After successfully hosting an event that took months to prepare, event planners are constantly looking for new ways to make their next event more successful than the last. But once the event is over, how do planners know if they were successful or not? Establishing a set of measurable goals before the event makes post-event analysis much smoother. Knowing the goals of the event keeps the project on track and can also provide information for future events. Here are some ways to measure the success of corporate events.
Send attendees a post-event survey
A common way to measure the success of a corporate event is the number of tickets sold or the number of people registered for the event. The problem with this method is its inability to gather constructive feedback. Can an event be considered a success if the guests who attended felt that the event was only “lame”?
If you want to know more about the feedback from event attendees, just ask them. The easiest way to do this is to conduct a post-event survey. Asking for feedback after the event helps you judge its effectiveness and highlights issues that need to be addressed for future events. Provide delegates with a form that prompts them to rate factors such as the quality of the speakers, the relevance of the topic, or the quality of the facilities and catering. Before sending out this survey, make sure you ask the right questions. To increase your survey response rate, take the time to think about what information you really want to know and be concise.
Here are some sample questions to include in your survey:
– What did you think of the venue/facilities/menu at the event?
– Would you recommend this event to a colleague?
– How could the event have been improved?
– Are you more or less likely to attend the next event?
While many people ignore survey requests, there are ways to increase your survey response rate. For example, you can offer attendees an incentive to complete the survey, such as a free white paper download or a discount on the next event. For best results, be sure to send out your post-event survey immediately after the event ends. The experience will be fresh in their minds and they will be more likely to remember the details.
Compile media and press mentions
Do you know exactly how many publications or media outlets might have covered your event? What about the impressions and readership of those outlets? Finding answers to these questions is a great way to measure the success of corporate events. Many local publications will send a reporter to get coverage of an event for the local column on their website. You can secure coverage by contacting local media and letting them know about your event, even inviting reporters out.
If the event was not open to the media or you could not get press coverage prior to the event, there are also local publications that will publish event photos and highlights days or weeks after the event. Be sure to contact these outlets as well and offer them photos of the event. You can also take the opportunity to let them know that your customers or colleagues are available for interviews for a more inside look. Getting the word out about your event in the media will not only help increase attendance and sales in advance, but will also increase your chances of getting noticed for future events.
Monitor social media mentions and activity
Before, during, and after your event, you should keep a close eye on social media platforms. If your event is aimed at increasing awareness, sales or general interest, it will be important to measure reach on social media platforms. These days, with social media management tools like Facebook Insights for your company’s Facebook page and Tweetdeck for Twitter, analyzing social media trends has never been easier.
It’s a given at this point that your company should be active on social media in the days and weeks leading up to your event. This will generate excitement and discussion about it among attendees and help spread the word to potential attendees. Creating an event hashtag that attendees can incorporate into their posts allows you and your guests to easily search and analyze a compiled list of tweets or posts containing your hashtag. Are the posts full of praise? Were there more than a few common complaints? You can use all of this information to get a good idea of how everything went down.
If someone tweets that they had a good time at your event, you can send them a direct message on Twitter and ask them for details about what made their experience enjoyable. Similarly, for negative comments, you can reply to the user and ask them to expand on their thoughts. This is a great way to gather feedback and apologize for any misunderstandings or inconveniences they encountered. Positive feedback should be posted on your pages so that your subscribers see that attendees had a good time and encourage them to consider moving on to the next one.
Analyze sales and leads after the event
After the event, measuring the sales or leads that result from an event helps to evaluate the success of the event as a marketing tool. List your new leads and track progress toward a sale. The best way to use sales as a tool to measure the success of corporate events is to group the results by category. Some example categories include leads converted to customers, leads with intent to buy, or leads to qualify. Compare the results of the event you hosted with other marketing campaigns to see what works best for your business.
You can also measure the number of email or phone inquiries you received during and after the event. This information indicates an interest in your business and is a direct link to your target audience. Positive influxes in your inquiries can be an indicator that your marketing efforts are working.
Finally, have you already scheduled and advertised the next event after the first event? If so, are people already booking their tickets or indicating interest? These are clear indicators that your event was a success and that people will be back for more.