How to Evaluate the Success of Your Corporate Event
Measurement of success for a corporate event depends heavily on the objective of your event. For example, if you are holding an event to build brand awareness, you might look at your attendee registration numbers, your social media activity, and your media coverage to measure success. However, an event that was meant to build team rapport could be measured via post-event participant satisfaction surveys. While planning an event, it is important to keep your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in mind in order create a measurement plan for success. For the purposes of this blog post, we will focus on some general KPI’s to measure the effectiveness of your event.
Attendee Registration and Check-In Numbers
The number of attendees who register versus the number of attendees who check-in could be different. While most event planners will expect a slight drop-off between the registration and check-in numbers, a large discrepancy could indicate a problem between the two steps. Additionally, it is good to compare these numbers year over year in order to forecast the numbers for future events. Lastly, the numbers of attendees who actually checked in is a good indicator of who was exposed to your brand/company.
Social Media Activity
Having an event hashtag on social media is one of the easiest ways to track social media activity without having to invest in platforms that track that activity. You will be able to see the number of mentions, views, shares, and likes, as well as any increases in followers on your own company’s page. Furthermore, if you have a social listening platform, you will be able to use it to track participant sentiment.
Participant/Sponsorship Satisfaction Post-Event Surveys
Post-event surveys are a great tool to collect feedback about the event itself, as well as specific parts of an event (e.g., the speaker session or a specific activation). Asking guests what worked and what did not work will only help you plan better events in the future. Another metric attached to surveys is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which lets you know how many of your attendees are advocates vs detractors. You can see how to calculate it here. You can also use post-event surveys for your sponsors to find out what they thought were areas of improvement and whether they would donate again.
If your event’s objective was to raise money for charity or to make money from the event itself, then gross revenue and the cost to revenue ratio are definitely important KPI’s to consider. Depending on your objectives, other metrics to consider are the number of sales leads (for events with the purpose of generating prospects), the number of product sales before versus after the event (for events with the purpose of increasing product sales), and the number of customers acquired.
Monitoring media coverage is a good way to increase brand awareness. A start-up that we know that was featured in TechCrunch after SXSW found that there was an increase in investor interest. Media coverage can also help with attendance and revenue for future events.
Depending on your event’s objectives, these KPI’s will help identity areas of opportunity for future events, as well as what you have done right and should continue to do again.