You’ve pulled off the big event. Attendees got the branded trinkets and the free cell phone chargers; they sat through the speakers and made a lot of small talk. There were a lot of business card exchanges, and more than one group of coworkers met up in their hotel bar for the unofficial after party. But after the dust has settled and you’re back in the office, how do you know how the event really went?
Sure, a few words of affirmation are cool, but what tangible results are there? What can you look for to gauge real “success?” Selling a lot of tickets is essential, but was the event impactful? It would be best if you had a gauge. So what do you look for with an event to measure its success?
Check out the feedback on social media
You were promoting the event for weeks, if not months. You were present—hopefully without being spammy—on targeted feeds on Instagram, Facebook, and maybe even LinkedIn. It’s one thing to get people hyped before the event, but what about after? Here are a few questions to ask.
- Monitor hashtags, are people still talking about the event?
- Are they sharing photos?
- Are people responding to your post-event emails?
- Are you gaining more followers?
- Are people signing up for your business?
- Are you seeing more engagement with products or on your site?
- Is your community of users talking about the event?
Read the comments. See what folks are saying. There’s even a tool called Eventstagram specifically for this exact purpose.
Did you make money?
Corporate events create opportunities for new customers to experience the brand and, hopefully, build loyalty. It also hopefully will bring in new revenue. You’ve got to spend money to make money. But what happens when you spend a ton of money and you still end up with an event that bombs?
Think about what you thought it would cost, but on the inverse what did that investment come out looking like? If you go slightly over budget, that doesn’t equate to failure. If you didn’t make boatloads of cash but got a ton of contacts for sales leads, there’s tangible value there. If you have access to new people via email lists or social media, that’s big. Get your sales team to check out all of the contacts and whatever notes you’ve collected and jump on them immediately so the leads don’t go cold.
Send out a survey
You’ve got all these new contacts, so why not ask them about the event? You’ll get crystal clear insight so long as you ask the right questions.
- Are you likely to come back next year?
- Would you suggest us to family and friends?
- Are you more likely to buy from us?
Ask them for general feedback, how to improve, whatever’s on their mind, let the attendees tell you about what they loved, and more importantly, what they didn’t. By offering a space for generalized feedback, they might have insight into something you never thought about.
Talk with the sales team
Are your salespeople seeing a spike? Keep track of how the leads came in — were they outbound or inbound? Are they repeat customers, or is this their first time engaging with the company outside of the event? If possible, be meticulous about your lead and customer attribution model; keep track of how they came into the funnel. Don’t just look at the numbers, though. Look at other interactions: if someone downloaded content, if the blog is getting more traction, or if people are calling to sniff around.
Talk to your sponsors
People pay money to be visible at conferences and events. Talk to them and see how they feel it went. Get their feedback, and ask: did they make new contacts or get new leads? Did they feel like they were visible to people in their target markets? Don’t send your sponsors and partners a simple survey; set up a time for a call or Zoom meeting to get the good, the bad, and the ugly (if there is any) on how the event went. This is another one of those sure-fire ways to check how the event actually went and whether or not their perception aligns with your perception of success.
If possible, it’s important to establish long–term relationships because events are expensive. Having the right kind of financial help to pull them off is critical. If they’ve got constructive criticism, take it and use it to your advantage. They’re in it to make money and to get new customers, so their insight might be helpful to make the event better.
Set some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Don’t just set one metric to follow; set three to five to keep track of. A KPI is whatever you set it as; it could be how many leads you’ve generated or a total number of guests. Regardless of what KPIs you choose, do make sure that they’re realistic.
How does your team measure success for events? Is there a specific metric you consider the end-all-be-all? We’d love to know. Drop us a line.
If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of the blog, there’s a little something for every industry from hotels to restaurants, and yes, events. And if you need an extra set of hands for whatever it is your business is, we’d love to help. Adia has worked with countless hotels, restaurants, events, and everything in between. Whatever your industry, we’ve helped companies both small and enterprise-size.