Quantify success: Seven metrics for measuring event programs

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Almost every day, event marketers are asked to determine what value events deliver, and at precisely what cost. This is especially challenging when event performance can be difficult to measure.

Qualifying leads and gauging increased awareness are two generally accepted methods of evaluating events. However, a more in-depth approach to quantifying event success can be used to guide event strategy, event selection, event design and overall investment.

True measurement of event value combines hard audience data and leads with more subjective measures of audience behavior, perceptions and satisfaction. These seven methods can be used to measure any type of event:

1. Lead quality and quantity: Lead quality must be assessed as thoroughly as quantity, in terms of budget, buying authority, need and time frame.

2. Audience quality and delivery: An evaluation of show statistics and demographics will allow you to match events to your target audience and maximize total impressions.

3. Message effectiveness: On-site attendee surveys can determine how your message was retained and which activities prompt prospects to buy.

4. Competitive presence: Events often provide the best means of assessing your company’s share of voice relative to competitors.

5. Audience behavior and event performance: Onsite audits and surveys of attendees help reveal the most effective tactics and help you understand the nature of the audience (e.g., technical vs. business buyers).

6. Sales opportunities: Accurately qualifying leads will completely and accurately forecast the size and likelihood of a potential purchase—the truest measure of ROI.

7. Press impact:Total press impressions have high measurable value and can be an important gauge of the effectiveness of your marketing.

Any combination of these methods must be based on your business objectives. Overall, we recommend that event marketers consider spending 3% to 5 % of total budget on measurement.

Source: Michael Westcott, vice president of marketing, The George P. Johnson Co.

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