Calculating Event Return on Investment

October 5, 2018

Creating great events begins with clear event objectives.

The challenge – how do we measure this?

As an event planner, understanding the strategic value of an event and how to measure its return on investment (ROI), will set you apart and position you as more than just an event planner.

If your event is set up exclusively for sales, it may be as simple as income less expenditure. But there is so much more to ROI than just profit. Measuring profit alone may overemphasise the value of money and overlook many of the actual factors that made it successful.

True success in events is measured by its ability to generate more value for the organisation than what was spent on it.

There are many more metrics to consider if you want an event that will grow year by year. In today’s digital age analytics are no longer a nice to have but expected. Guess work can be eliminated when using the right technology. For example,  event apps offer a number of detailed analytics which can be used for reporting.  You can measure progress in real-time.

Start by considering each stage of the event:

“True success in events is measured by its ability to generate more value for the organisation than what was spent on it.”

– David Wilson

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1 Pre-Event

Here you need to create demand and effectively promote your event. Using the right technology normally a combination of registration software, email CRM and your website you will generate the data you need to measure your effectiveness.

2 At the Event

After profit, engagement is the next most important metric. The experience you create for your delegates is what they are left with and what they will speak about long after your event is over, great engagement makes great events. Ask your clients what is important to them, make sure you have mechanisms in place at the event that capture the data you need.

3 Post-Event

This is where you will consolidate the data from the various tools you have used and create a clear picture of all your efforts with an event report for your client and hopefully meaningful data you can reference in planning your next event.

Calculating your success you need the right metric and the right technology.

It requires some planning and the discipline to do it.

Here is a list of common event objects that you are welcome to refer to when planning your next event:

  • Achieve a profit
  • Close sales
  • Build awareness
  • Gather leads
  • Market research
  • Influence brand perception
  • Launch a product
  • Recruit new partners, distributors or employees
  • Build and retain customer relationships

Then to assist further here are some metrics you can consider using to measure your efforts:

Primary Objective Associated Metric for Measurement Tool or Mechanism
Achieve a profit
  • Calculate Return on Investment ratio,
  • Expense vs Sales ratio
Accounting Software, Ticket Sales Software
  • Number of sales closed,
  • Number of purchase orders signed,
  • Number of new customers signed
Order Book, CRM Software, Event App
  • Number of Invitation emails opened,
  • Number of delegates attended,
  • Pre-post survey questions that measure awareness levels before and after,
  • Number of mentions in the press
CRM Software, Event App, Audience Response Technology, Social Media Monitoring, Printed Media
Gather leads
  • Number of qualified leads,
  • Or the cost per qualified lead
Event App, Audience Response, Registration Software, QR Codes
Market research
  • The number of surveys completed
Event App, Audience Response
Influence brand perception
  • Pre-post survey questions,
  • Number of customer appointments scheduled,
  • Increased revenue from existing customers
Experiential Marketing, Event App, Audio Visual effects, Social Media Monitoring
Product Launch
  • Number of products ordered,
  • Number of press mentions,
  • Number of qualified leads,
  • Number of meeting requests
CRM Software, Event App, Self-reporting from Sales Reps
Recruit new partners, distributors or employees
  • Number of recruits, Cost per recruit
CRM Software, Self-reporting
Build and retain customer relationships
  • Number of customer appointments scheduled,
  • Sales from existing customers
CRM Software, Self-reporting

If you need help measuring your event ROI or want to learn more about how to do so and what technology to do it with, reach out to us.

We’ll be happy to help with a complimentary in-person consultation.

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