How to Critique an Event

by Abby Slutsky

Organizations hold events for many reasons, including raising funds or bringing members together. It is not unusual for some organizations to hold the same event year after year. Critiquing the event provides a means to evaluate the event and helps event organizers make improvements in the future. Using designated evaluators to conduct the critique will help ensure that all aspects of the event are evaluated. By saving critiques and comparing them to subsequent years, an event organizer can determine whether he is producing better events. Critiquing an event takes some organization, but it is not difficult.

Brainstorm a list of items that you want to evaluate when critiquing the event. For example, you may want to evaluate the timing of the food, the service, the decorations, the entertainment or the effectiveness of the speaker.

Discuss how to critique different aspects of the event so evaluators will know how to evaluate items when filling out their critiques. For example, use multiple evaluators who can circulate the room and observe whether food is coming out timely and if guests are satisfied with it. They should note whether food is returned to the kitchen or whether a buffet is replenished or ample. Have a registration table or keep track of sales so evaluators can compare the attendance at the event to past years or use it to compare attendance for subsequent years. Evaluators should notice the floor and general cleanliness of the event facility. Tell evaluators to notice how attentive participants are to the entertainment or speaker. They should note if people leave the room during the speaker or entertainment, whether they ask questions of speakers and whether there is applause.

Review some critique forms so your design one that is easy for committee evaluators to use when attending the event. This will help you decide how to set up your own form and may give you additional ideas for items to include in your evaluation.

Create a critique form. Use a multiple-choice evaluation sheet with spaces for comments so evaluators can indicate their personal experiences. Many of the details discussed about how to evaluate the event can be used to create multiple-choice evaluation questions. This will make the answers more uniform and easier to compare than a narrative evaluation form. Sometimes personal experiences will vary at the same event.

Review the critique form before you go to the event so you are attuned to what you should be evaluating. Jot down notes so you will remember details when you fill out your critique form after the event.

Photo Credits

  • kasto80/iStock/Getty Images