“You may think you’ve raised the bar or hit a home run, but, let’s face it, you’re biased.”

Measuring Event Success

Attn: Event Planners

Do you ever ask yourself this question …

Why are we doing this event!?

Yes, me too.

It usually comes up during the post-event debrief when we’re huddled around a table trying to determine if the event was actually a success or not. Sometimes, it only comes up the following year when we’re brainstorming ways to take last year’s event to the next level this year.

So, how do you really know if you actually succeeded in making your event a success? You may think you’ve raised the bar or hit a home run, but, let’s face it, you’re biased.  How do you know if your event attendees feel the same way?

10 Ways to Measure Event Success

1. Set Goals. Before the event even starts (i.e. in the planning phase), set some goals (i.e. attendee satisfaction, registration numbers or ticket sales).

2. Define Value. Which of the various elements of your event are most valuable to you as the event organizer? Maybe it’s intangible things like keeping the event on time or anecdotal feedback. Perhaps it’s more tangible, like sales of product or merchandise.

3. Operational Efficiency. Running your event on time (like clockwork) has a value!  It means that you may not have to pay for costly overtime for set-up or tear-down. You’ll avoid courier charges for forgotten event supplies left back at the office.

4. Budget & the Bottom Line. Blowing your budget is usually NOT a good indicator of event success!

5. Brand Awareness. Social shares, PR mentions in unpaid media, and general word of mouth, are usually great indicators that you’re creating a successful event.

6. Overall Participant Satisfaction. Surveying event attendees about their experience in real-time (live or post-event) is a sure-fire way to know how your event is doing.

7. Existing Business Relationships. Find a way to calculate just how much your committed relationships with event sponsors, business partners and influencers are worth.  If that number is going up year after year, you’re running a successful event.

8. New Leads. How much are you spending on enticing new people to attend versus the amount of money you’re spending to attract newcomers?

9. Monetary Outcomes. If you’re selling something at your event, you can measure success based on sales.

10. Registration Numbers/Ticket Sales. If you’re selling more tickets or registering more attendees from one year to the next, this is a tangible and measurable indicator of success.

Measuring the success of an event is one of the most challenging, yet important tasks that event managers need to do in order to determine if there is an actual return on event investment. Learn more on how to measure event success in Volume III of my ebook – The iSPARK Event Planning Survival Guide.

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