Event managers are under considerable pressure to obtain metrics regarding their events and to ensure that they provide a return on investment. Being able to source these statistics and convert them into valuable information is something that many event managers struggle with. It can be difficult to know what to measure, how to measure it and then how to analyse the data.
The first stage in analysing an events performance is to understand why the event is being held in the first place. What are the goals and targets for the event? There are many reasons why companies host events:
· Build awareness of the company or product
· Generate sales
· Generate qualified sales leads
· Conduct market research
· To enter a new market
· To launch a new product or service
· To influence or build relationships with the press
· To educate or motivate partners and/or employees
· To help retain current customers
· To support the local community
It is a good idea to set one primary and one or two secondary objectives. Trying to set too many goals will dilute the main purpose of the event and will lead to mixed and confusing messages given to the delegates. Each event you hold may have different objectives, but it is important to understand exactly what this is, as without a clear objective you will not be able to identify and measure your event performance objectives.
Try and make your objectives and metrics as specific as possible. For example, if the primary objective is to create sales and the secondary objective is to generate qualified sales leads, some of the focused metrics will be:
· Number of transactions made
· Number of purchase orders received
· Expense to revenue ration (E:R)
· Return on investment ration (ROI)
· Number of new accounts/customers
· Volume of leads generated
· Quality of leads generated
Once you have identified the objectives and metrics, the next task is to obtain this information. This can be the hardest part of event performance analysis. It can be difficult to source this information, and difficult to convert it into valuable data.
Many event managers are turning to technology to help with this process. Event management software solutions aid event managers in the planning, management and analysis of events. They often come with build in reporting and analysis modules, making the measurement of event performance an easy task.
If generating leads is an important objective, event management software can help aid in the identification of lead quality and quantity. By understanding what makes a high quality lead, event managers can create tailored registration forms, capturing the delegate information that identifies poor and good quality opportunities.
Understanding the messaging that you’re conveying to delegates is also a key metric that should often be measured, but one that can be difficult to obtain. By utilising information that has been collected on the day or post event, managers will be able to improve future events as well as enhancing customer relations with delegates. Again, event management software can aid in this metric measurement. By providing a comprehensive feedback management tool managers are able to produce surveys which delegates can complete on the day, or which can be emailed out after the events. The results from online surveys can be automatically populated into the event management solution, ready for instant analysis.
Understanding delegates and their responses to the event will also help managers to accurately quality the event leads. Event management software will provide analysis tools which will enable managers to quickly drill down to the data held on the system. Providing customised reports as well as standard management information reports will illustrate how well attended events are, how well booked they are and how successful the programme was.
It is generally recommended that managers use 5% of their budget on event measurement and analysis. By investing in a total end to end event management software solution, mangers can ensure that accurate results of the events are consistently produced. Not only do event management software tools aid in the analysis of events, but they also make the planning, management and promotion of events easier, more efficient and far more cost effective.