Event Series #5: How to measure your event ROI?
Your event went smoothly, everything ran like clockwork and you came in under budget. But was it a success? How do you measure the return on investment? And how can you improve? We often think all the hard work is done before an event, but here we’ll explain why the aftermath needs just as much attention as the planning stage.
Set KPIs and the tools to measure them
How do planners know whether they succeeded? Well, it all depends what you consider a success. Setting goals before the event itself is key. What are you trying to achieve? Once you understand your objectives, you can set your KPIs.
This will vary from company to company (and from event to event), but an example of things to measure at an event could be:
- Registration numbers
- Product sales / sign ups
- Audience engagement
- Media and press hits
- Social media reach
Once you know what you want to measure, figure out how you are going to measure them. For example, you could use a social analytics tool like Tweetreach to monitor your event’s reach on social media. If you want to measure how well your audience are responding to your event, use a real-time meeting and conference platform – we hear those guys over at Wisembly have a pretty awesome one. (Totally unbiased opinion of course….)
Get feedback before, during and after the event
As well as your own goals, you’ll need to understand the expectations of your attendees. You’ll then be able to measure if you managed to get close to satisfying those expectations. Asking attendees questions before, during and after the event is a great way to increase interaction and get the data you need to measure success.
Use a mix of open and closed questions, as this will help you uncover trends that you may not expect or show common themes that you can later compare to a post-event survey to measure attendee satisfaction. You’ll want to make sure you get a general consensus of why people are attending, as well as giving the attendees an opportunity to voice their opinion.
Working out the best way to measure ROI for your event will be really specific to your event and your business, so take the time to understand not only what the objectives are but why. Planning an event has lots of elements to it, so knowing your most important metrics and how to achieve them will help you focus your efforts. But don’t just stop at internal metrics – your attendees are your most important source of data, so make sure you ask them what they think.