You are a wonderful team leader for events and when your team has hit the finish line for the event you want to provide them with the break that they deserve. The team has been working long days for many weeks now and you want them to be able to relax and regroup.
If you can, you should take the time to gather the team one last time at the venue to grab some quick feedback about your event while they are still thinking about it. The full scale debrief that is completed in the office is going to be much richer and will help provide great improvements for your next event.
The Forgetting Curve
Over time, people are going to forget. While the information may still be in their minds, it becomes more difficult to access as more time passes. This is known as the forgetting curve. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist was a pioneer in the study of memory and he is best known for his research on the forgetting curve. Once we experience something, retaining the memory is at 100%. After just a couple of days retention drops to 40%. After a week, you will be doing well to remember 20% of what happened.
It is important to remember that your attendees are starting to forge the event as well.
You should let the team know that you expect to conduct an onsite debriefing directly after the event. Give each of the staff a pocket journal that they can use to jot down notes about what is going on. They can also use their smartphone to do this.
When the event ends, walk through the venue and stop at areas where big moments occurred. Going back to these scenes tends to jog their memories about what went on. At each stopping point you should ask them about the best experiences that happened there and the worst experiences that happened there. You should encourage them to look at the event from their perspective as staff and from the perspective of a guest.
You should let your team know that there are not any right or wrong answers. Additionally, they do not need to comment at every single checkpoint. However, they cannot stay completely silent throughout the exercise either. Everyone needs to contribute something at some point along the way.
Record the comments from your staff either on your smartphone or using pen and paper.
There is a popular saying that states we will remember 10% of everything that we read, 20% of the things we hear, 30% of the things we see, half of what we hear and see, 70% of what is discussed with others, and 80% of the things we personally experience. Using an onsite debriefing is going to get you into the 80% area, which is extremely good, compared to how much you will get if you wait until a week or two after the event has occurred.