An event is the culmination of weeks (or even months) of planning, inviting guests, bantering with suppliers, and seemingly endless coordination among your team. Breathe a sigh of relief, and give yourself—and your organizing team—a pat on the back. You guys deserve it. But once the dust settles, it’s time to get down to the post-mortem.

Medically, a post-mortem often refers to an examination of a corpse to find out the correct cause of death. For events organizers in the Philippines, it’s also a term that refers to meetings held after completed projects. Successes, failures, and learning points are discussed during this point, and it’s important that the right questions are asked so that everyone benefits from it. At your next post-mortem, here are 5 questions you must keep in mind.

QUESTION #1: Did we hit our metrics?

Prior to any event, certain goals that set: budget limits, number of invited guests, timeliness of the program, and media and social media coverage, just to name a few. Asking this question sets the tone for the rest of the meeting as it allows respective members to discuss how they achieved it or any difficulty that they encountered.

QUESTION #2: Why were we successful in meeting some of these goals?

Once you have the metrics, you can then discuss why certain parts of your event worked compared to others. Starting with the positive aspects of your event allows people to relax and bask a little in the team’s success.

Meeting with the Team

QUESTION #3: Why were we not so successful in meeting others?

“The wisdom of learning from failure is incontrovertible. Yet organizations that do it well are extraordinarily rare,” comments Amy Edmonson in the Harvard Business Review.

This part of the post-mortem would probably take the longest as the team goes over what went wrong. The mindset of everyone should be positive, however. After all, this is the best opportunity for the team to hash out any problems. Explain to your team that this is not a blame game. The moderator has to keep things in balance, and should reiterate that this is an exercise done for everyone’s benefit.

QUESTION #4: What do you think our client thought about the event?

Once you’ve discussed the good and the bad, it’s time to compare the team’s thoughts with that of your client. Asking them what they think the client thought forces your team members to place themselves in another party’s shoes, giving them a new perspective on their work. If you do have actual feedback, then you can let your team know about it.

QUESTION#5: What do you feel we should do from here on out?

Every event presents learning outcomes. By talking about the strategies that should be employed in the future, your team gets to prevent repeated mistakes. Make sure the meeting ends with actionable resolutions. Do you need more manpower? Would a new app or gadget help the workflow? Do you need to look for a better supplier? All of these action points also help end the meeting on a positive note.

What other questions do you think work well in post-mortem meetings? Share it with us by posting a comment!