Sharing your Success: Information to Collect

preservation week banner

Help Evaluating Your Event
Information for Reporting How it’s Useful
You can choose to report some of this information and not to report other items. All items are useful for future decisions.
Possible Source
How many people participated? Shows how much the program interested your community; shows who in the community was most interested (or was available) when you held the program or event. Zip codes can show how far participants traveled, and may help you roughly estimate which segments of your community participated. They might tell you if a new segment participated. It can be useful to compare participation to that for previous programs. As appropriate for the program, and your normal procedures: sign-in sheets (ask for ages and/or zip code, not names), gate count, registrations, count of seats filled or unfilled (you know how many seats your venue has).
Who were your partners? What did they provide? Was this your first partnership together? Shows who your organization is connected to; shows possible future partners; shows the value of the partnership (funds, assistance, audience reach, venue, etc.); shows whether this would be a good future partner for a similar or different program. Personal knowledge of staff; records of the partnership or agreement.
How did you get the word out about your program? Shows who probably saw your poster, web calendar, or other “advertisement.” Combined with how many participated, who participated, and when and where you offered the program, this can show if your strategy was probably successful, or might be improved. Personal knowledge of staff combined with your brief questionnaire. If you really want to know what worked, add a question: How did you hear about this program?
How did participants like the program? What were the most enjoyable or useful parts of the program? This information can help you make future programs stronger and/or more enjoyable. Brief questionnaire. Look for patterns and especially interesting answers—there will always be some of both. You can usually ignore answers like “the food” unless that was an important draw.
What were participant suggestions for improvement? This information can give you practical ideas to make a future program stronger and/or more enjoyable. Questionnaire, see above.
What was the impact of the program? What did participants learn from the program? What will they do differently or better because you offered the program and they participated? This should be the core of your reporting, because it’s usually the most interesting information to those outside your organization. Questionnaire, see above.
Did new users participate? If one of your goals was to attract new users (e.g. by age, community segment), you’ll want to know if you did. Questionnaire. Add a question: Was this your first visit to a program offered by our organization? Or: How often do you usually come to our organization? (circle: never, weekly, monthly, annually, every few years)