Most CEOs, VPs of Professional Development, and meeting planners think about an event as a deliverable, not the quantifiable results as a deliverable which in my opinion is a big mistake.
During preparation I will ask, what is the objective of the event, how will you define success, and what is the return you expect to receive as a result and I will get answers like:
- The objective is to have two 1 hour sessions.
- We will measure success based on how people feel when they walk away.
- We can’t measure the value because we don’t have the capabilities.
If those are among your answers then you are running your event as an activity, not to produce measurable results.
Measuring subjective feelings on a same day survey is nice however if the goal is implementation of the ideas learned that contributes to results perhaps the event model needs to be changed in order to have social proof so that attendance and relevance increases the next go around.
If attendance is down from years ago you might not have an event marketing problem.
If you can’t quantify event ROI you have a curriculum execution problem.
To calculate the ROI you need to look at the following:
- Tangible benefits such as increased sales, increased productivity, etc.
- Intangible benefits such as how people enjoyed, increased value of the brand, etc.
- Incidental benefits such as networking increased, participation increased, satisfaction increased, etc.
Add those up and you have demonstrated significant ROI.
Value can be delivered before the event, during the event, or after the event. See example.
When this happens:
- ROI case studies can be used in future marketing.
- ROI from attendees can be used in text and video testimonials.
- Testimonials acts as the lifeblood of credibility for events.
Participants buy the results, not how many hours they sit or how the information is delivered.