to hold your event debrief
It’s no use waiting until your next event to start talking about filling out your event debrief template. After each event, you should debrief within a maximum of 7 days so that the info is still fresh and people are available.
You should also make sure you already have enough feedback from attendees, so you can discuss this in your post event debrief.
So when should you hold your event debrief? It depends on the type of event. But here are some tips:
- For one-off events, hold your event debrief within 2 days of the event ending.
- For recurring events with regular attendees, pull your team together within 7 days after each event so memories are still fresh.
- For events with plenty of moving parts, schedule mini-debriefs throughout each step of the process as needed.
Pro tip: We suggest laying out a clear agenda and inviting people to an event debrief before your event starts. That way, you make sure that everyone involved can attend and knows what’s expected. It also gives them ample time and resources to provide meaningful insights into what worked and what could be improved in future events.
Make sure you have enough time to discuss everything you need to in your event debrief. This is not something you want to rush. And make sure you’re fully equipped. That’s where our free event debrief template comes in handy! But how can you get the most out of it?
How to use an event debrief template
By using a free event debrief template that’s fully customizable, you can document your successes, challenges, and recommendations about each aspect of your event. And you can make a list of actions you want to take to improve your future events. This way, you can prevent any mistakes from happening again. And you can make your events better and better each time!
Your event debrief template should contain the following:
- An agenda for the event debriefing meeting
- Details about your event (which you can copy and paste from your event brief that you prepared before your event)
- A list of those who will attend your event debriefing
- A list of your KPIs and whether you did or didn’t meet them (or even exceeded them!)
- A list of what went well, what could have gone better, and how to improve every element to help you run better events in the future
Pro tip: Some event platforms like SpotMe generate detailed reports for you, so you can quickly and easily see whether you’ve achieved your KPIs. To see what you can track, search for ‘analytics’ in our Knowledge Base or download our event debrief template now (we’ve included all the metrics in there for you!)
To use our event debrief template successfully, we suggest following these steps:
Before your event debrief meeting:
- Copy and paste your event details from your event brief into the ‘Event Info’ worksheet of your event debrief template.
- Add the list of your event debrief attendees to the ‘Debrief Attendees’ worksheet. (Again, you can copy and paste this from your event brief).
- Adapt the event debrief agenda to your needs in the ‘Debrief Agenda’ worksheet.
- Insert all the event data you collected on your event platform in the blue table in the ‘Data & KPIs’ worksheet and customize your list of KPIs in the orange table underneath.
- Add any important feedback from attendees next to the right item in the ‘Debrief’ worksheet.
Pro tip: Our event debrief template has separate ‘Debrief’ worksheets for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, so you can select the right one depending on which format you used for your event and delete the others.
During your event debrief meeting:
Assign a moderator for your event debrief meeting. The following instructions are for the moderator.
Remember to be open and supportive during your event debrief meeting. You want your colleagues to be honest about what happened at your event. Their feedback may make or break your next event.
- Welcome everyone and thank them for their hard work on your event.
- Explain what’s on the agenda for the event debriefing meeting while sharing your screen with the ‘Agenda’ worksheet of the event debrief template open.
- Show everyone the list of Data & KPIs in the event debrief template and present what was met, not met, and exceeded, and ask for any comments. (The top part of this worksheet is to store important analytics from your event platform. You can adapt the KPIs underneath to those you wanted to track before your event. These are all metrics that you can monitor with SpotMe’s event platform.)
- Go through the list of aspects from your events in the ‘Debrief’ worksheet of the event debrief template. (There’s a specific debrief worksheet for every event format – hybrid, virtual, or in-person, so select the one that represents your event.) Make notes on the successes, the challenges, and the recommendations of each aspect.
- Thank everyone for attending and giving their feedback.
Pro tip: You may want to refer to your event run of show template to remember every minute detail about your event so that you can assess it thoroughly. Download our easy-to-use, fully customizable run of show template now.
After your event debrief meeting:
- Go through the list of feedback in the ‘Debrief’ worksheet of your event debrief template and write down actions that you want to take in the ‘Actions’ column
- Send a thank-you email to those who participated in your event debrief meeting and share the document with the concrete actions in it
- Make sure you actually do take action at your next event!
Using an event debrief template helps to ensure you don’t miss out or forget about any details. It even prompts you with questions to ask yourself or others involved in the process. By using an event debrief template, you can constantly improve your events to create experiences that are memorable for everyone involved.
Event debrief questions to ask while using your event debrief template
It’s crucial to debrief your events properly. Planning an event is one thing, but without a thorough debrief, you’re missing a major opportunity to analyze what happened and learn from the experience.
But it’s not always easy to come up with questions for the event debrief. The questions should cover how the event went, what you could do differently next time, and how to incorporate feedback from your audience.
That’s why it’s useful to use an event debrief template with pre-determined questions that you can use as starting points for discussion. Questions like:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What would we do differently next time?
- What feedback did we get from our audience?
- How can we use that feedback to improve?
- What actionable changes can we make in response to this debrief?
- What insights have we gained that will help us plan better events in the future?
Asking the right questions during an event debrief is key. It’s the best way to ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what happened at your event and how you can create a better experience for your next one. Plus, it helps keep everyone on track by having a strategy in place for making improvements.
Tips to make the most out of your event debrief
Are you ready to make the most out of your event debrief? Here are some extra tips to help you to get the most out of it.
Before you even start to plan your event, set objectives. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) ahead of time makes it easier to measure success after your event. This will also help you identify areas that need improving in the future.
Start planning early
Once you’ve set your objectives, start planning early and get feedback from everyone involved (including your attendees!) along the way. This will help ensure that all elements come together seamlessly and will provide insights into areas that require more attention.
Make it conversational
During your event debrief meeting, make it conversational and interactive by asking questions, encouraging creative ideas and fostering open dialog. After all, everyone has something valuable to contribute!
Throughout your debrief session, take notes and document everything that is discussed so that you can refer back to them in the future. Creating action items is also a great way to track progress and stay organized.
An event debrief is an essential part of any event planning process – but it can be made even more effective if done right! Use our event debrief template to streamline the process and provide valuable insights into your events.
Do a thorough event debrief with a team of experts
You’ve seen that doing an event debrief with a comprehensive event debrief template is key in making sure your next event is even better than the last. You can identify and keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and how you can improve for future events.
But how great would it be if you could work with a team of experts who have been debriefing events with 12,000+ event builders for the past 20+ years?
SpotMe’s skilled team of project managers will schedule an event debriefing call with you straight after your event. They know what questions to ask, what feedback to give, and what actions to take to make sure your events get better and better every time.
To find out how our team could help you run better events, request a demo now.
Other templates to help you run engaging events that audiences love
- The best event RFP template
- The global event request form template
- The ultimate event brief template
- The essential event budget template
- The best 18 free event email templates
- The ultimate event run of show template and example