This post was originally published on Attend by Event Farm's blog and was written by Courtenay Allen.
Measuring an event’s success is not as simple as measuring the performance of your latest Facebook ad. The word “metrics” has been tossed around everywhere, but it’s not just a buzzword—it’s a necessity. Whether you’re hosting a small-scale dinner to help close sales opportunities or hosting a larger conference, keep reading to learn about four metrics that will help you determine the success of your event.
After your event is complete, sending a post-event survey is an important tool to determine the success of your event. Not all of your attendees will complete the survey, but the feedback you'll receive will be invaluable. Ask your attendees high-level questions, like if they are satisfied with your event and whether or not they’d plan on attending the event the following year. If attendee satisfaction is low, it may be time to change or eliminate the event all together.
You can also ask your attendees for more detailed feedback about their experience. Did they like the food? How was the venue? Was the event’s content relevant to their needs? While these metrics do not necessarily impact your return on investment for your event, they will help you get to know your audience better, and will also provide valuable insights for planning future events.
Registration metrics & the quality of your attendees
Another crucial element to measure is your attendee's registration process. Did they sign up for your event right after you announced it, or was it later in your marketing campaign? Did they first learn about your event on social media or through a blog post, and at what point did they decide to register? It’s important to track both when and how your attendees registered for your event. By tracking your attendee registrations, you will be able to determine which messages and media were the most effective for your event’s audience.
But tracking how and when your attendees registered is not enough—you also need to determine the number of qualified leads your event generated. Would it make sense for the people at your event to use your product, and do they have the budget for it? A large number of attendees is beneficial only if they are qualified to use or puchase your service or product.
You can also calculate the cost per lead for your event by dividing the event’s cost by the number of qualified leads that attended. This measurement is helpful for projecting budget requirements future lead generation.
Was your event cost-effective? What was your efficiency ratio?
To determine if your event was cost effective based on the number of attendees reached, divide the event’s cost by total attendees. This calculation is not recommended to be used as a stand alone figure, but should be used in conjunction with others. For instance, what was your event efficiency ratio? This metric is also known as the expense to revenue ratio. To calculate, divide the total expenses of an event by the total revenue that your event generated. If your expense in running the event is higher than the revenue, you're looking at problems with efficiency.
Keep in mind, however, that your event could generate a significant amount of business opportunity that may take weeks or months to close. So if you are unhappy with your efficiency ratio in the days and weeks after your event, keep an eye on and adjust that number as the new business opportunities generated by your event close.
Social media reach & impact
During your event, you or someone on your team was hopefully busy live tweeting the event as a way to expand your reach and keep your audience engaged. Once your event has ended, go back and track your event hashtag to see all of the conversations generated by your event. In fact, check all of your social media platforms to see the results of your social media engagement during and after your event. Examine all of your likes, tweets, and comments, and determine the increase in number of fans and followers to help you understand which of your social media channels was most successful.
Depending on the type of event, you may want to calculate your press impact. How many media mentions did you receive, and which publications wrote about your event? By calculating the cost to reach those same audiences with paid advertising, you'll be able to put a dollar figure to your event’s media reach.
Want to learn more about how you can make your events more data driven? Download our free eBook, Using Tech to Track Event ROI.
Event pros, what are some of the processes you have in place to measure the success of your events? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @eventfarm!