Hosting an event is a great way to raise awareness about your brand, bring in new customers, or spread the word about the latest changes in your industry. Your goal, however, isn't just to throw together an event and hope for the best. Instead, you want to determine how successful your event was, what you need to change for next time, and what your attendees loved most. This way, you can keep growing and putting together better, more effective events in the future. Check these key performance indicators to help determine the success of your event.
If the ultimate goal of your event is to increase sales for your company, tracking those sales is one of the critical pieces of that event puzzle. Take a look at your sales from the event. Make sure you consider:
Sales from the event itself. What did customers buy? Of course, if you turned a profit on the event itself, between ticket sales and swag, that's a pretty good indication that your event was a success. You may also, however, want to consider other types of sales: sales of future event tickets or customers who chose to partner with your company as a direct result of the event, for example.
Sales that resulted from the event. Track the sales that come after the event as well as the immediate sales that resulted from the event itself. In order to better track sales that resulted from the event, consider offering attendees a specific coupon code. A small discount or free gift with purchase will provide plenty of incentive for your attendees to take advantage of that coupon, and it will give you a much better idea of what sales came directly from event attendees.
New customers as a result of the event. Customers who attended an event put on by your company may already have some loyalty to your brand--but not all of them. In addition to a full sales report from the event, check out how many new customers chose to trust your business following their attendance.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
You event isn't just about sales. It's also about raising awareness about your brand. As part of tracking your event's success, you may want to check out how attendees and others interact with your event through social media. Social media interaction may include:
- Posting photos with event hashtags
- Responding to posts about the event
- Participating in a group dedicated to the event
- Following or liking your page as a result of the event
Consider what social media metrics you typically track for your business, then take time to track some of these metrics as they relate directly to your event. How many new fans did you acquire as a result of the event? How are those fans interacting with your brand?
3. HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY ATTEND
You can sell hundreds or even thousands of tickets to your event, but ultimately, those tickets have little value if people don't actually attend. This is particularly true if you put together a free event: some people will sign up and say that they're going to be there, but then never actually show up for the event itself. Track:
The number of people who actually check in at the event. If you have an event running over more than one day, make sure you track each time an attendee checks in.
The number of people who actively attend specific sessions. How many of your event attendees are just there for the swag, and how many are actively engaging with the sessions you put together?
4. ATTENDEE SATISFACTION
When people attend your event, what do they think of it? Do they feel that you've represented your brand well, or did your event fall a little flat? Keep in mind that satisfaction surveys will tend to attract people who are dissatisfied with the event you've put on more than those who appreciate the effort you've put into the event. That said, simply by asking a few basic survey questions, you can often get a much better idea of how your attendees actually feel about the event--and the likelihood that they will choose to attend again in the future. Offering a small incentive for completion of your survey can also encourage more active participation.
5. YOUR COST TO REVENUE RATIO
You may already be tracking how many sales you made from the event. Before you can consider your event a success, however, you may need to take a look at another key metric: your cost to revenue ratio. How much did you spend on the event? How much revenue did you make as a result of the event? This simple metric can help you determine whether the event was actually worth your while in a financial sense--and help you track your successes and failures each year. Make sure you include:
- All event costs
- Ticket sales
- Purchases made at the event
- Purchases made as a result of the event
In some cases, your goal might not be to make money from the event, but rather to raise awareness about your brand or about a specific cause. Even in these scenarios, however, you still want a solid idea of how your event costs change each year.
6. SPONSOR SATISFACTION
Event sponsors can help alleviate some of the cost associated with putting on your event, but if they don't have a good experience with the event as a whole, they aren't going to come back next year. Make sure to measure sponsor satisfaction in addition to attendee satisfaction to give you a better idea of how your sponsors feel about the event and your brand--and what you can do to improve their satisfaction levels next year.
Hosting an event is a big step for your brand. By tracking these metrics, you can get a better idea of just how successful your event was. This will also help you make changes for future events that will allow you to host an even better event. Need some guidance when it comes to your event promotions and marketing? Click on the button below to schedule an initial consultation with us!