6 Common Ways to Measure Success and ROI for Your Event

March 23 2016

Before doing anything else for your event, you sit down and make goals for what you want to get out of your event. What is the purpose behind planning the event? Are you hoping to make a profit? Or do you just want people in your community to have a good time?  

The easy part of going into an event is knowing what you want to get out of it, or what you want your attendees to experience from your event. The hard part is actually measuring it to see if your event was a success.

Let’s take a look at the six most common ways event planners define success for their events, and see how to best measure them.

 

Attendance

First and foremost, event planners measure success of their event by the number of people that attend. The more the merrier. This is usually a pretty straightforward metric as you can count the number of people who walk through the doors of your event, but there are better ways.

One of those is using RFID at events. By incorporating RFID at events, you don’t need to have a person at the door checking tickets and scanning their tickets. Instead, you can use an RFID scanner that allows your attendees to scan themselves into your event and also out, so you have a real time count of how many people are at your event during any given moment. You can collect and track this data to see the trends of your event to help you plan your events in the future.

RFID makes tracking attendance easy and gives you detailed reporting metrics. But if you are unable to use RFID at your event, no sweat, you can still measure the attendance of your event by scanning tickets, counting at the door, and using sign in options available online.

 

Measuring Enjoyment

One of, if not the hardest metric to measure for event success is whether or not your event was enjoyable. Often at the end of an event, event planners will turn to each other and ask “What did you think?” While it is important to ask each other these questions, they give you a biased view of how enjoyable your event truly was.

The best way to find out if people enjoyed your event is to go straight to the source: your attendees! A simple email to your attendees after the event can easily capture this information. All you have to do is ask one simple question: on a scale of one to ten, How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend?

The result of this answer is called a Net Promoter Score, or NPS for short. The total NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. But who is a detractor and a promoter? Here’s how you interpret the results of an NPS score.

 

If your attendees answer between:

  • 9-10, they are your promoters. These are your event superfans. These attendees will share your event through word of mouth, possibly want to volunteer, and are wanting to come back to your next event.
  • 7-8, they are considered passives - meaning that they may have enjoyed your event, but maybe not enough to recommend it to a friend. It doesn’t mean they had a bad time, but they are kind of indifferent.
  • 1-6 range, they are called detractors. These people range on how much they enjoyed your event, but are not likely to spread it through word of mouth and are at risk of not returning next year. These are great people to interview and get feedback from so you can see how to improve your event in the future.

Knowing this information, you can focus your marketing on the three different groups based upon their experiences. For those answered 9-10, you may want to offer an early bird special to them and encourage them to invite others to attend on social media.

For those who answered 1-6, you can talk about the changes at this years event that will make it a completely different experience from last year and offer them discounts or incentives to come again.

The NPS is a great tool for measuring the opinion of your attendees, and you’ll be surprised how many people will answer the one question email you send out. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s easy.

 

Donations Received

While both event attendance and having a good time are solid indicators for the success of an event, some events such as charity fundraisers and galas care more about the money they raise to support their cause.

For event planners who are measuring donations, making sure they get enough donations is important. With these types of events, attendance is important, but not mandatory. A nonprofit could reach it’s fundraising goal through one generous donation, and the event would be a success.

Text to Donate - Mobile Fundraising

However, one way to increase donations is through text message. Many people ignore emails that come from organizations, and they shy away from answering their phone from unknown numbers. However, 99% of people will read a text message that is on their phone and 90% of people will read a new text message within the first three hours they receive it.

For donations, a text message has incredible power to help you reach your donation goals.

 

Merchandise and Products Sold

Some events are businesses looking to make a profit. You’ll get music festivals, comedy shows, concerts, and sports games that are organized because they are entertaining, but they also bring in a lot of money.

One way to increase profits at an event is to sell more merchandise or products to attendees. But too often, event makers wait until the day of the event to start selling products. An awesome feature that Event Master offers is the ability to sell products and move merchandise before the event takes place. Attendees can purchase swag and gear before an event starts, helping to increase the sales for event makers.

 

Lead Generation

B2B events such as trade shows and conferences often focus on networking and lead generation. These types of event are often considered a success if exhibitors and participants match and can help solve problems to each other's needs.

At these types of events, vendors will give out business cards, attendees will fill out forms, and potential customers are created. The more leads you can get, the better.

But these types of events don’t only benefit the exhibitor. Attendees benefit because they are searching for solutions to problems that exist in their industry.

There are a few ways to capture more leads. First, make sure your product is a good fit for the event you are attending. Do your research beforehand and see if your product solves the problems of attendees. Second, make your exhibit stands out. It will be worth it to spend a little bit more money if your booth attracts more attention. Make sure you have a working demo of your product and enough salesmen to help all the attendees at your booth.

 

Brand Awareness

Some events are organized to build brand awareness and help people understand what your business is all about. If this is the case, how do you measure the success of an event? Yes, it is important to know how many people attended the event, but aside from that, how else can you measure brand?

There are a few solutions to this.

Make sure you have a hashtag at the start of your event and encourage social sharing.

When you have a unique hashtag, you will be able to easily follow it on all the different social media platforms. Set a goal of how many posts you are aiming for from your event, and then monitor social media to see how many people use your hashtag. Make sure the hashtag is posted all around so people can find it no matter where it is.

You can also use gamification to increase social engagement. You can offer attendees incentives for sharing on social media, because while it is important for people to learn about your brand at the event, it is just as good to spread the word through social media.

Products like Nuvi offer a great way to measure social media and brand. You can measure likes, shares, comments, impressions, monitor hashtags, and more.

 

These six metrics are often the major determining factors for an events success. While you may not measure all six of these metrics at your event, the chances of you measuring one or two are likely. Event makers should know if their event is successful, and now there are easy, reliable ways to measure event success. Stop guessing and start knowing how to measure your event's success.

 

Featured image via FridgeMagazine.com