You worked hard to plan your event, had a great time at it and now it’s all over, right? Not quite. Event evaluation is a crucial conclusion to the process that will gauge the success of your event, and determining its ROI will help you do so.
ROI, or Return on Investment, can be challenging to measure since it doesn’t always hinge on financial results—contrary to popular belief. You are going to have to determine what you need to measure and how to measure it in accordance to the type of event you are hosting, and we’ve compiled a few points to get you started.
An event’s ROI should not be an afterthought that’s only factored in when it’s time for event evaluation. Rather, it should be part of your planning process. One way to do this is by creating a set of objectives and key performance indicators with your event-planning team. It’s much easier to measure your success when you can compare the end result to a set of clearly defined objectives. For example, determine why you are hosting the event, what you would like to achieve with your marketing campaign and the impact you would like the event to have on your company.
Focus On Your Guests
Think about who you would like to attend the event. Is your focus on existing clients, new clients, media or the general public? Check in with your guests post-event monitor their satisfaction, too. This won’t generate hard figures, but it will allow you company to gain a stronger sense of what worked and what didn’t, which can improve your ROI for future events. It can also be beneficial to review your guest list to see how many guests attended versus how many were invited, as well as the area of your client base attendees represented—it is more vital to your company to attract the right kind of people than to simply fill the event space.
Dollars and Cents
If generating revenue for your company was the purpose of your event, you will need to keep good records of all costs throughout the planning process—the cost of the venue, merchandise, refreshments, travel expenses, equipment and any promotional materials—and compare the total to the amount of money the event brought in. Start a checklist at the beginning of your planning process and either fill it in yourself as you go or delegate a responsible member of your team to do so.
This can be tricky to measure, but the reach of your event should not be overlooked when evaluating ROI, particularly when it comes to marketing events. Set goals for this as you would for the overall event, which will make reviewing your event reach easier to quantify when it’s all said and done. Social media is obviously important, so be sure to create hashtags for your event and keep an eye on what’s being posted in association with those hashtags. Your team should be posting regularly as well to generate retweets, page likes and follows as well as interaction amongst potential and confirmed guests.
If your event is open to the public, it is beneficial to create a media plan for radio, TV and print. This will increase your reach, and is an easily measurable component of your ROI.
Overall, keep in mind that there are many factors involved in determining your event’s ROI. Each is equally important, and taking the time to calculate and review these components will help you better evaluate your event and determine what you need to improve on in the future.