Debrief – how to know you got it right

By Angela Bensemann, Director Halo Communications

Analysing what went well and what didn’t after an event or promotion is an important part of your evaluation process. Especially if you plan to run a similar event in future.

A debrief sometimes feels like the last thing you want to do straight an event and actually it’s often good to leave it for a couple of weeks.  That’s so you can collate any feedback that comes in a bit later.

I always think it’s good to get all the main players in the room – the event manager, the communications and marketing people, sponsorship managers and anyone else involved (someone with a finance head is good as well).

Get the whiteboard out and divide it into three: what worked well, what could have gone better, what you’ll do differently with associated actions.

Start with what worked well.  This is a really good positive way to start out and puts people in a positive frame of mind.  Even if the event was a bit disastrous there should be some things that went well that you can roll out again next time – make sure to note these!

Next up look at what could have gone better.  Look at the event from the different perspectives of those in the room, throw up all the suggestions and try to keep them neutral about what could have gone better generally and not personal attacks.

Lastly looking back at all the things on the board what would you do differently next time and how will you action this? This is the chance to delve into the learnings and to put a plan in place so you don’t keep making the same mistakes.

Take this debrief – type it up and timeline the actions into your event planning for next time.