Have you been assigned to write an event report? These reports determine whether or not an event was successful by comparing the results with the initially set goals. It is also an important means by which individuals or companies who have just held an event can determine what changes to make. There are a number of ways you can ensure the success of your reports, especially if you decide to hold another event in the future.
Part 1 of 3: Organize your event report
Step 1. Determine what the presentation style and format will be for each audience
Event reports can be spiral or stapled physical documents, as well as PDF documents or Power Point presentations sent by email, etc.
- Make sure to organize your report in clear sections. Your goal is to compare the results of the event with the goals you initially set for it. Make a summary of the main achievements of the event.
- Tailor the report to the needs and interests of each sponsor and audience. Consider the goals of the sponsors. In a way, sponsors are the primary audience for event reports. They want to know whether or not it was worth sponsoring your event. For this reason, you should consider what points they want to know and what are their topics of interest.
- You should also adjust the report to meet the specific needs of the event and the sponsors, as they are both unique. Don't write a report mechanically. Other audiences include senior management executives and financial managers.
Step 2. Create a process to track information that you will need for your report throughout the event
Don't just trust your memory.
- Tracking key information before, during and after the event will allow you to write a more specific and effective report. This will also allow you to collect information in a more timely manner.
- Collect information on an ongoing basis and ask others for help if necessary (including potential practitioners) in collecting data. Never forget that you should not wait for the event to finish to start writing the report.
Step 3. Use only key information
One of the problems with event reports is that they do nothing more than repeat the agenda or focus on superficial or optimistic phrases. Don't make that mistake. What you should do is highlight the key points in a clear and analytical style.
- Choose some of the most representative moments of the event and describe them in detail. A good idea is to consider three positive points and, perhaps, three points that caused surprise.
- Avoid including too many mundane details in the article, such as the lunch menu or a detailed summary of the opening speech. What you need to do is highlight the details that really matter.
Part 2 of 3: Make your report have the right content
Step 1. Write an executive summary
Your event report should include an executive summary, which should be a concise version of a full, more detailed report. This executive summary fulfills the role of an introduction.
- You could create two reports: an executive summary designed for people who have an interest in the results of the event, and a more comprehensive and detailed report for the event organizers or sponsors.
- In the executive summary, focus only on the most important objectives and results. The executive summary should be short and only one or two pages long. You should also summarize the most important points of the event and include a brief interpretation of the data.
Step 2. Include visual aids in your report
It is often more effective to provide a chart that illustrates statistical trends, rather than just presenting a large number of numbers.
- If the event involves a new product, you could include a photo of it. Photographs taken during the event can help you illustrate your report. Try to get pictures of the sponsors' participation in the event. Again, this is a task that you cannot do after the event.
- In your report you can include samples, reproductions and other examples of objects that you can get during the event. Likewise, include the number of people who received coupons from sponsors, etc. Document media coverage both on-site and off-site for sponsors.
Step 3. Document both advertising and media coverage
Later, you should make a comparison between the media coverage generated and the objectives of the event.
- Focus on brochures and printed articles where sponsors are advertised or their names are mentioned. Additionally, it tries to collect circulation volume and advertising costs.
- Documents television advertising, community service announcements, ratings, cost of advertising, and news coverage.
- Do not forget to document the radio advertising and its costs, as well as the cost of promotion, audited reports, etc.
Step 4. Include a few lines about the objectives of the event
It is really important to link the objectives of the event with its results. Be sure to include a reminder of what the original mission of the event was and what goals were set.
- You could also include the event program. You will need to discuss who were the most important participants at some point. Remember to be brief.
- Make sure you spend as much time as possible to mention and detail the most important results of the event and then compare them with the objectives. Be realistic and don't try to decorate things that didn't work.
Step 5. Include financial information in the report
It is important to provide a detailed explanation of the event budget and the money that was actually spent (or potentially earned). Be sure to include a comparison of budgeted and actual expenses, as well as highlighting the positives and areas for improvement.
- Details costs, including costs for marketing and promotional activities, personnel-related expenses, and sponsorship costs. It is a good idea to include a detailed budget. Financial managers and senior executives will want to see evidence to support your conclusions.
- Include a record of earnings, such as fees, sponsors, and riders. However, you should be sure to compare the earnings with the projections that were initially established.
Step 6. Include statistics that are relevant to readers
You don't want to write a report that is loaded with superficial information. The number of people who attended the event is a statistical figure that you should include. It is a good idea to provide data that can be quantified.
- Other statistical or general data that is relevant to include are: the number of sales generated and the number of visitors with respect to a specific stand. Providing this type of information adds credibility to the report. Provides information about the participants or attendees. Include demographics, attendance numbers, and audience research results (such as shopping habits).
- It reports the number of people who respond to the campaigns of the sponsors, as well as the donations made in favor of charitable organizations. Document the economic impact and employee engagement.
Step 7. Include a qualitative element that contextualizes the data
Your report should include statistics, but you should also quote the words of the participants, so that you provide contextual feedback.
- Gather citations and get feedback from participants and organizing team members, so that the assessment of the event's pros and cons does not come solely from the author of the report. This will give your report more credibility.
- Consider including third-party research. Placing value on media coverage is something a third party might investigate.
- Evaluate the space and facilities. Spend time evaluating the effectiveness of the location and facilities from other people's point of view. Discuss how the space was used for the conference, event, etc.
Part 3 of 3: Finalize your report
Step 1. Submit your report on time
Try to write and publish the report as soon as possible. Be sure to schedule your time to make this possible. Some people suggest issuing the report in 30 days, but others think this should be done in just a couple of days.
- No matter what the deadline is, make sure you finish the report on time. Perhaps you write the report for an agency that has been hired by a specific client. Pay attention to all the requirements.
- Most importantly, your audience will expect to receive a complete and timely report. Take the time to be thorough and do your job well, but don't expect too much, as your report will look dated.
Step 2. Review your report
Make sure the report's grammar is correct and avoid punctuation and spelling errors.
- Make sure your answers are detailed. You must follow the golden rule of writing "demonstrate with deeds and not with words." This means that it is a good idea to provide specific examples to support the general points made in the report.
- Don't forget about your audience and make sure your writing is formal and professional. An event report is not a casual document, but an essential document to determine the success of an event, so it must be worthy of respect.
- Take more photos than you think you will need. You will appreciate them in the future.
- To get a word from the leaders and organizers, don't go to them first, as they will remain in place for a long time, even after the event is over. Make sure to ask the public for their opinion first, as they will be the first to leave. Similarly, don't insist on talking to a speaker or leader if he or she is too busy with something else. You can talk to them later.
- To get statements from leaders or organizers, ask lots of questions naturally until the person expresses their thoughts.
- Get more statements than you think necessary. You will appreciate them in the future.
- If you take good photos, they will show the action that took place during the event or the reaction of people to it.
- Try to take pictures of the entire event, including a picture of the audience and the speaker to communicate to the reader the magnitude of the event.