Analytics & Reporting

Measuring event success: the right way to do it

How do you create a successful event? We provide helpful tips.

Table of contents

When you host a business event, you usually have one goal in mind: a positive ROI (return on investment). You work towards making your event pay for itself.

An event where you offer your customers or employees a special experience and create added value for your company is the goal of every business event and event management department.

But how does event ROI become positive and in what way can you objectively track this? This is not always so easy to define.

There is often a tendency to judge the success of an event on the basis of "pi times thumbs". So if all the expected participants showed up and no negative feedback emerges after the event, an event is quickly booked as successful.

However, it is questionable whether such findings are objective and usable. It is better to make them measurable on the basis of clear criteria, from pre-event to post-event. Only in this way can you sustainably assess the success of your event.

Tips for a successful event

First of all, you should be aware of what you mean by a successful event. Which target group should be addressed? Where should the event be held (at a specific venue or online)? Does the event format fit my goals?

And last but not least: What should the event marketing ROI look like? Stay as specific as possible and avoid setting goals that are too vague. Purposefully planned events open up numerous opportunities for you and your company that go far beyond standardized marketing. For example, successful, successful events can have the following effects:

- Strengthening of identification with a company (positive emotions are aroused)

- Improving the credibility and awareness of a company

- Motivation for actions, such as purchase or recommendation

It is advisable to coordinate with sales and define how to generate as many qualified leads as possible and follow them up optimally after the event. CRM integration facilitates support and follow-up.

Before you start planning an event, you should define which of these points is your focus. This can already give you initial impulses about the sequence and content of a physical or virtual event. In order to measure success and to achieve a positive event ROI, these preliminary considerations are indispensable.

Colleagues sit in a meeting and talk about the event concept

How to plan a good concept?

Now it's time for the concrete planning of the upcoming event. In four steps you can create a concept that perfectly fits your requirements for a successful event. Proceed in a structured way and do not leave any of the following points open:

1. definition of a goal

What exactly should be achieved and measured by your future event? There are various starting points here. Is it important to you that the number of participants is as high as possible, or is the focus on the company's retention rate?

If you prefer to go into more detail, consider measuring event attendee satisfaction, for example.

More detailed target measurements include the emotions and motivation of the participants after the event. Here you can set the goal that the participants perceive the desired image of the company or are motivated to buy a certain product.

Key metrics and popular event KPIs include:

  • Ticket Sales/ Event Registrations/ Returning Participants
  • No show rate
  • Number of leads generated
  • Cost per lead
  • Event ROI
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score)
  • Survey participants
  • Social media mentions

Online events can also be used in conjunction with physical events to develop a holistic marketing strategy. For example, a virtual event platform can attract new prospects and serve as a pre-qualification.

2. definition of the target group

The central question for this point is to which group of people the above objectives should be applied. A target group can consist of a specific age group, a specific customer group (e.g. regular customers) or a mixed audience.

For employee events, the employees are of course the target group. Other target groups can be leads, customers, applicants, suppliers or the general public.

This consideration should include which event format is suitable for the respective target group. This is the only way to ensure that you achieve a positive return on investment ROI.

3. content and technical planning

Once you have filled the first two points with concrete details, it's time to implement an event. First of all, it must be clarified in which form the event will take place.

A face-to-face event is significantly more expensive and costs you more staff than an online event. For certain target groups (e.g. a young age group), online events may even make more sense. When planning, you should always keep an eye on your budget.

4. addressing the audience

At an event, a company should be presented in such a way that the desired effect occurs with the viewer. An older target group needs a different approach than teenage viewers.

Be sure to match the tone and ambiance of your event to the target audience. Otherwise, you may receive negative feedback. For example, look at surveys and trends from the desired target group beforehand to adapt your event accordingly.

How to increase interaction with participants?

A reasonable interaction with event participants is enormously important, especially in the age of the Internet and social media. In this way, your company shows that it is responsive to the wishes and suggestions for improvement of customers or employees. For an event with a lot of engagement, they have the following options, among others, that you should pay attention to when choosing an interaction tool:

1. create open surveys

2. share links in the comment columns

3. reply to comments and messages

Reading Tip: 5 tips for more interactive events

The follow-up of an event

The event follow-up is the really exciting part. This is where the ROI calculation shows whether you have achieved a positive event ROI. For this, important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of the ROI of your event should have been defined positively beforehand.

During the follow-up, consider two questions:

1. were the goals I set myself achieved?

To do this, evaluate surveys, comments or sales figures, depending on which event goals were the focus.

2. what can be improved next time?

Even if everything went smoothly at your event, "growth" is the magic word. You can always improve the event marketing ROI. It is also advisable to set even higher goals for the next event and to question the KPIs for measuring the success of the event and adjust them accordingly.

If the goals of the event were not achieved, a more detailed analysis is useful. Unlike other marketing activities, the cost of events is relatively high. Therefore, you should take the results of the evaluation seriously and learn for the future.

This is the only way to harness the full power of business events to improve a company's prestige, sales figures, image or profits.

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