If you have organized a successful event, then naturally you will have to write a summary of how it went. That is why people create post-event reports, where they list all the essential things about this particular event. You will learn how to write a report on an event in the article below.
Why do we have to write reports?
Writing summary is an essential part of the organization of various events. The main reason for it is that you give your client full and necessary insight into the effectiveness of your event. Besides, it is good for learning. The review of your event can help you to add some enhancements to your further planning of events in the future. The reports will help you to collect the necessary data about the event, such as the number of people who attended it, the expenses that went into it, and various other aspects. Collecting all this information will reveal trends about your event, which will help you to plan them more effectively from now on.
However, learning how to write a good report on an event is not exactly easy. You will need some brief guidelines to learn this art. Here, we will give you some of them, and you will be able to plan your perfect report for your clients and yourself.
How to write an event review: a full guide
Here is your guide on how to write a brief report on an event. We hope these steps will be useful to you.
Style and format
First of all, you will have to determine the style of your presentation and its format. The reports of events can come in a different format – they can be done as PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, stapled, bound or other.
- You should make sure that the report has been organized and divided into a number of clear sections. The purpose of writing the report is comparing the event results and the objectives for the event. The primary outcomes of the event have to be summarized.
- The report has to be tailored to the interests and needs of every audience and sponsor that have been affiliated with your event. Take the sponsor objectives into consideration. Keep in mind that the sponsors, to some degree, are the main audience for your event, and they would like to know if it was worth to be sponsored. The other audience for your event might include the financial managers and senior executives.
Tracking the information
Then, your next step will be tracking all the information needed for your report. For this, you will not have to only rely on memory – you will have to note down the data. Taking notes is extremely important during the event because later you might forget things that happened, and during the event, you are sure that they are still fresh in mind. Pay attention to the important tidbits, like the number of people who attended the event, the environment, and the parts which were approved or disapproved by the audience. Shortly, during the event, you have to capture everything you can and write it down. This will greatly help you out later.
- Sometimes, you will have to take photos of the event – some clients want it for the administrative purposes. They can also be used on the Internet for advertising your event. In some cases, the videotape of the event would also be relevant.
- If you track as much information as possible before the event, during it, and after the event, your event description will become more specific and effective.
- Continuously collect data, and use different people for it (for instance, interview them on their opinions). It can be useful to write down things from different perspectives. You should not be waiting to start working on your report until the very end of your event.
Summary with key points
The following step will be your summary to only key points. Sometimes, the event reports are slightly bigger than just the statements that everyone would want to focus on. You should not include a lot of information there. Instead, you will have to highlight the main and necessary points, and for this, you will need to look at your summary again clearly and analytically.
- Pick the best highlights of your event for discussing them in details. You should consider which points are the most surprising ones, and which things have worked out in the best way.
- One thing you should avoid is packing your article with the unnecessary details, for instance, the detailed description of the lunch menu, or the summary of the whole presentation of the speaker. These things do not matter as much as they seem to. So, you should only leave things that hold some significance and relevance.
When you have organized your report properly, it is time to move on to working on content. Here are a few steps that should be helpful for you.
Executive summary of the event
First of all, you should write down the executive summary of your event. This is a short version of the full report, and it will play the introductory role in your review.
Create the two reports – first should be the executive summary, which is made for people who are interested in the outcome of your event. The other one, which is the more detailed report, is for those people who are involved in the organization of the event or are sponsoring it.
If you are not sure what to focus on in the executive summary, the answer is simple – key results and objects. This summary has to be very brief and consist only of one or two pages. The key elements which the event delivers have to be summarized there and a brief interpretation of all information has to be included.
Visuals in the report
Another smart move would be including the visuals in your report. Everything that has got visuals is more interesting for the public than things which have no visual presentation. Therefore, it will be effective to insert the chart which illustrates statistics of the event, instead of giving the audience just a bland list of numbers.
In case your event was about some new product, you can give a photo of it to the readers. The photos are a great help when it comes to presenting the event and illustrating it.
Documentation of advertising exposure and social media audience
The documentation of advertising exposure and social media audience can also be helpful. For this, completing the following steps would help:
- Focus on the ads which contain the names of sponsors. It will be useful in gathering the advertising rates and circulation figures.
- Document the advertising on television, ratings, news coverage, and public service announcements.
- Also, you should document the radio, advertising and promotional values, rate card advertisements, audited reports, and other things that can be helpful.
Then, it would be good to include the statement where you list all the objectives of your event. It is significant to link the objectives with the results of the event. So, you need to make certain that you remind people of the original mission of the event, and the goals that were set by its organization.
Include the list where the event program would be made clear. Also, you can discuss the important participants of the event at different points. However, you should better make these sections as brief as possible.
The most time should be spent discussing and pointing out specific outcomes of your event, as well as matching them with the listed outcomes. Also, when writing reports, try to presents facts the way they were or happend and not sugarcoat the things that did not work out.
Including the financial highlights in your report would be a professional move. You will need to provide details budget of the event, both revenue and expenditure. Also, it would be good to compare the expenditures that were budgeted for the event to the actual ones that were spent.
Describe all the costs in details, and include the marketing activities along with the promotional ones, sponsorship costs, and staff expenses. All the good reports also include the detailed budget of the event. The senior executives and financial managers would want to have a look at the evidence which leads to conclusions.
It is important to include statistical data which would be interesting and relevant to your readers. The report should not be packed only with feel-good data. One of the important statistics that you will have to include would be the number of attendees. The best data to provide would be the kind of data which has an aspect of measurement.
The other important statistics could be the number of specific booth visitors and generated number of sale leads. The more data you provide, the more credibility your event gets. You will need to provide the information that regards the participants and attendees. Also, the important aspect would be including demographics and research results among the audience (for example, the audience’s purchasing trends).
Report the number of attendees who reacted to the campaigns of the sponsors, as well as the charity donations. Document the participation of employees and economic influence.
Quotes from actual people
Even though your report will be fuller and more complete with statistical data, it will also need the quotes from actual people.
To complete this step, you will have to gather some feedback during the event from people who participated, as well as the team members. The quotes from active participants will make your report much more credible.
And finally, you will have to summarize your report by making it into a final product. This also requires a few steps that you will have to complete.
Hand in your report on time
Remember to complete and hand in your report on time. This should be done quickly after the event. If you have trouble with organization, you can set yourself a deadline. Usually, the report has to be issued within 30 days after the event took place. However, some organizations demand the full report within a couple of days. It all depends on the wishes of your company, and you will have to suit their needs.
No matter what is the specific deadline for your project, you should do everything possible to meet it in time. You should also pay extra attention to all the specific requests.
The audience will expect the thorough and timely report from you. So, you should take some time for it to be of a good quality, but making people wait for long will make the report seem outdated.
Proofreading the report
- The final step will be proofreading the report. You have to make certain that the report has proper grammar and does not include any punctuation or spelling mistakes.
- Be sure that all the answers are in depth. The rule of thumb is using a special technique called “show, don’t tell”. The meaning of it is providing specific examples for backing up more generalized points which you have made in your report.
- Keep your audience in mind. Make sure that the writing you are using is formal enough and sounds like a professional has written it. Remember that the review of an event is not supposed to be casual. This is a document, which is essential enough for people to determine whether your event was organized well or not. So, it has to be executed professionally and formally.
If you have written your first event report – congratulations! This means that in the future, it will be much easier for you to write the next ones. We truly hope that our advice has helped you in learning how to write reports.
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