We’re often told the proof is in the pudding, or in the events industry, the proof of a successful event is in the number of satisfied attendees you attracted. When planning meetings and events, we always have a specific goal in mind, whether it’s a board room meeting to thrash out executive strategy or a corporate conference packed with speakers.
How can you ensure your meetings or events are measuring up to expectations? We’ve put together a short list of the five key event metrics to measure up your meetings and provide tangible outcomes.
1. Audience engagement
Whilst engagement might feel like a buzzword, it can also be one of the most tangible ways to measure your meeting or event success. There are dozens of potential sources to measure engagement before, during and after your meeting or event.
Using your preferred website analytics tool, set goals around tracking activity on specific pages of your website and events such as downloads, newsletter subscriptions and registrations. You can also use tracking links (such as bit.ly or ow.ly) to pinpoint activity from third party sources. Don’t forget to measure engagement with your email marketing as well. Pay close attention to subscriber numbers, open rates and clicks rates to see how much or little your attendees are engaging with your event.
2. Social media activity
Related to engagement, more and more delegates use social media as a way of connecting with delegates, sharing feedback and networking during your meeting or event. Social listening is a key metric that will allow you to track mentions of your event, measure hashtag usage and monitor conversations across your social media profiles. A unique hashtag is one of the best ways to build hype and track conversation around your event, according to marketing experts.
Hashtags will help you curate all conversation in one easily scannable place, helping delegates share knowledge and connect. Social media is also a vital source of unfiltered feedback - embrace the good and the bad! Responding to feedback in real-time during your meeting or event will enable you to make quick corrections that will hopefully improve the overall outcome of your event, or at least, provide actionable feedback for next time.
3. Attendance rates
Quality should always come before quantity, however it’s impossible to deny that attendance rates at events are an important metric in measuring overall success. Whilst registration figures pre-event can provide a good indication of popularity, all meeting end event planners know you must factor in a percentage of last-minute dropouts.
To analyse your attendance rate efficiently and understand how successful your meeting or event was, consider three core aspects. Firstly, what was the increase or decrease of attendance rates in comparison to any previous events? Secondly, what was the progress of attendance over a specific period of time, did you notice any late arrivals or early leavers? And finally, compare the rates of repeat attendees and newcomers, how do these look overall?
4. Overall satisfaction
Are your meetings or events satisfaction guaranteed? You’ll never know until you ask. It can be hard to prise honest feedback out of delegates face-to-face; your attendees might fear their feedback will come across as impolite or unprofessional depending on the context of your event.
Rather than handing out paper surveys, make use of free online tools such as SurveyMonkey to build professional digital surveys that can be distributed post event. Distributing a survey in the aftermath of your meeting or event will allow you to collate honest, actionable feedback on how your delegates really feel and troubleshoot any areas of improvement. Consider sending a survey to attendees, speakers and, if relevant, any exhibitors to get as many different perspectives and insights as possible.
5. Total spend
Not always glamorous, your budget should factor into your success measurement – a well-attended and highly satisfactory meeting or event that comes under budget is the cherry on top for most event planners. The good news is, you can actively manage spend to ensure the best outcomes.
In a study conducting with many event professionals, it was revealed there are three simple ways to manage spend and come in under budget: ensuring your food and beverage spend is accurate and tailored to the number of attendees, working with your venue to negotiate hire and services costs, and reducing print costs wherever possible.
Last but not least, remember that the key to effectively analysing your event performance is to make sure you’re asking the right questions when breaking down the data. Want to find out how we can help you create successful event outcomes at your next meeting? Contact the CentrEd team on +44 (0)20 7069 4723 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.