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The Crystal Interactive blog brings you industry insight and advice on the latest tools, technologies and techniques for live and virtual events.

Measuring Event ROI

Focus On Event ROI

Measuring Return On Investment (ROI) is critical but is only a reflection of a wider business desire to measure everything.

Recently I went into a mobile phone shop to get a new contract for my daughter. At the end of a perfectly routine process, the saleswoman told me I had to go online and give feedback. I was told if she didn’t get my feedback she would lose her job. While I hope she was exaggerating, there’s no doubt marketers seek to control every aspect of our lives and are hungry for feedback.

Measure Event ROI

Events are no different and event marketers are desperate to measure every aspect of your event experience – from what you thought of the coffee (did they not taste it?) to what you thought of the speakers and the experience overall.

And with the desire to measure event ROI, the need for feedback increases. Event planners want to know:

- What did you learn from the event?
- How will the event change your behaviour?
- What do you commit to doing as a result of attending the event?

Collecting and Understanding Feedback

Frequently, event planners use our Event App to capture this insight. As a rule of thumb, the more you ask, the less you collect. I have always seen a few committed delegates participating in giving feedback but the majority of delegates do not. Can you realistically rely on survey data that only 80% of delegates have started and, honestly, only about 40% have finished properly?

As far as it goes, we are fans of event feedback. Read our white paper Inside The Mind Of The Delegate in which we crunched over 10,000 end of event surveys to understand what delegates are looking for at conferences. But as our event technology becomes more powerful, we have found that the amount we can measure about delegates’ attitudes from studying their behaviour through our app is as insightful as that which we can measure by asking them outright.

The Participation Equation

The first step is to remove barriers to participation. Clear out the technically challenged and disengaged to understand how many people really do not want to engage with your app. This gives you the first measure of participant engagement.

The Participation Equation

Once we know the participation number, there are very many ways we can measure participation.

- How many people are making notes about what they are hearing?
- How many are visiting which stands in the exhibition?
- What are the attendance levels in live sessions and how do these decline over the event?
- What is the sentiment of what people are saying? Does the sentiment shift during the event?
- When we test delegates’ knowledge, how much did they know when they arrived and how much new knowledge have they gained during the event?
- How many people come back to the event content post event to download the reports, notes, contacts and presentations they requested?

Transform Your Event by Measuring Event ROI

In truth, there’s enough data collected passively through our Event App to sink even the most buoyant event marketer. So we’ve been focusing on cutting through the detail to answer two questions:

1. What are the most important measures for your event and,
2. By benchmarking against peer group events, what would good performance look like?

Couple the answers to those questions with our unrivalled experience in turning the results into a follow up plan and a strategy for the next event and we are on the cusp of showing you how our approach to measuring event ROI can genuinely transform future event strategy.

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