It’s that evaluative retrospective journey back to the beginning that often reveals the essential truths.
It’s true for your life, and it’s true for your events.
A post-event debrief is the most effective post-event analysis and an essential aspect of Virtual event management that you can do. It helps you revisit the event and learn what went right, what went wrong, and most importantly, what you can do to make it better next time.
Deconstructing the Event
Once you conclude your event, you want to let out a deep sigh, pour a glass of a beverage of your choice, and relax. Not the available option, though. An event debriefs, if you need it to provide results, must be done as soon as possible after the event ends.
The first thing you need to do for an event debriefing is to invite all the key players associated with it if you had a team working with you. Ensure that the number of people you invite won’t hinder your conversation. Always remember what happened to the broth when too many cooks were involved in its preparation.
You’re bringing together dynamic people in one room. Sparks are bound to flare. It is vital to provide a safe and nurturing environment to have a healthy discussion on the event.
So how do you do this? Stick to your virtual event planning and agenda. That’s right. Before you invite the key stakeholders, you must draw up a plan so that you can bring the discussion back in line when someone deviates.
The Fundamental Questions to Tackle
Now that you’ve finally waded into the deep waters let the truth unfold. Ask pertinent questions, even if they are complex, especially if they are involved.
Did we meet the event objective?
Perhaps the most crucial question of all is the one where you evaluate whether you hit the mark or not. Remind the gathering of what the event objective was and discuss the results. Did you actually meet it? If not, did you at least come close? What went wrong? What could you have done better to stick to the plan?
There’s also a possibility that you might have exceeded your expectations. It’s alright. Go ahead and applaud yourselves.
How did we achieve our online event engagement?
Focus on the good before you jump to the bad. Analyzing what went right is as important as analyzing what went the other way. The answers to this question will work as guidelines for success in your future events.
It will also help in keeping the energy up and imbibing optimism.
Where did we fall short?
Now to the bad news. Analyzing what went wrong is going to be a very tiring session. Very few will take collective accountability, and most others are happy to assign blame. And this is where sticking to the schedule helps. Create specific questions as to what went wrong and how you can do it in a better way. As soon as you receive a working answer, move on.
Remember, the answers to these questions are valuable. So do not shy away from them.
What did we learn?
The most critical question is this very last one. The answers you were able to collect during the debriefing session will give you a repository of learnings, which you can apply in the future.
Ensure that you integrate the learning into your processes and SOPs so that they become part of your virtual event management and planning.
When You Plan How to Plan
The dashboard on Speaker Engage gives you insightful data on all your events. It can easily be a starting point for your debriefing session because you’ll be armed with data before you begin.
If you look at it, a debriefing session is a perfect end to an event well done. You put the pieces together painstakingly for a successful event, and then you take it apart, mightily, to unravel the success.