Okay, as promised, here are the questions I use when evaluating an event. (click here to read the first part.)
I use the first part to basically plot out the steps I took in preparing. If there were decisions to be made, I explain my reasoning for making that decision.
I write out time frame notes, including how early or late I started planning, especially if I order shirts or other swag, I want to remember how long it took the artwork and delivery.
Try to be as thorough as possible on the little details, the things that might get forgotten in 9 months when you re-visit the event.
This is where I celebrate the positives, the things that went well. What were the wins from the trip or event? What made the up front effort worth the work? I make a point to highlight things I wasn’t sure would work, but did.
This is important because even in the midst of a disaster, there are going to be one or two bright spots. Dig to find the positive so you can re-visit that energy and excitement down the road.
Finally, instead of just listing out things that didn’t work (which would be the obvious follow-up to the second question), I spend some time dreaming about what could be done the next time to make the event better.
This is the most fun of the three because it allows me to dream. This is also the part that is the freshest immediately after, but the quickest to be forgotten from my memory.
Taking time while the event is still fresh to dream about how to make the next one even better makes all the difference in the world, for me.
I use Evernote to file all of my reviews, and bullet points make it easier for me to skim what I wrote.
When I start an event for the second time, the first thing I do is open my review and get going.
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