As an event planner, you know exactly how much work goes into making each event a successful one. But how do you evaluate your event management performance and return on investment (ROI)? And how do you capture this information in a format that makes it easy to compare across all your events? In this article, we take you through the top five event ROI metrics you should be measuring, and the tools you need.
1. Social Media
No event would be complete without a social media element. The particularly useful feature of social media is that it allows you to analyze your reach and impact. How many people are checking in to or Tweeting about your event? If you’ve really created a buzz and inspired your attendees, social media is one of the channels they will use to talk about it.
A social media listening board can help you gather information including likes, shares, and impressions. Moreover, Hootsuite, Google Alerts, and Mention are all excellent ways to collect all the comments about your event in one place. HootSuite will capture all the hashtag or event name mentions on your social accounts, whereas Google Alerts will look around the whole web and email you. Mention is similar to Google Alerts in that it covers a range of media (not just social media sites) but in one place.
This can give you an indication of how many attendees were talking about your event, which is a quick and easy way to measure your event management performance. Also, social media can provide qualitative event ROI metrics, i.e. what your audience is saying about your event, providing insight into what they want (or don’t want) for future events.
2. Live Polling and Attendee Feedback
Using a live polling app at your event is a useful way to engage your audience and get feedback while the attendees are still at your event and it’s fresh in their minds. A live polling app is one of the most useful event management apps you can use, particularly when considering event ROI metrics. How much easier is it to get your audience to give a feedback score in just a few minutes on their mobile device?
A useful way to ask for feedback is to give limited options, but then allow a free text response for any suggestions or other comments the attendee wants to include. Where possible, try to use Yes or No questions, 5 or 10 point scales, and multiple choice fields in the live polling app – not only is this quicker and easier for an attendee to answer, it allows you to easily measure your event ROI, turning feedback into a quantitative unit of measure. Great examples of questions include:
- Q: Is this your first time at (event name)?
- Q: How did you hear about (event name)?
- A: Search Engine
- B: Social Media
- C: Print Ad
- D: Colleague
- E: Other
- Q: How likely are you to recommend (event name) to a colleague?
- A: Extremely Likely
- B: Very Likely
- C: Somewhat Likely
- D: Not Likely
3. Badge Metrics
Event badges are now far more than just a name tag. With the advent of smart badges like Loopd, badges are becoming another event registration tool that you can use to enhance attendees’ experience while also capturing important event ROI metrics. Loopd is a smart, connected badge that lets your attendees check in and out of sessions passively (no badge scanners required), record their event journey using event tracking software, allows them to connect with other attendees. Event managers can also create heat maps of foot traffic at the show, and collect other valuable marketing information. This makes it one of the most useful event management apps and replaces the usual trade show badge scanner.
Loopd is fully integrated with the etouches registration tool, making registration management a breeze. With ad hoc reporting, you can quickly and easily see how many attendees are onsite and/or in sessions, analyze the connections attendees make, and how long they are spending at the event. This a valuable metric for determining how engaged your attendees are.
4. Event Sponsorship
When you have physical products being sold at your event, the profits made provides concrete data to sponsors on the event’s ROI. However, when the event’s purpose is to inform or boost collaboration between people, event ROI is harder to measure. In these cases, there will be intangible benefits for sponsors such as achieving business goals, networking, raising brand awareness, or improving organizational effectiveness and behaviors.
Decide with your sponsors beforehand what objectives they want to meet, and then use your live polling app to determine if they’ve been achieved. For example, if your sponsor wants to raise brand awareness, include a question in your post-event survey about what brands the attendee remembers from the event. This is a great way to measure information retention. Alternatively, give your attendees codes to access additional information from a sponsor’s website, which can be used to track uptake and calculate the event ROI.
5. Interactive Elements
Gamification is a great way to engage with your audience during the event. Try methods such as:
- Social media challenges – have attendees post their event photos on social media using your event’s hashtag with prizes for the most photos or likes. Or ask them to take pictures of certain places or speakers, with a prize for whoever finds them all first. Check-ins can also be part of the game or getting the newest followers.
- In-event challenges – these could be scavenger hunts, collecting the most business cards, or visiting the most booths or sessions. A Loopd badge can help measure this with their event tracking software.
This type of interaction will help determine the level of engagement at your event and identify which attendees are likely to be potential leads or future thought-leaders. Use the information from these games as part of your event ROI metrics.
Artificial intelligence is also seeing increased use as an event management app. Using a concierge app as an event registration tool, or for helping your delegates find people or sessions, means that this type of mobile event app can serve as your attendees’ personal assistant. Similarly, chatbots, voice activated features, and voice recognition are convenient ways to provide support for your delegates’ common problems. And all this information can be recorded and analyzed to determine your event management performance and event ROI.
Use these event ROI metrics to ensure you are optimizing each attendee’s experience, which is the best way to guarantee the maximum event ROI.
Written by: Daniel Johnson