Evaluating the Festival
You should schedule a post book festival planning committee meeting fairly soon afterwards for a self-evaluation to see if you met your goals and fulfilled your reason(s) for holding the event. Did you accomplish what you set out to do or were you only partially successful, and if so, why? Each committee chair should give an oral and written report regarding his or her area of responsibility so that a detailed analysis can be achieved at this meeting. The outcome of this self-evaluation, in addition to looking at the evaluations filled out by festival attendees and presenters, will determine if there will be another book festival, and if yes, how soon.
You should have an evaluation form for your presenters to fill out which are included in the speaker packets they receive upon arriving and checking in that day. The attendee evaluations can be handed out randomly in each session by the facilitator stationed in that room. Not every attendee needs to fill one out, but the facilitators should make sure to collect the evaluations at the end of each workshop. You can also have copies at the entry desk/table where attendees pick up the book festival programs upon arrival and a box where they can be dropped off.
Since you will have all of the presenters’ email addresses, another way to obtain evaluations from them is to set up an online survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com) and then send out a group email with a deadline. This can also be done with your exhibitors and vendors.
There are sample attendee and presenter evaluations in the Sample Forms/Templates section of this toolkit.