How to measure ROI of your event?
“Every event has a specified goal and setting the right goal is half work done.”
Hosting a webinar? Your primary goal is to share the knowledge but secondary one is to gain customer leads too.
Throwing a party? Your motive is to have people enjoy themselves.
There are goals which are set for smallest of the smallest events also that we do. Yet it is not always possible — as you are not aware of either what these goals should be or if a set goal is right or not.
Many a times, event planners measure ROI is context to their financial profit. But it is the only parameter? No, right?
Hence, identifying these goals and analyzing them is the key to measure the ROI of your event.
So, how do you measure the ROI of your event in a right manner?
Well, in this blog, we are going to discuss about how to measure the ROI or success rate of your event with various Key Performances Index aka KPIs.
Before the event, make a measurement strategy!
Measuring ROI starts as soon as you think of planning, organizing or attending an event. After all, you can track anything only when you will set it up to track.
You know where this is heading, right? You need a strategy.
The best time to craft an event marketing plan is before you start heading towards the big day with million miles an hour (though right kind of tools can make your journey easy.).
I understand you organize multiple events in a year and have no option than to head fast towards the other one. But if you manage to gather these points mentioned below, it’ll be easier for you to measure the ROI later on.
Nothing is worse than forgetting everything about checking the success rate of your event, isn’t it?
Event Marketing should be thoughtfully designed. Ask yourself, why are you doing it?
#1. What are your goals?
Because ‘it is a destination event’ or ‘everyone do it these days’ aren’t concrete reasons to do it.
Choosing which goals to measure is more important than having them in the first place. They need to be clear, concise and shall be made keeping your team in the loop.
So let’s get back to the basics and make a list of Smart goals. Goals which are:
S: specific, M: measurable, A: assignable, R: realistic, T: time-related
These SMART goals should be in terms of:
- Brand awareness
- Attendee satisfaction
- Event impact
#2. What do you need to measure?
You need to figure out how are you going to measure the data in accordance with your goals that you’ve set.
Let us assume that your goals are high on the pinnacle of a mountain and shining like diamonds. Now, what you need to do is find a way to reach those goals.
You need to take care of everything, of course, but spend your resources more on things which leads you towards those goals.
Make a list of all the data and how it co-relates with your goals. For example,
- Number of Attendees
- Leads generated
- Net promoter score aka NPS
- Event Registrations
- Ticket Sales
- Social Mentions/Likes/Shares
- Event website referrals and conversions
- Email clicks and open rates
- Reviews & Testimonials
#3. How will you measure?
Now is the time to figure out how to measure all the data on your list.
Your existing CRMs, event management software, social media platforms, analytics tool and survey tools must have ways to see their analytics but beware of quirks! Different platforms show data in different formats.
This ‘how’ should also include how to get accurate data.
In my recommendation for you and the people whose job is to collect the event data regularly, make your life easier by using event analytics tools.
#4. Get. Set. Go!
Take a baseline metric for your every goal you are plan to measure. For example, if you are measuring twitter engagement, you should know what is your average engagement rate during the non-event time period.
After the event, it’s time to analyse the data!
Now, it’s time to analyse the data that you’ve gathered by looking closely at them and determine your performance in terms of your goals.
Operational goals includes the tangible actions which are directly related to the input and output of hosting an event.
- On-time performance:
This comes down to analyze whether your event was operated in accordance with the decided timeline or not.
Did the event take place on the date it was originally mentioned or there was a delay? Did the doors open when you had promised? Was the food served at the mentioned time? Did all the speakers finished on time?
- On-budget performance:
This is about managing your expenses and staying inside your budget.
Was there any unexpected cost? Did you overpay for the decorations? Was there any unexpected hike in food demand?
Here, I am talking about putting down together your estimated budget with actual budget.
- Number of attendees:
Tracking a number of attendees isn’t hard to track. But the big deal is to decide the baseline for which you’ll count it as a ‘success’.
This parameter varies from events to events. For some events, it could be number of guests vs number of ticket sales. Or it could be number of attendees in comparison to the last year.
Which one suits for your event? Decide for yourself.
#2. Brand Awareness
Whether you’re holding event to increase your brand awareness or your event itself is a brand, measuring the brand impact is necessary.
- Social shares:
It simply means the buzz generated about your event on social media platforms. This includes: people using your event hashtag on Twitter, sharing your event pictures on Instagram, Facebook mentions and so on.
Monitoring all this chatter seems to be a daunting task but there are various tools available for that.
Or may be if you have provided an event networking platform, keep a track of the activity feed.
- PR mentions:
This is quite similar to social shares but coming from newspapers and reputed publications, both online and offline. Analyzing this will help you measure how successful your event was in terms of brand awareness.
All you need to do is keep eye on where your event is being mentioned on web. Want some help? Google Alerts!
- Word of Mouth:
Now this channel of publicity is kinda different form social shares and PR mentions. You ask why? Because worth of mouth publicity is way more personalized, direct recommendations to family, friends and colleagues, and is therefore hard to keep track of.
Well, the most common way to measure WoM is to ask attendees of your next event- “How did you first hear about us?”
Answer to this questions will give you a rough idea about how good is your mouth-to-mouth publicity.
#3. Attendee satisfaction
One of the main goals of your event is to know whether it was satisfactory for your audience or not? Here is how are you going to measure it.
- Net Promoter Score:
NPS has become a benchmark to know the customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is generally described by asking one simple question:
How likely are you to recommend your event/product/service to a friend?
The answer is between 0–10. I am sure even you must have filled such feedback, haven’t you?
People who score your event 9 and 10 are “Promoters” (very loyal and likely to advocate for you). Those with 7 and 8 are “Passives” (satisfied but not particularly loyal or engaged). Finally, the 0 to 6 group are “Detractors” (unhappy with your service and likely to actively voice their dissatisfaction).
The overall NPS is calculated based on how many Promoters, Detractors, and Passives you have.
It gives you an indirect yet pretty good answer of how WoM publicity os good regarding your event.
- Reviews and ratings:
I am sure you must have given a feedback on a site or two. But here, your attendees your going to give you feedback and determine success of your event.
This measure is especially significant if you are an event planing company or you are a business who is trying to build reputation by organizing an event.
Engaging your attendee is indeed one of the most important aspect of your event because the event is about them after all! One of the worst thing happen to your event is when you fail to include the people. But you don’t.
When they are at your event, ask them to initiate, participate and reciprocate. Analyze this segment and convert your attendees into brand advocates.
#4. Business impact
This is a relevant success criteria whether you’re organizing event is your business or you are organizing an event to promote your product or service. So, how do you measure event success in terms of its impact on your future business?
The main goal is to increase your customer base.
If you are a business: Did you gain new customers or potential leads for your business? If you are an event management company: Did you gain follow-ups for future events?
If you’re a business, then may be your goal is to get new suppliers, marketing partners, etc. If you’re an event management company, then may be your goal is to get new vendors or maintain the existing relations.
What is the impact of the last event on your existing relationship and how many new partners did you gain?
Acquiring sponsors for your future events is obviously one of the top most priority for any organizer.
Did your event attract new sponsors? Or existing ones are going to spend more on their spending? Did you secure more favorable contracts or partnerships?
Last but not the least, was your event a profitable one in terms of finances? If your main goal was to have maximum ticket sales, then here is what you should be keep the track of.
- Ticket sales:
The obvious one. This is what you earn directly as a result of your event ticket sales.
What was the revenue that you were expecting and how much did you actually get? Did you witness any growth in comparison to the last event? How much revenue your competitors are generating on same kind of events?
- Guest revenue:
I am sure you must have sold other things like food and merchandise at your events and hence, tracking the revenue from those is also imperative. Did this revenue exceeded your expectations or not?
This goal is also relevant for not-for-profit events. What were your fundraising targets and how much revenue you got in terms of donations?
- Sponsorships & advertising:
If you have any sponsorship or advertising deals, then keeping track of them is also important because this is yet another source of revenue.
What did you earn from these contracts? Did you compare it with your past event?
At the end, the point is, if you have the data, you’ll be able to know what makes sense and why? If you’ll calculate ROI, you’ll know what’s worth of your time and what is your time worth.
Calculating the ROI is as crucial as making the marketing plan.
Don’t stress out pondering over the idea that how are you going to do it.