Post-Event Report: Include These 8 Things

The guests have left the venue; the vendors have packed up their things; exhibitors have broken down their booths; and you’ve take a needed, much-deserved day off. But now that the event is over, it’s time to take stock and determine just how successful it was. Writing up a post event report is an important part of this process—but what information should that all-important event summary include?

What Is a Post Event Report?

A post event report, or event summary, is a document that collects and summarizes all the data generated by an event. It’s generally written by the event organizer, with input from their event team. Once the report is complete, it’s distributed to stakeholders. Depending on the event, this might include the event’s host organization, shareholders, sponsors, speakers, and other individuals or organizations.

Event summaries typically include data and insights relating to attendance figures and demographics, as well as attendee behavior. They also summarize financial data, including expenses and revenue.

Why You Need a Post Event Report

Post event reports have a variety of functions. They:

  • Measure KPIs and event objectives to determine whether the event was a success.
  • Determine exactly what elements of the event worked and what elements didn’t.
  • Define what, if any, best-practices should be changed to improve outcomes for the next event.
  • Identify any other areas of improvement.
  • Make recommendations for future events.
  • Prove ROI to the host organization, sponsors, and other stakeholders.

In other words, a post event report is where you summarize the event: what went right, what went wrong, and actionable insights on how the next event can be improved. This is useful information for its own sake, but it’s also an important way to prove to stakeholders that the event has value and is worth the continued investment. A post event summary also proves your worth, as event organizer and team leader.

Post Event Report Writing Tips

To write an effective event summary, it’s important to stay well-organized throughout the planning process. Take notes when planning and when running the event as it happens, to remind your future self of key decisions and incidents as they happen.

This not only helps you write a comprehensive report—it also helps you write a timely report. Ideally, a post event report should be completed and made available within 48 hours of the event. That doesn’t give you a lot of time, so being well-prepared is essential.

What to Include in a Post Event Report

There’s no single right way to format a post event report, as the required format can differ depending on the type of event you’re reporting on. However, there are certain elements that should always be included in any comprehensive event summary.

1. Executive Event Summary

The first page of the report is the executive summary. This one-page summary lists the key objectives, metrics, valuable insights, and recommendations that are discussed in more detail in the report itself.

2. Introduction

Any event summary should start off with an introduction. This is where you provide a few essential details about the event:

  • The name of the event
  • The location
  • The time and date
  • The number of attendees or participants
  • The purpose of the event

The report introduction can be written in the form of a paragraph, or you can use bullet points if you prefer.

Example: The Springfield Conservation Society Charity Auction was held on June 8, 2022 from 2 PM to 5 PM at the Springfield Community Center. The event was attended by 683 ticketholders, 2 event staff, and 12 volunteers.

The next paragraph of the post event report should summarize the purpose of the event. This is the statement of purpose and should include any specific event goals, as well as the overall reason for the event. This section can be written as a narrative paragraph, or if you have multiple event goals to mention, bullet points can be used.

Example: The purpose of EVENT NAME was to raise funds for a local conservation group and engage and educate the community. Our goal was to raise $10,000 for the Springfield Conservation Society by auctioning items donated by local businesses and community leaders.

Or:

The purpose of the event was to raise funds for a local conservation group. Our goals were to:

  • Auction donations from local businesses and community leaders
  • Raise $10,000 for the Springfield Conservation Society
  • Educate the community on local conservation efforts

Setting Event Goals & Objectives

2. Budget and Expenses

The next section should provide information about the event budget, expenses, and revenue. What was the event budget, and how much was actually spent? Were there any unexpected expenses, and if so, why? This kind of information is important because it can help you predict expenses for future events more accurately.

Note that while accuracy is important, it’s not necessary to itemize every little expense and line item in an event summary. Providing too much detail will just add clutter that detracts from the main points. If a full budget is needed, add this as an appendix to the main document instead.

Build a Corporate Event Budget

3. Audience Metrics

In the next section you’ll discuss the event attendees. How many people registered or bought tickets? If you have any demographic information about your audience, this is the place to include those details. Depending on the event, you may have only a little attendee information, or you may have a lot of data about attendee demographics and their event behavior. Whatever you have, this is the place to summarize that information.

Depending on the event, that might include:

  • Registration numbers
  • Ticket sales, including early-bird sales and door sales
  • Staff and volunteer numbers
  • Speaker/presenter numbers
  • Attendee demographic information
  • Attendee behavior data – This might mean session attendance figures, booth visitors, social media engagement, and sponsor interactions, among other data.
  • Attendee survey results, if applicable

Know Your Audience

4. Event Content Review

Again, this section will look different depending on the kind of event you’re reporting on. It should include a summary of the event content provided, and an overview of how the event agenda was rolled out and received. For instance:

  • Numbers of sessions for a conference or booth numbers for a trade show
  • The most popular sessions/sessions/booths and those that garnered the most attendee engagement
  • Any delays or cancelations that affected the event schedule – If there were delays or cancelations, how were they dealt with? How might those issues be prevented or better managed in future?
  • Attendee post-event survey answers, as a measure of how well the event was received and the value attendees placed on event content

5. Logistics Review

This section of the event summary is for evaluating logistical aspects of the event. For all events this will include an evaluation of the event venue. Depending on the event, it may also include other elements, such as accommodation, vendors, and other logistical elements.

For each element under review, consider the following:

  • Why was that particular element chosen for this event? For instance, was the venue chosen for its size, location, facilities, or some other reason?
  • How well did that element meet the needs of the event? Was there any element left out that should have been considered? For instance, was the venue the right size, was it easy to find, and were the facilities fit for your purposes?
  • If that element didn’t meet the event’s needs, why not? What could be improved on for future events?

6. Marketing Review

In this section, list the channels used for marketing the event and evaluate the success of each. For instance, this might include:

For each marketing channel, use whatever analytics tools you have to evaluate their success and determine which channels were most effective. For web-based advertising, for instance, you’ll look at social media metrics, Google Analytics, and other web tools to evaluate those channels. Make sure to evaluate data from the lead-up to the event and during the event.

As well as this, summarize any media coverage of the event. Include publication details, provide web links where applicable, and highlight the most positive coverage.

7. Sponsorship Review

List the event sponsors, and include details about the sponsorship packages offered and the value that sponsors provided in exchange. Assess the popularity of each sponsor and their level of attendee interaction/engagement. Are those sponsors worth inviting back for future events, or do you recommend finding new ones?

Get Sponsors for Your Event

8. Conclusion

In this final section, you’ll provide a final concluding assessment of the success of the event. You’ll also provide a summary of all recommendations made elsewhere in the report. Include any and all recommendations, even if you’ve mentioned them in other parts of the report.

The Post Event Report Is an Essential Part of the Wrap-Up Process

Writing the post event report doesn’t happen until after the event is over, but it’s an essential part of the event. Having that report in hand helps you and other stakeholders feel confident when making key decisions about future events.

Writing a post event report can seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a step-by-step approach, and make sure to include all the most important information about the event, and your event summary will impress all the right people.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler

President

Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jack Connolly

Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.

 

Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.

 

In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.

Paul Miller

Chief Marketing Officer

Having served in a number of executive roles for companies in Silicon Valley for over 25 years, Paul has a client-side perspective of the corporate events industry. He has a broad set of experiences working for startups as well as global firms such as Applied Materials. At ProGlobalEvents, Paul helps the company to reach clients through traditional and digital marketing programs. With an extensive background in the High Tech sector, he’s also involved with technology strategy both internally and for clients. Paul is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the Stanford Engineering Design School and Claremont McKenna College. In his spare time he is a also a principal member of the non-profit Gratitude Network which mentors award winning social entrepreneurs.