How To Measure Your Event

Posted:  October 1st, 2009 by:  admin comments:  0

Planning and running events comes with its surprises. You may not always achieve the outcome you set out to secure. But with effective measurement tools you are at least in a position to improve.

To understand why some events fail and some succeed you need reporting tools that accurately assess event results. As the saying goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” The odd thing is that this is the piece most people miss.

Countless sales events happen annually. And it’s impossible to accurately measure the return on invesment (ROI) for many of these because analytics is usually an afterthought.

Perhaps renovating a home is an easy example to relate to business. You have a purchase price and you invest more in the home over the years via maintenance and renovations. Your ROI cannot be determined if you don’t track every single expense you accrue over the years due to investments in your property. It’s nice and easy to see your original purchase price. Your sales price might even be contingent on what you’ve invested. But poor tracking means losing the ability to have real visibility into the numbers. If you flip houses for a living and you estimate losing $50,000 on your most recent sale, you need to at least learn from the experience.

Event marketing is similar. You will fall short of your targets sometimes, no matter how much of an expert you may be. This can happen because of unforeseen variables. (Variables can include anything from a high cost of food to a keynote speaker dropping out at last minute.) So, often the real measure of ROI is whether you apply the knowledge gained through solid event analytics into improvements and action. After every sales event, you must make it your best practice to examine the strengths and weaknesses of your planning and execution processes.

Measuring data enables you to uncover practical and actionable information. With this information you can run better events and ultimately achieve an accurate and impressive ROI.

To give you an idea of what to measure here is a list of some of the reports Starshot produces for its clients:

  • Current Event Registrations: A report showing current prospects registered for the event along with a chart that dynamically indicates “time of” registrations so that you can see if your event is building momentum or losing momentum.
  • Pre-Event Scouting: Listing of event registrations including information such as size of company, interest, product knowledge, comments, and special requests.
  • Post-Event Summary: In a one-page report, summarize all of the important logistical information, campaign statistics, actual attendance, lead rankings, and revenue estimates. This can also be accompanied by a larger registration summary that filters in the important customer data that has been gathered.
  • Evaluation Summary: This is a ranking with summary data on the CUSAT results along with other information from the evaluation forms. This report can be distributed to the sales team prior to any follow-up program.
  • Attendee Rate: This is a simple chart displaying registrations versus actual attendance. Useful for spotting seasonal trends and red flagging any events with weaker attendee rates.
  • CUSAT by Speaker/Topic: If you are running events on multiple topics, it is useful to understand which speakers and topics receive the highest ratings and customer interest over time.
  • Lead Pipeline Chart: This is a running total of leads generated at events displayed over time. It takes a bit more work but will display the frequency of your event marketing activities and how your sales pipeline performs throughout the calendar year.
  • Projected Revenue vs. Marketing Expense: Plot an event-by-event summary of the total revenue potential against recorded expenses. You will use this to build your return on investment numbers for each event. These can also be plotted over time to show strengths and weaknesses.

Originally posted on starshot.com.

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