Can Event Planners Use More Than ROI To Evaluate Their Success?

Can Event Planners Use More Than ROI To Evaluate Their Success?

Now that your event has come to an end and everyone has gone home, it’s time to calculate your ROI and see whether or not it was a success. But is that all?

Sure, it makes sense that you’d want to track your return on investment. But the success of an event is much more complex than that. Even in this age of big data, when there is a lot of information available to measure the success of an event – this can only tell a fraction of the story.

There are a lot of factors to consider when you are evaluating how much of a success the event was and what an impact it had. Let’s look a little deeper into the other aspects of event success.

Identifying the Goal of Your Event

It’s much easier to assess the success of an event when goals are clearly set from the start. If you have a vision of what success looks like, you’ll know when you achieve it.

So, before an event begins – ask yourself what you hope to achieve. Is the goal to generate more leads, or attract new employees? Is it to build awareness of your brand, or will you be launching a new product?

Once you have determined your primary goal, you can set specific, measurable objectives that are related to your goal. Remember, you’ll need to be able to attach some sort of metrics that you can track and observe in order to determine how much of a difference the event made.

Revenue Vs. Value

Consider shifting your perspective and thinking about the results of your event in terms of value, rather than revenue. This is a much broader scope of the benefits of your event and the money it brings in.

For example, if you are only looking at revenue you’ll be focused on how many event tickets were sold. However, if the event generates advantageous partnerships or gets you mentioned in the press – this brings value. If it increases your website traffic, generates leads for your business and increases social media presence, this also brings value.

These “soft” benefits (such as brand awareness and networking opportunities) are rarely measured when it comes to calculating event ROI. You might not be able to put an exact price tag on these values, but they are certainly beneficial.

Social Impact

Often, your social media accounts will see a boost in traffic and followers from an event. If you do a good job of incorporating social media interaction into the event itself, you’ll be able to make the most of this.

When it comes to measuring your social media numbers, there are a few factors that you should be looking into. For example:

  • How much has your follower count increased before, during and after the event?
  • How many people are liking and sharing your content – compared to before the event?
  • How many social media users are mentioning your business or using your event hashtag?

Successful events bring a surge of traffic to your social media account during the event itself. However, a really great event will create such a good impression for your brand that it will result in increased followers and a continued buzz after the event as well.

Generating Potential Leads

Another important benefit that an event can bring you (which is tied to ROI but more difficult to measure) is lead capture. A successful event creates many opportunities to connect with people who might eventually become your clients and customers. It allows you to connect face to face with your audiences, which is very powerful.

It is possible to get a general idea of how many leads your event generated. Of the people who attended your event, you can keep track of how many you eventually closed a deal with. Of course, you can only give the event credit if the deal was closed after the attendance date of the event.

Enhancing Knowledge and Understanding

What if the main goal of your event is education? You are striving to offer your attendees information and training – whether it’s about your products specifically or about your business in general. How can you measure this?

Something you can do to determine whether or not your educational conference was a success is quiz your attendees and see how much they learned. Don’t think of it like work. Instead, make it fun and interactive with prizes for the highest score.

Also, consider using gamification to make your event more interactive and encourage attendees to test their knowledge. Here are some ideas on how you can use gamification at your next event.

Establishing Thought Leadership

Hosting an event can be a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. As we wrote about in a previous blog post, thought leadership events offer a chance to talk about the most exciting developments in your field and allow attendees opportunities for self-improvement, learning and networking.

It will also solidify your brand as up-to-date on cutting edge of developments in your field. Other brands and the media may even come to you for your perspective on what is happening in the market as a result.

Of course, the concept of thought leadership can be one of the most nebulous and difficult to measure aspects of event ROI. That said, there are several tools you can use to measure your brand’s thought leadership. Neil Patel outlines some of the best ones in his blog post “Four Metrics to Help Gauge Your Brand’s Thought Leadership.” These tools include Google Webmaster traffic search queries, Buzzsumo reports, Google SERP position and more.

Bottom Line: Event Success is About Much More Than Revenue

Measuring the success of an event is about so much more than simply how much revenue you generate. There are several other factors that come into effect, from social media presence to potential leads to educational impact and thought leadership.

These aspects of your event can be difficult to measure but do offer significant value to your brand. That’s why we recommend that you keep them in mind when setting your goals as well as during the planning, execution and follow-up stages of the event.

Looking for help planning your next successful event? At Travelers Q we are event planning experts and we offer a range of event management services to help you create a memorable and impactful event. Contact us to learn more.

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