Designing And Using Webinar Surveys


Webinar administrators sometimes get far too “creative” when it comes to post-webinar surveys. In all honesty, you don’t need much:

Simple Webinar Survey Example

This is a perfectly serviceable webinar survey (as long as you actually read the submitted comments).

It’s important to remember that ANYTHING you add beyond this will reduce your completion percentage. So only add questions if you plan to actively use the responses to help you improve future webinars.

If you do plan to get serious about finding ways to improve your webinars, make sure your questions give you tactical data to act upon. For instance, I often see questions such as “Presenter(s): Good – Neutral – Bad.”

I don’t like this question for several reasons. First, it subconciously implies a generic approach to your “interview” with the attendee… It signals that you aren’t really asking about THIS webinar… It’s just an all-purpose question pulled from a question bank. You couldn’t even be bothered to configure your survey to match the actual number of speakers you organized?

If someone indicates that a presenter was bad, you still don’t know enough to make the response useful. I would prefer to ask a series of questions along the lines of:

Presenter Survey Questions

Now you can provide Adam and Betty with specific, directed feedback on how they were perceived by their listeners and you can optionally develop a training and skills improvement plan if you want them to return as future speakers.

A similar strategy can be applied to other areas you intend to pursue. Maybe you want to consider how your administration and organization of your webinars are working for attendees. You could ask specific questions about Ease of registration; Clarity of communications; How well the topic and intended audience were explained.

Maybe you want to know whether it’s time to consider switching webinar platforms (or what you need to complain to your vendor about). You could ask questions about Ease of entry into the webinar; Clarity of visuals; Computer/telephone audio quality; Ease of interaction with presenters.

Whatever questions you ask, remember that results tend to have a positive self-selection bias. The people who were least satisfied will have left the webinar early and probably will not have seen any post-webinar survey. This is particularly true for products that run in a web browser (most commonly using Flash or HTML5). The majority of attendees leave the session by closing the browser or the active tab for the conference. This bypasses any automatic ability to show a survey upon exit (for security reasons, browser-based applications can’t take an action upon shutting down the browser window).

Products such as Webex or GoToMeeting that use a downloaded and installed program on attendee computers have an advantage here, in that they can recognize when the program gets closed and can pop up a survey at that time. But even in these cases, I prefer to use a third-party independent online survey application such as SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, or Formstack. Setting up my survey outside the webinar application lets me include a link to the survey in follow up emails or other attendee communications. It opens up the option to ask questions such as this:

Survey question - Why leave early?

Well-designed webinar surveys can provide great information to organizers, marketers, and presenters. They can also make attendees feel that you actually care about their specific experiences and plan to use the information to make future interactions with your company more valuable and convenient for them. People are much more likely to provide feedback if they can see that your questions are well planned, specific, and actionable.

Think about what you want to achieve with your webinars and then carefully develop survey questions that will give you the information you need to take direct, positive actions. Make sure your webinar plan includes responsibility for collecting, reviewing, and summarizing the responses you receive, with someone accountable for making improvement suggestions based on the data.


Online enterprenuer. Lean leadership consultant.

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