Measuring Event Success: Key Metrics for ROI and Impact

28 May 2024 | Events

Event planners have a lot on their plates. Whether they are planning a large corporate conference or a fun team-building incentive, lots of time goes into fine-tuning the event details and ensuring everything is in place and on time. From juggling different tasks to dealing with multiple suppliers at one go, pulling off a successful event is no easy feat. But, when everything comes to pass, what truly makes an event ‘successful’?

In the world of events, success can take on many different meanings. While some event organisers may argue that happy attendees are the best marker of event success, others may determine success based on event turnout or profit generated. In reality, event success is likely based on a mixture of both financial and emotional outcomes. Yet, how are these measured? 

Several different key metrics can be used to measure the success of an event. In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the most common and effective metrics that you can use to carefully determine your event success.

Key Performance Indicators: What are they and why do they matter?

The success of your event will largely depend on your goals. To be able to measure your event success, you will first need to determine the Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, that will act as a benchmark for your success later on.

KPIs can take on many different shapes, be they qualitative (such as how attendees felt), or quantitative (such as how many people attended). However, there are many different KPIs that event organisers can choose to base their evaluation on. Some examples include:

  • Number of attendees
  • Revenue generation
  • Lead generation
  • Brand awareness
  • Attendee satisfaction
  • Social media engagement

Calculating Return on Investment for an Event

If event organisers are asked by stakeholders to provide statistics for the success of their event, this figure will usually be referred to as ROI (or return on investment). 

In financial terms, this can be calculated by subtracting the costs involved in organising the event (such as the cost of venue, speakers and catering) from the total revenue generated through the event. However, when considering other KPIs that are non-tangible, things can get a little bit more complex. 

Not all events are organised for financial gain. Sometimes, the sole purpose of an event is to build brand awareness, foster community engagement or generate leads. This is why, before launching your event, you should determine your desired outcomes and communicate these to your stakeholders to ensure alignment. This will help you establish the right KPIs to measure your success later on.

Using SMART Objectives

To plan out your KPIs, use the SMART objectives method. These are objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, which will ensure that your goals are well-defined and measurable.

For example, instead of setting a generic goal of ‘making a profit’, a SMART objective would be: ‘I want to make [x] amount through ticket sales across all our ticket platforms by promoting our event on social media in the first month of launching the event.’

This goal is specific, as it clearly states how much income would need to be generated to cover the initial costs of the event and be profitable. Moreover, it is measurable through the sales of tickets across specific platforms. It will be achievable by promoting the event on social media, relevant as it aligns with the event organiser’s overall goals, and time-bound to the first month of the launch.

Common Metrics for Event Success

1. Attendance

For most events, attendance rates will be a foundational metric for your evaluation criteria. Getting the right amount of attendees can help you reach your financial goals, while also providing you with a good base from which to gather event feedback.

2. Financial Metrics

For events focused on profits, measuring the total revenue will be crucial. This can be derived from ticket sales, sponsorships and donations, and the total revenue will be used to calculate ROI to understand the overall financial success of the event.

3. Website, App and Social Media Analytics

If your event is being promoted through a website, app, or social media, monitoring analytics such as user traffic, downloads and engagement can provide you with key information about how your audience is interacting with your event. Such insights can be used to optimise your online presence for future events.

4. Event Feedback and Satisfaction Surveys

One of the most valuable ways to determine the success of your event is through your attendees themselves. This can be done by asking attendees to fill in a post-event online survey, gathering testimonials and reviews, or simply having a rating scale that attendees can use to provide feedback on-site.

5. Community and Networking Metrics

For events that are focused on community building and networking, lead generation and connections made can be useful metrics for success. This can be measured by tracking new leads created through the event for your own business, or by asking attendees about their networking success when gathering post-event feedback.

Whether you’re planning it alone or with a dedicated team, gathering and analysing data after your event will help you identify opportunities and avoid errors to make your future events better than ever! The team at TurnkeyExpos is here to help make your event stand out. Ready to get planning? Get in touch today!

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