Post event analysis – BEGINNING, NOT THE END !

By Pedro Mendes, Director of IPAM Lisboa – The Marketing School

The post-event phase corresponds to the beginning and not the end of a stage related to the event management. Regardless of the typology we can consider, it is fundamental to make a rational balance between the objectives that were previously defined and the results obtained in the meantime. This balance will generate new and important inputs for the success of future events.

It is imperative that the tasks inherent to the post-event phase take place immediately after the end of the event, so that all the information and all the events are still well in the minds of all the organising members. Ensuring the speed of this process we can have a more reliable map of quantitative data and a more complete qualitative report of everything that has happened in practice.

This phase should not be based solely on an internal and static analysis of occurrences. The success or failure of an event also depends (and to a large extent) on the assumptions and interactions with the external environment. It is essential to cross the results obtained with the assumptions of a macro-environmental analysis and the dynamics of the external transactional dimension, namely, community, market, competition and suppliers. The explanation for the results obtained will always be based on the following dimensions: internal dimension, external dimension or interactions between internal and external dimensions.

The analysis with an internal focus should be based on an objective and quantitative analysis of results, reconciled or complemented through a qualitative and exploratory methodology sustained by listening to the opinion of the different members of the team that participated in the organisation of the event. The exploratory base can be targeted through a focus group, work meetings or in-depth interviews (as an example), the most important of which will be the collection of inputs on what went well or ideas that could mean success in future terms.

From an external perspective, it is important to consider an evaluation of the impact of the event, both in terms of its impacts (economic, social, …) and the degree of satisfaction of its main stakeholders. The impact analysis should be essentially quantitative and should allow a detailed reflection based on the objectivity of the facts. The level of satisfaction of the different publics analysis should also imply a quantitative dimension, but this will only be truly complete if it is complemented by an exploratory methodology that allows to assess the more detailed explanation of the obtained results and the creation of new ideas.

In an approach related to marketing and product management (the event as a product) we can highlight the effective validity of good post-event management. Through a correct internal analysis we can accurately perceive the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation and based on external analysis we understand opportunities and threats. Crossing strengths and weaknesses with opportunities and threats we will have the possibility of strategic formulation and consequent definition of consistent goals, both in the corrective and in the proactive sense of implementing new future initiatives.