You put your blood, sweat, and tears into your events. So when things don’t go to plan, it can be hard to swallow. You might be tempted to put it behind you and never look back – but that’s the worst thing you can do.
Even if you think you already know what worked and what didn’t, holding a post-event debrief meeting to review the event while it’s fresh in your mind is absolutely essential. Be systematic about it, and take notes on what you want to repeat at your next event, and what you would change.
Schedule a post-event debrief with your key stakeholders and event committee members within a few days of the event. It can be helpful to set a date in everyone’s calendar before the event even happens. Debriefs aren’t just about pointing out the mistakes that were made, but celebrating successes.
We’ve all been to those debrief meetings that seem directionless. To avoid inefficient use of everyone’s time, assign a facilitator to ensure it’s well-structured. With your facilitator, prepare some discussion questions in advance to promote open sharing of insights and opinions.
Here are a couple of questions you may want to think about:
You’ll want to assign someone to capture the key discussion points and distribute the notes to the whole group for review afterward. Once everyone has had an opportunity to give feedback and make suggestions to the document, re-distribute the final document and save it to refer to when you start the planning for your next event.