Determining the Success of an Event through an Event Debrief (with Template)

Picture this: You have wrapped a successful event with the desired ROI and engagement, but now what? 

Some event planners are tempted to jump into planning a new event; others might want to take a break and enjoy the post-event celebration. However, reviewing your previous event through an event debrief is critical before you push forward on your next campaign. 

Not sure where to start? This blog will dive into all the factors event planners need to execute a successful event debrief. Read to learn all you need to know about post-event debriefing, and download this free event debrief template to be prepared.

What is an Event Debrief? 

An event debrief is a post-event follow-up meeting where event planners analyze the event’s performance and compare the results achieved. 

What Is the Right Time to Start an Event Debrief? 

The right time to start an event debrief depends on a few factors. Some event planners are more likely to send out a post-event survey to collect relevant data, which they will discuss in the debrief. In such cases, event debriefing can take a week or two to be organized, considering the post-event survey results.

Waiting for the post-event survey results can help the event planning team understand the satisfaction rate they achieved from the event audience. 

Additionally, surveys that include the right post-event questions can help understand what worked best in the event and which factors should be avoided next. 

 In contrast, some event planners focus on discussing the data they already have with real-time event analytics. In this case, the planners do not need to wait, and they can organize a post-event debrief immediately after the event ends.

Organizing an event debrief as early as possible once the event ends helps discover and capitalize on post-event opportunities. With an event debrief, event planners can close the event on a solid note. Additionally, the event experience remains fresh in the attendee’s mind.

Why are Event Debriefs Important? 

Event debriefs help event planners improve future event planning and execution.

Even if you believe your event went off without a hitch, measuring ROI, goals achieved, and attendee satisfaction at your event is essential.

What is an Event Debrief Template?

An event debrief template functions as the basis for a comprehensive post-event report. Planners have a framework guide to identify mistakes, setbacks, and improvement opportunities for upcoming events with an event debrief template. Other than this, event debriefs help in framing the following:

  •  Event attendee feedback
  • Internal team feedback
  • Valuable event data
  • Post-event insights
  • Objectives and goals for the following events
  • Team training opportunities
  • Determine event ROI

Creating an Event Debrief Template

Event debriefing allows event planners to squeeze all the valuable data out of the event and make maximum use of the meaningful information. 

Event debriefing details can vary from one event planning team to another. However, the general information that should be discussed in an event meeting debrief template is usually the same.

While we already have an event debrief template ready for you. Here are some essential functions to consider when preparing an event debrief template:

Collect Solid Data Points

Event Debrief Template Sample

Before the debriefing meeting, it is essential to consolidate event metrics and extract key data points. 

One way to collect data is through a post-event survey.  You can email a post-event survey to the attendees, asking them about their experience at the event. 

The other way is to focus on the post-event analytics report

Event management platforms like vFairs offer real-time reporting features that provide access to a reporting dashboard before, during, and after the event. 

With these reporting features, you can easily export event stats and report to CSV or PDF to share in your event debrief meeting. 

Collecting data beforehand makes it easier for the team to explore event KPIs such as event registration, attendee check-ins, ticket sales, session analytics, and more. You can use these post-event analytics to calculate the event’s ROI and make data-backed decisions in future event planning. 

Analyzing the Data

Post event analysis through event debrief template

Once you have collected the data, it is time to analyze what you have extracted. This way, you can make your meeting trajectory relevant instead of giving space to meaningless discussions. 

You can clearly understand what the audience thought of your event through post-event surveys, in-event polls, and session ratings. You can also have a clear point of view about which things worked in your favor at the event and which factors caused dissatisfaction among the audience. You can allow members at your event meeting to share their opinions, which you can place as notes in your event debrief template. 

On the other hand, with the vFairs reporting feature, you will have tons of data to analyze. For example, you can determine the most active exhibitor at your event by checking badge scans and leads captured per exhibitor. This data will help you understand which exhibitors you should contact for future events. 

Organize Key Highlights at The Event


In an event debriefing meeting, it is necessary to outline the top achievements from the event. This will help celebrate the wins while making a benchmark for progress for the upcoming events. 

The achievements would depend on the event’s goals and outcomes. Some common ones include the total registration number, attendee participation at webinars,  leads solicited by sales, and how much annual recurring revenue was generated from the event. 

Review Attendee Demographics

Attendee demographics chart in an event debrief template

Reviewing attendee demographics from your event is essential in an event meeting debrief template.

Studying attendee demographics is a great way to update your databases, as the industry demographics constantly shift. 

Reviewing attendee demographics can help you effectively shape your future event marketing strategies to target the desired groups for guaranteed event success.


Lean Into Engagement Metrics


Lean into engagement metrics in your event debrief template

In an event debrief, you should take advantage of diving into event engagement metrics. Understanding which sessions engaged your attendees most is vital to ensure you invest in the right factors for your next event. 

Analyzing participant data and audience engagement metrics can help show how people reacted to different content types and sessions during the event. 

Analyze Event Marketing Performance

You can explore the success rate of your pre-event marketing emails, social posts, and advertisements. 

Analyzing your event marketing performance can help you understand which social channels or communities were the most favorable in promoting your event and bringing in registrations. 

Analyze Return on Investment (ROI)

Your efforts for your event’s success convert into the money you make or all the non-monetary goals you achieve (webinar views, leads generated, etc.). 

During a debrief meeting , the most critical yet essential task is to analyze the return on event metrics. 

Generating a realistic ROI on your event may take some time however, analyzing the profit you made in your event debrief template can help you invest in the right factors for your next event. 

Discuss More Event Debrief Questions and Recommendations

In an event debriefing meeting template, the event planning team reviews how many goals and objectives were met during the event while understanding the event’s return. 

However, the panel can also discuss budget guidelines and other granular event details and event debrief questions such as: 

  • What were the challenges and successes during the event planning process? 
  • What worked well and what did not? 
  • Did the event format (hybrid, virtual, in-person) impact the experience? 
  • How did the event perform compared to the last event? 
  • Did you meet your registration goals?
  • Was the event able to reach audience satisfaction? 
  • Did the team underinvest or overspend in certain areas during event planning? 
  • What should we keep doing for future events? 
  • What should we omit for future events?

Free Event Debrief Template

Here’s a free event debrief template for you. Go through these and make sure you have everything covered before you begin with your event debrief meeting.
Download Free Event Debrief Template

Organizing an Event Debrief Meeting

Now that you know what to discuss at an event debriefing meeting, it is time to organize one. Here are some tips that can help you in hosting an influential event debrief meeting: 

Invite the Right People

Inviting everyone involved in the event is acceptable if you are a small team. However, if you are working in a larger group it is best to ask leaders to join the meeting. 

For example, you can request the marketing manager to present to the leadership in the meeting instead of inviting the entire marketing team to the event debrief. Similarly, you can ask the catering manager, social media manager, and more. 

However, you can instruct the leaders to gather relevant feedback from their teams before the event debriefs meeting with the leadership.

Set an Agenda

To ensure you and your group stay on track, it’s essential to set an agenda and share it with the meeting attendees ahead of time. Keep the discussion short and on point.

It is important to designate someone to lead the discussion to avoid chaos during the conversation. Either you or someone else from the event planning team can be responsible for following the agenda.

 Start with Meeting Objectives and Summary

Before you dive into discussing the objectives and ROIE of the event, it is essential to make the goals clear in your event debrief template. 

This is also the best time to review your action items from your last event debrief. For example, from the previous event debrief, if you aimed to reduce setup time for speakers. You can review whether or not you were able to achieve your goals. 

Next, you can dive into a summary of the event. Start with giving your meeting attendees tangible data such as total funds generated, the number of guests, and other pertinent details.

Later, you can go over any challenges you encountered during the event and how you can make a combined effort to reduce the errors.

Create a Comfortable Environment

When you have decided to evaluate the performance of your event, you should be aware of wounded egos and flared tempers. 

However, you can start your meeting at a good place by creating a relaxed and positive environment beforehand. 

Start the meeting by appreciating everyone’s efforts.  Clearly state the purpose of the debrief is to review performance, present lessons learned, and find constructive solutions to improve future events. This would set the right tone and ensure no one feels attacked or blamed for shortcomings.

Final Steps

The final step to your event debrief meeting should be to use the data collected practically. 

Organizing and hosting an event debriefing meeting involves efforts. Therefore, you have to ensure that measures should be worthwhile. 

Ensure that the valuable data collected through discussions, questions, and feedback is documented. 

Follow the steps that we have outlined. You will be able to host an influential event debrief that will help you set up a standard for future event planning and campaigns. 

Determining the Success of an Event through an Event Debrief (with Template)


Shahtaj is a content writer at vFairs. She has been in the content-creation industry for over four years, primarily serving Saas, tech, and entertainment organizations.

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