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5 Easy Ways to Measure Event Success

Posted on Mon, June 15,2015 @ 3:08 AM

For anyone with a job and some accountability, measurement parameters exist to gauge how they are doing and push them to achieve more.

For trainers and planners juggling multiple responsibilities, the goal of any measurement initiative should be to find a balance between gauging ROI and the amount of time and resources necessary to conduct the analysis.In the world of training, education and events, the factors measured might be as simple as total attendance or revenues versus expenses. It could be as complex as weighing a number of metrics, such as customer satisfaction survey responses, continuing education credits awarded, or proof of  knowledge gained.

Here are five not-so-time-consuming methods of measuring the success of your events. Many of them can be generated using a robust registration management system.

1. Financials
With very few exceptions (one being your event is free), the bean counters in the organization would like your programs and events to bring in more money than they cost. Your mission as an event planner is to create a budget, stick to it, and market your event to increase attendance so that ultimately, revenues outpace expenses.

A gazillion resources out there can help you pull this off efficiently (plus tips on what not to do), and some registration software even includes a budgeting component and financial reporting to help you better manage the monetary side of event administration.

2. Registrations
If you offer multiple programs each year, one of the simplest and easiest forms of measurement to track is your registration or attendance numbers. That data – typically available in your registration software – will allow you to make comparisons year-over-year, month-over-month or even week-over-week. You can break it down by event, by a series of events or by total events to get a great picture of how participation in your program is tracking.

You can combine that data with the relevant marketing efforts over specific periods of time for specific events to get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to attracting participants.

3. Customer Satisfaction
Evaluation tools built into a robust registration software system will allow you to survey your participants to assess their thoughts about your event(s). You can ask any question you want to get the data you need, and if you keep your evaluations consistent year-over-year, you can gauge how customer satisfaction is trending over time.

A number of large organizations use what’s called the Net Promoter Score (NPS), an industry standard of sorts that uses a 0-10 scale to divide every company’s customers into three groups: detractors (0-6), passives (7-8) and promoters (9-10). If you ask a participant how likely they are to recommend your program to a friend or colleague, a mark from 0-6 would indicate that individual is a detractor, an unhappy customer who might damage your brand via negative word-of-mouth. A mark of 7 or 8 indicates a “passive,” a satisfied but unenthusiastic customer vulnerable to competitive offerings. A 9 or 10 indicates a loyal enthusiastic who will keep buying and refer others.

4. “Buzz” – placements in media and social media
lady_bullhorn_social_mediaFor some events, media placements and social media “likes,” “tweets,” comments, etc. are measures of the “buzz” created, which is one gauge of the effectiveness of related marketing efforts. For some organizations and occasions, events are used more as a marketing tool (e.g., a grand opening), so media and social media impact are important indicators of awareness created.

Tracking media hits is as easy as a Google search, and every social media platform has built-in tools that measure activity. This type of data is never more than a couple of clicks away.

5. Training Assessment
For those involved in training and professional development, your offerings’ true value often boils down to the learnings imparted to attendees. Without getting into the Kirkpatrick/Phillips model of evaluating learning levels, note that you can use the same evaluation tools used to gauge customer satisfaction to get a quick assessment of how well participants retained what was taught at the event.

Again, good registration software offers tools to create just about any form of question, from multiple choice to fill in the blanks to a text box for a detailed response.

Those are five relatively easy ways to measure your events and hopefully show great results and a return on investment for your organization. What other metrics do you use to measure success? Please share your ideas or thoughts about this article in the Comments section on our blog page. 

If you would like to know more about measuring event ROI and using registration software to do so – or just want to know more about ABC Signup or registration software in general – contact us by phone (866.791.8268 ext. 0) or email at your convenience.

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