After every event, no matter how large or small, you always want to determine if it was successful. Did it go over well? How are you determining that? What measurements are you using? Sure, your sense of accomplishment means a lot, but it’s not necessarily going to tell you the full story.
While this is a fairly intense topic and you can dive in as deep as you want or need to, we’d like to go over a few metrics to help you determine your event ROI (return on investment).
Metrics for Determining Your ROI
These are basic questions to ask after your event is over—each one can give you an immense amount of information to help you plan even more effectively in the future.
- What does your data tell you? Whichever event platform or technology you used to run your event will have loads of insight for you in terms of tickets sold, your revenue from those sales, the number of no-show ticketholders, and more. Start with this info and go from there.
- Was your event profitable? If you don’t know how to determine that, there’s a simple calculation. Subtract the total cost of the event from the total sales revenue, then divide that by the total cost of the event and multiply x 100. The result is your profit percentage. If you doubled your investment, that’s amazing, and if you barely squeaked by, you’ll want to dig down and figure out how to increase sales while decreasing some expenses.
- Did you meet your primary goal for the event? Before each event, you should identify your primary goal. Is it lead generation, product sales, ticket sales, fundraising, brand awareness? Now look at your event metrics and you’ll know if you met your goal.
- Were your attendees happy? The only way you will know this is if you ask them. Plan to send out a survey immediately after the event to all those who attended. Ask them what they liked, what they didn’t like, any suggestions for future events, and the best thing about the event for them. Lots of negatives? Time to regroup. Lots of positives? You’re on the right track; keep building on it.
- Are your stakeholders happy? Check in with your sponsors and your board members, for example, and find out how they felt about the event. Was it profitable for them, was it worth their while? Do they have any feedback? Were there any glitches to address for the next event?
- How did this year’s event compare with last year’s? If you have a large annual event, start comparing this year’s results with those of previous years and notice your attendance/revenue trends. Sometimes there’s a reason for a dip in sales or attendance (hello, pandemic or high gas prices), but if there’s nothing obvious to account for it, start looking more closely at your survey results, quality of vendors, and selection of speakers.
Tip: After you define your primary goal for the event, determine how you will know if you met it. For example, if your goal was high ticket sales with a 75% profit margin, it’s easy to determine if you met it. But what if it’s brand awareness? Then start looking for metrics like social media coverage (likes, comments, and shares as well as organic posts and “check ins”), if any influencers came to your event (did you invite them?), press coverage, increased social media followers, and the like. Set a goal for each of these measurements before your event, and then track to see if you met it. And aim high!