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Learning Series: Surveying Gala Participants

Learning Series: Surveying Gala Participants

You’ve surveyed entrants, judges, and sponsors. So you’re done, right? Well, not quite!

Gala participants are your last survey group and for good reason! Below, we’ll discuss:

  • Why you want to survey gala participants; and
  • What questions you should be asking

Why Survey Gala Participants?

Gala participants are a mixture of entrants, judges, and others. And while the guests themselves are important, the experience you painstakingly create is even moreso. As such, your gala participant survey will focus much more on the experience at your event than the participants themselves.

There are three primary reasons to survey gala participants:

  1. Learn how to generate a greater buzz in coming years
  2. Learn how to attract press attention to your event; and
  3. Learn how to create word of mouth marketing in subsequent years

How to Survey Gala Participants

Your gala participant survey is all about generating excitement and publicity for events in coming years. Your questions should be phrased and presented accordingly.

Prestige of the Program

When questioning gala participants on the perceived prestige of the program, focus on questions such as:

  • Whether the gala was engaging
  • Whether participants were able to connect with others; and
  • Whether participants will attend again and recommend the gala to colleagues and friends

Operational Goals

Operational goals relate to the administrative side of your program and questions may include:

  • Whether information on how to attend the gala was clear
  • Whether the gala had an appropriate duration; and
  • Whether the food options were sufficient, along with the venue

You can ask for general improvements and feedback as well, as some gala participants may have thoughts on topics you may not explicitly ask about on your survey.

What Will You Ask Gala Participants?

Keep in mind that surveys should also be customized to suit your unique audience members. As such, it’s important that you use the questions above as guidance but make them specific to elicit the best feedback from gala participants.

Do you still have questions about what to ask gala participants? Get more information on surveying sponsors in our free online course Awards 101: The Missing Manual for Awards Professionals!

Ashley Surinak is the resident OpenWater expert on all things content. From the blog to guides and beyond, you'll find her at every turn in your OpenWater journey.

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