Gauging whether your event was a success can’t be deduced from the number of champagne bottles left over after your closing cocktail party. Instead, it’s about looking at the key performance indicators (KPIs) that have been defined in advance, are aligned to your event’s strategic objectives, and can be measured using established and reliable systems. Measuring event success is about proper preparation and careful analysis. Only then will you have data on hand that clearly points to what worked and what didn’t, and which you can then use to inform your future eventing decisions.
We chatted to Digital Marketing Team Leader Nadine Pietersen to find out more about the five KPIs you should be keeping top-of-mind and how they can benefit you down the line.
Attendance and ticket sales
“This one’s an obvious one”, says Nadine “but there’s much more to it than simply tallying up a total to see if you had more people at this year’s event than last years.” You need to know which types of tickets attracted the most interest, and how attendees landed on your ticketing platform. Was the one-day pass more successful than the multi-day pass, for example? And did your guests buy their tickets through the mailers you sent out, your social media posts, or by searching for the event online? “Use this valuable information to learn about your audience and how you should be engaging with them,” adds Nadine.
Content and audience engagement
The high-quality written and visual content you’re producing should be closely tracked. Are your viewers reading your content through to its conclusion? Which videos are getting the most hits? Are these views translating into ticket sales? As this information is likely to change on an ongoing basis, it’s important that it’s monitored regularly in the lead up to and during the course of your event, ensuring any necessary shifts are quickly and effectively made.
Social media engagement, mentions and activity
Keeping an eye on your social media activity is absolutely critical. Tracking systems need to be set up well ahead of time that monitor all relevant handle and hashtag mentions, ranking those that are positive against those that are negative. Make sure you have the right team on board to interpret this information properly, so that you can adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
“Whatever you do, don’t get slack on your number crunching,” warns Nadine. “What your event costs you, versus what you earn, is a clear indication of your event’s success. It’s also something that your sponsors and investors are sure to prioritise, so best to have it on hand.”
Want to know if your attendees enjoyed your event? Ask them. Ideally, this process should be easy and quick for them to complete, while still ensuring that you gather relevant, quantifiable data. An electronic, numerical-based survey is usually the way to go, though this depends on the kind of event you’re hosting.
One final point worth mentioning are the dangers of vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are indicators that look good on paper, but don’t provide any information that you can use to inform your future decision-making. The number of views your eventing page gets, for example, means nothing if these views don’t convert into sales. The same goes for those who are “interested” in your Facebook event, but never actually come. Rather than waste your time on these idle indicators, bring the Worx Group team on board. We’ll set up KPIs that can properly evaluate your event’s success and, better yet, will help you exceed them.