March 13, 2017
After months of planning and strategizing, marketers often wonder how to determine if the event they just hosted was a success. There are a number of different ways to measure success in marketing depending on your specific goals and objectives. But, regardless of what you wanted to get out of an event, there are certain metrics every marketer should be tracking, including:
Social Media Engagement
Part of your marketing efforts should have revolved around creating and promoting a unique hashtag related to your event. This hashtag should have also been advertised on the day of your event to encourage guests to use it when posting anything relevant on social media. After the event, this hashtag will come in handy when it comes to time to measure your social media engagement. Search for the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter to see how many posts contain your hashtag and take note of this number.
No matter how much you promoted the hashtag, there will still be guests who posted about your event without using it or tagging your brand. How will you find these people so you can include them when measuring social media engagement? Use a tool such as Hootsuite that allows you to pull up any public tweets or posts that contain certain keywords. Type in your brand name or the name of your event and see if this tool returns any results. This is a quick and easy way to see how many people were talking about you leading up to, during, and after the event.
What you do with this information is up to you. Some brands simply count the number of posts or tweets with brand or hashtag mentions. If you have the resources to do so, you may want to go one step further by looking at the sentiment of the messages. Try to separate posts and tweets into positive, neutral, and negative depending on the content of the message, and track the number in each of these groups.
The number of attendees at an event doesn’t always correlate to the event’s success, but it’s still important that you track this metric. This is especially important if you are trying to increase general brand awareness, since you will want as many people as possible to attend the event and get to know your brand.
Besides looking at how many people actually come to the event, you should also track how many people registered to attend. Is there a big difference between the two numbers? If so, you will want to figure out ways you can increase the number of registered guests at your next event. Perhaps you allowed people to register too far in advance and they forget about the event. In this case, sending an email reminder a few days before the event could have been helpful.
New Business Opportunities
Most brands throw events in order to find new business opportunities, so of course, this metric needs to be tracked. Business opportunities will come in one of two forms: new leads or sales. If you were selling products at your event, for example in a pop-up shop, you will need to track sales to help you measure the success of the event. However, if you didn’t have anything for sale, focus on how many new leads were generated. How many people signed up for your email newsletter? Did your on-site sales team exchange business cards with any potential new customers? Do you have the contact information for people who registered to attend the event? These are all leads that represent potentially valuable business opportunities, so they should be carefully tracked after every event.
Every event should be better than the last. To ensure this happens, make sure you ask for feedback after each event. Send out a survey to attendees in the days following the event to ask for their opinion on how it went. Make sure the survey is mobile-friendly and quick. You should also use the Likert scale, which is a type of rating scale that allows people to choose how much they agree or disagree with a specific statement. Rating scales do not require as much effort as open-ended responses, so participants are more likely to complete the survey when they realize it won’t take long to do so.
Ask basic questions in the survey regarding the attendee’s experience at the event. Were the brand ambassadors friendly and knowledgeable? Was the entertainment enjoyable? Did they leave with a favorable impression of the brand? Answers to these questions will provide you with valuable information you can use to tweak the strategy for the next event. You should also ask attendees how they heard about the event and where they registered to attend. If none of your attendees heard about the event because of the radio advertisement you did, you may want to allocate more marketing dollars towards other forms of promotion for the next event.
Return on Investment (ROI)
If you have to present the results of an event to senior level management, one of the first questions they may ask is “What’s the ROI?” Of course, to calculate the ROI, you will first need to figure out how much you have gained as a result of the event, which can be done by looking at new business opportunities or sales. If the goal of the event was just to generate leads, you must determine what value you want to place on each of these leads in order to come up with an estimated ROI.
There are other forms of ROI that you should also calculate, including the cost of each attendee, which is calculated by dividing the total event cost by the number of attendees, and the cost per new lead, which is calculated by dividing the total event cost by the number of new leads. The former can help you identify whether you need to increase or decrease your target number of attendees for the next event. The latter can help you determine whether you are profiting off of each new lead you generated through the event.
All of this information is available to marketers after an event, but it’s up to you to remember to gather it together and use it to your advantage. If you need help planning an event, contact our team to discuss your needs. We can help you every step of the way, from the initial planning stages to the post-event evaluation. Get started today by contacting us for a free consultation regarding your next event!