How to reflect on your event: a guide for any event organiser

It doesn’t matter what event you are planning, a post-event reflection is an essential part of becoming a more effective event organiser. 

Taking time to assess what went well and what could have been done differently will not only improve your future events but also enhance your reputation. 

In this article, we will explore the significance of reflection and provide a guide for any event organiser (this includes a business owner creating their own event) on how to effectively reflect on any events.

Why should I reflect on my event? 

Before we delve into the practical steps of event reflection, let’s understand why it’s so vital for event organisers. 

  1. Continuous Improvement: Reflecting on past events enables you to identify areas for improvement. This can encompass everything from logistical challenges to enhancing the overall experience for attendees. By learning from your past successes and mistakes, you can refine your processes and provide even better events in the future.
  2. Client and Stakeholder Satisfaction: Satisfied stakeholders are more likely to work with you again, and happy attendees are more likely to recommend your events to others. Reflecting on your events allows you to ensure that both your clients’ and guests’ expectations are met or exceeded.
  3. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Reflection provides valuable data that can inform your decision-making process. This information can help you make strategic choices, such as selecting vendors, venues, or event formats that have consistently delivered positive outcomes.

How do I prepare for a post-event reflection? 

Now that we understand the importance of reflection, let’s explore how to set the stage for effective reflection as an event organiser:

  1. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of each event, including timelines, budgets, vendor contracts, communication logs, and feedback from stakeholders and attendees. This information will be invaluable during the reflection process.
  2. Schedule Regular Meetings: Make time to review and reflect part of your routine part of your post-event process. Ideally, you should hold a reflective session shortly after each event to ensure that key insights and observations remain fresh.

How do I reflect on my event? 

Now, let’s move on to the specific steps for conducting an effective event reflection as an event organiser:

  1. Review Objectives: Start the reflection by revisiting the initial objectives of the event. Were these objectives met? Did the event align with your vision and goals? This will help you gauge the overall success of the event.
  2. Discuss What Went Well: Reflect on what aspects of the event went well. This can include successful marketing strategies, effective vendor collaborations, seamless logistics, or positive feedback from attendees.
  3. Analyse Challenges: Identify any challenges or obstacles encountered during the event. Discuss the causes of these challenges and how they were addressed at the time.
  4. Stakeholder Feedback: Share and discuss feedback from any stakeholder. Were they satisfied with the event? Were there any concerns or areas where they felt improvements could be made?
  5. Attendee Feedback: Review feedback from event attendees, if available. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes. This feedback can be collected through surveys, social media, or direct communication with guests.
  6. Vendor Evaluation: Assess the performance of vendors and suppliers involved in the event. Were they reliable, efficient, and responsive? Did they meet contractual obligations?
  7. Financial Review: Examine the event’s financial aspects, including the budget, expenses, and profitability. Compare the actual expenses to the projected budget and identify any discrepancies.
  8. Timeline and Logistics: Review the event timeline and logistics. Were there any issues with scheduling or coordination? Were all logistical aspects executed as planned?
  9. Lessons Learned: Summarise the key lessons learned from the event, both positive and negative. These insights will serve as the basis for improving future events.

What do I do after the event reflection? 

After the reflection session, it’s essential to follow up with concrete actions to ensure growth and improvement in your event organising endeavours:

  1. Implement Changes: Put into action the plans developed during the reflection session. This may involve changes in your event planning processes, vendor relationships, or client communication.
  2. Communicate with Stakeholders: If the reflection revealed areas where the event fell short of the stakeholder’s expectations, communicate with the client and discuss how those issues will be addressed in future events.
  3. Personal and Professional Development: Invest in training and development to address any skills or knowledge gaps identified during the reflection process.
  4. Regular Monitoring: Continue to monitor the success of your events, track improvements, and refine your processes based on ongoing feedback and reflections.

Final thoughts 

Reflecting on your events is a crucial step in becoming a more effective event organiser. 

By consistently analysing what worked well and what needs improvement, you can refine your processes, enhance stakeholder and guest satisfaction, and foster a culture of continuous learning and growth in your events for the future. 

Don’t underestimate the power of reflection—it’s a cornerstone of success in any event whether you are an event manager, community group or business owner. 

If you want to learn more about how to do a post-event reflection, send us an email.