Best Organizational Techniques to Measure Event ROI
ROI (Return on Investment) is described as measuring the gain or loss generated from an investment, usually relative to the amount of money spent, and shown as a percentage - the higher the better.
When organising an event, ROI isn’t as simple as calculating amount spent vs revenue. There are many different ways to measure the success, particularly if you are organising a free-to-attend event.
Prioritizing Your Event Objectives
The first thing to focus on are the goals of the event. Why is the event being organised? Who is the audience? It is imperative to prioritize the objectives before deciding the ways to measure event ROI, as different methods will increase the chance of getting the data you need.
Some data to be measured at your event may include:
- Number of Attendees
- Leads generated
- Event Registrations
- Ticket Sales
- Social Mentions/Likes/Shares
- Event website referrals and conversions
- Email clicks and open rates
- Reviews & Testimonials
Measuring ROI For Your Event
Here are four effective ways to measure the impact of your event, and how your results are measuring up against your objectives:
Social media has become increasingly essential to event marketing. Not only is social media needed for event promotion, it is also a valuable way to measure ROI, and gauge reaction online. You can track the number of attendees who are talking about your event before, during and afterwards - paying attention to positive and negative comments - which is a quick and easy way to measure the impact of your event and troubleshoot issues. Creating an event hashtag can further increase the ability to track your impact, making it easier to see what people are saying online.
Social media listening boards like Hootsuite and Google Alerts can be used to help gather some information such as the number of shares, likes or mentions and great ways to collect comments about the event all in one place.
Event surveys continue to be a great source of information to measure ROI. Due to the improvement in event technology it’s no longer a piece of paper that gets handed out and rarely returned!
Surveys can be emailed out to attendees after the event is finished, and are a great way to find out how attendees felt about specific parts of the programme, and even better if sent out as soon as the event has finished whilst the content is still fresh in their minds. A good way to encourage feedback to be submitted is to provide an incentive for attendees to fill the survey in, such as a discount off next year’s registration, or a link and password to event photos.An alternative way to encourage attendees to share their immediate thoughts is to send out the survey link to them during the event itself. (Tip: Attendease has integrated survey capabilities on their platform!).
Good survey design is crucial - make sure the questions you are asking directly relate to the data you are measuring. As well, the metrics that come with the survey, such as time on page or open rate give an indication of attendee engagement. It all ads up to data that indicate who might be a qualified leads and worth pursuing for next time.
This is a simple way to measure success of an event – compare the number of attendees registered to last year. This data indicates how effective your marketing has been prior to the event and the higher the number of attendees, the higher the chance of a positive ROI. Tracking registration data also will indicate where people heard about your event, what sector they come from, and other data that can provide prospect profile intel.
Event badges are much more than a way to let others know your name. Smart badges are a registration tool that can be used to enhance the attendee experience and capture ROI metrics. For multi-session events, barcoded badges facilitate attendees checking in and out of different workstreams. Event management software makes it easy for attendees to connect with others - exchanging information without having to hand out a business card.
Badge metrics can be used to analyze busier areas and times at an event, monitor connections made between attendees, and quickly track how many people are onsite – all of which help determine how engaged attendees are, leading to understanding event ROI.
There are multiple techniques to measure event ROI and those described above are a just a few to consider during the event management process. Understanding the ways to measure your event ROI depends on what the business priorities are and the reasons for putting on the event itself.
About the Author
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – a leading event management and incentive travel company in London. The company has successfully managed in achieving its goals in creating events that exceed expectations and adding value to their client’s businesses. In her role, her best dive is corporate event ideas and event management tips. You may follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.