How do you approach a post-race evaluation?
After an event has finished – whether it was a huge success or a little bit disappointing – it’s often tempting to just ‘get on with it’ and look ahead to your next event, without giving the proper time and attention to evaluating the event just gone.
So how do you approach a post-race evaluation? Here are the key things you’ll need to do to pull it off:
There are several ways you can do this. Here are some options for collection methods or review platforms:
Not everyone has the time or will put in the effort to review your race once its finished. So it's up to you to get these reviews one way or another! A good way of doing this is by giving people an incentive to review your event. Putting 2 free tickets to your next event up for grabs to those who review your race, for example, is a good way of getting a sure number of reviews from people who want to take part again. Or having another type of prize up for grabs, such as a gift from one of your sponsors.
Make sure you send out feedback forms straight after the event. The more you delay it the less reviews you’ll get, as it will no longer be fresh in peoples minds and the race energy will have worn off. Send out an email with a link or form the evening of, or day after your race.
You can also hand out hard copies during the event, if you have the time and resources to sift through them later. A better option if you want to collect reviews on site is to have staff with tablets at the ready for people to fill in as they’re leaving. These would have to be short and sweet to make sure they don’t hold people up too long, to avoid them getting frustrated and not filling them out properly, or dampening their mood/review!
Here’s an example of the questions you may wish to ask on your event feedback form and the order in which to set it out:
Monitoring what people are saying about your race online can be extremely useful to understand different perspectives on your event. But how do you manage a bad review? Especially if its on a public platform, such as facebook or google, the best thing to do is to reply publicly to it. This way you can let the participant, person in the local area or business owner, know that you’re sorry that they had a bad experience and that you’ve taken on board their review. If possible, try to explain what you’re doing to improve in the future to minimise the chances of a similar expereince, or what caused the issue if it was out of your control. Try and make them feel heard, and this way you can show others that come across the review that you’re proactive and can manage situations effectively.
You can get a lot from asking people questions, but you should also take a look at the raw data for your event. By using your Eventrac dashboard, if you asked people questions in their sign up form like ‘where did you hear about our event?’, make sure to look at your results. Your racer demographics will also give you great insight to understanding what kind of audience your event attracts, and how you can use that to market to the same kinds of people.
Finally, you should aim to schedule some dedicated time with your core team 1-2 weeks after the event has ended. It shouldn’t be too much later than this or memories will start to fade and valuable insights will be lost, but it also shouldn’t be the day after the event ends, as you need to let the dust settle, giving everyone time to reflect and prepare.
Here are a couple of things to bear in mind for your post event debrief:
If you’re really going to break the mould and put on exceptional races and attract the most ambitious and capable staff, then your goals should be big, ambitious and exciting to motivate everyone.
Having these aspirational goals will go hand in hand with having a motivating mission, making the team’s work tangible.
These kinds of goals might be to double the size of your event year on year; get mainstream press coverage of it next year, or get a major athlete endorsement. So keep on top of your reviews and act upon them to give you and your team the best possible chance at achieving this.
The team at Eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of Eventrac. We are here to help.