11 January 2019
11 January 2019,

An event planner’s work is never done, and unsurprisingly, continues even after the event is long over. Equally important to acquiring all the necessary details prior to an event is gathering post-event details and feedback to be able to improve the next large conference call, and most importantly, build a stable relationship with partners and teammates.

What Is An Event Debriefing, And Why Is It Important?

Imagine this: You’ve just finished the first of several conferences with a potential client. The turnout was good all in all, and there weren’t any major disasters during the planning – The client phoned in just in time, the volunteers were happy to help, and no one’s signal bugged out. You’re feeling pretty great – but you’re not done yet. How can you be certain that everyone who participated in the conference call feels the same way as you do? And how are you going to top this in your next conference call just as smoothly, without seeming too monotonous? How do you know exactly what the participants are searching for, and what your clients would like to see?

Debriefing means having to ask a series of questions regarding the upcoming conference call. The reason these things are important is because taking the time to analyze and plan the call you have hosted does have its own set of benefits, the biggest of which is having a tangible and steady hold about what just happened, and how exactly you’ll be able to build on that experience in the upcoming calls ahead.

An accurate and honest feedback – No matter who or where it came from – lets you conduct better and wiser conference call choices about each event that you put together. A debriefing can create a concrete list about what questions and activities worked during the conference call, which ones didn’t, and who among the relevant people – clients, participants, bosses, etc. would you want to see in future meetings. Simply put, a debriefing is the prelude to an event innovation.

Of course, just knowing its importance isn’t enough, it’s also important to know how to successfully hold an effective debriefing. As such, here are some simple steps that you can follow:

  1. Plan Ahead – Like all events, it’s useful to plan ahead of time to ensure a successful discussion. To do this, you must first decide who should be involved in the call. For a more organized debriefing, choosing someone neutral to facilitate might also be a good idea as it can help in gaining more insights and feedback from the participants. Creating an agenda is also a must. Make sure to address the important points and questions that were discussed during the conference.
  2. Schedule the Debrief Immediately – Holding the debriefing weeks after the conference might prove to be disadvantageous in the long run as there is a huge possibility that observations and insights will be lost or forgotten. Set up a schedule before planning for the next conference. Another advice would be to hold a very short debrief after the call where you can ask key attendees, “What went well?”, “Suggestions for the next conference”, and “What points should be discussed more in the next conference call?”.
  3. Get Feedback – Getting insights from the majority of your participants is important as this will tell you if the conference was truly successful. You can do this either after the call or through a follow-up email. To raise the possibility of getting more responses, keep your questions concise and brief.

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