5 ways to measure event success

Tue 1 Dec 2020

Planning an event requires an enormous amount of time, effort, and expense, so you need to know that all the preparation was worthwhile. Fortunately, as a creative events manager, you have a lot of tools at your disposal to accurately measure the success of each event. Here are some helpful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can use.

  1. Actual attendance

The number of people who actually turn up on the day is an important metric, especially when you compare it to the level of interest and number of registrations/ticket sales. If there is a big discrepancy between the two you will need to look at why people might be registering online and then not turning up on the day (a common occurrence for free events). Event management software tools such as GevMe and Eventbrite can monitor ticket sales and turn out rate in real time to give accurate attendance figures and other useful data.

  1. Social media activity

If one of your primary event goals is to increase brand awareness, monitoring social media activity before, during, and after the event is a good way to find out how excited people are and whether attendee sentiment is positive or negative. Creating an event hashtag and using it in all your promotional material is a good way of tracking comments and mentions, and platforms such as Eventstag or other analytical tools can help to create memorable social campaigns as well as tracking key stats about reach and engagement.

  1. Attendee surveys

If you are planning a regular event, ensuring that your attendees enjoyed the occasion and obtaining specific feedback for the next one can help to grow your audience. A positive experience will also encourage attendees to return for future events. You can measure satisfaction rates by sending a survey immediately following the event with specific, quantifiable response options. Including the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a standardised measure of how likely someone is to recommend your event to others – is a key indicator of how much value your event brought to attendees.

  1. Financial returns

Spending a lot of money on a huge promotional party is only worth it if you generate new business that covers the overhead costs. When you analyse the financial aspects of your event, looking at factors such as anticipated cost versus actual cost, conversion of sales leads generated from the event, and cost per lead can help to determine whether the preparation was worth the cost. Don’t forget to factor in the man hours you put into planning for the event – investing in event management software that handles time-consuming logistical tasks can cut down on preparation time and save on costs.

  1. Sponsor satisfaction

Sponsors are largely responsible for the financial backing of an event, so making sure they are satisfied with the results is crucial for establishing long-term relationships. Post-event debrief meetings with sponsor representatives are important for gauging satisfaction levels and taking on recommendations for future events. Remember that sponsors may perceive the event differently from attendees, so relying solely on participant survey feedback is not always sufficient for an accurate overview.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in event management, an MA in Creative Events Management from Falmouth University’s Flexible Learning programmes can help you develop the skills you need to accelerate your career. Visit our course page for more information.

Discover more:

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Your essential event management checklist

How to be an events organiser

Creative Events Management, Blog

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