Measuring an event’s success, whether it is an exhibition, a seminar or a conference, allows you to identify what you need to work on when planning future events. You need concrete criteria to calculate event’s ROI – what criteria should you use? Here is what we suggest.
There are still very few companies that honestly evaluate their event
As Benoit Volatier from Occurrence has noticed, “There seems to be a certain reticence on the part of agencies who think ‘If the results are bad, I’ll lose my job’”. It is nonetheless an important step when you want to improve your future events, and even then only if the evaluation survey results are taken into account. Therefore, the question on everyone’s lips is “Are you ready to change?” If the answer is yes, all we can do is recommend that you invest in the tools necessary to calculate your event’s success.
Define exact criteria before your event
What evaluation criteria should we take into account? This depends largely on your event’s objective – do you want to present your strategic plan to the senior management? Attract new clients? Train your colleagues? Motivate your teams? Depending on the nature of your event, you may require several evaluation criteria. Here are a couple that you may find useful.
The attendance rate
This is the first criterion that comes to mind – count the number of guests. You can also compare the number of people present with the number of people invited. While it is relatively easy to find out how many invitees have said they will attend, seeing how many actually turned up can be a lot more difficult. Certain tools (like OnSite) can be used to scan your guests’ invitations as they arrive, allowing you to track the attendance rate in real time. You also gain precious data such as the exact time the people arrive, which session had the highest attendance rate, etc.
An event’s success is also judged by the extent to which the attendees participate. If they are invested in the event, they will better remember the event’s key messages and will remember it as a positive experience. How can you judge your attendees’ participation? Use a mobile app, say for example ConnexMe, to organize votes and allow attendees to post their comments on the main screen. You will be able to track the number of private messages sent by your guests, the number of questions asked, the number of people participating in the polls etc. at any point during the event. At the end of the event, you will be able to use this data to find out which moments best captured your guests’ interest.
How your attendees felt about your event
Quantitative evaluation criteria are not sufficient indicators of your event’s success; qualitative data is also required. That’s why we often see that evaluation forms are sent to guests to find out what they thought about the event. Compiling this information has long been a time-consuming process – and this is not counting the time spent sending reminders to the guests asking them to fill in the form.
Well we have some good news – now you can ask your attendees for their opinion (at the end of each session/day/the event) and the information can be compiled immediately with a tools like ConnexMe.
Your event’s influence
When you are hosting an external event, one of the aims of which is to attract as many attendees as possible, success can also be measured by its renown. Look at the scale of press coverage, the number of blog posts and the number of times it is mentioned on social media to calculate it. These are good criteria to use to calculate your event’s success.
To sum up, there are many criteria that can be used to work out how successful your event is – it’s up to you to decide which are relevant to you (before the event). Choose the direct results (the number of attendees, new sales leads, etc.) or the indirect ones (improvement of your company’s reputation, guest satisfaction, etc.) Even if some of them are hard to evaluate, new tools will allow you to refine how you calculate your event’s success. So – when do we start?