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So, you’re planning a big event for your company — kudos to you! Event planning isn’t for the faint of heart; you certainly have a lot on your plate. Not only do you need to host a fantastic event, but you also need to prove that your event will get results. Let’s figure out how to measure your event audience engagement. 

You want to kick off an event that not only delights attendees but also delivers quantifiable results for your brand. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you gather quantitative data that you can take back to your boss or budgeting committee as proof that your event strategy works.

The only problem is that there are so many KPIs to analyze. Which metrics are meaningful? To measure event audience engagement, track these 14 KPIs for your next event. 

1. In-Person and/or Virtual Attendees Per Session

How many people attended each session at your event? This KPI will tell you how many people are in the room, either physically or virtually, as well as how many people dropped off during a session. 

We like this KPI because it can tell you which presenters, sessions, topics, and locations were more popular with attendees. Look for sessions with high attendance and low drop-off rates to better understand event audience engagement. 

2. Session Watch Duration

People might have attended your event, but were they paying attention? Session watch duration determines how long people watched your session, measured in minutes and seconds. 

If you have a low session watch time, it means people aren’t paying attention. It might sting a little, but a low session watch duration means you must try something else to boost your event audience engagement. 

You can calculate this KPI on a per attendee basis or average it to see your session watch duration per session. Most event platforms will provide an average session watch duration after you end a live stream. 

3. Live Polling Response Rate

Are you engaging attendees with a live poll? That’s a great way to engage people, but this KPI will tell you how engaging your live polls actually were. To measure your live polling response rate, you’ll divide the number of poll responses by the people in the session and then multiply it by 100 to see your percentage. 

Live polling response rate is just one of many KPIs that indicate high attendee interest. If your rate is low, it means your polls are confusing, too long, or aren’t compelling enough for people to respond, lowering your event audience engagement. 

4. Total Q&As

With total Q&As, you can tally up how many questions and answers you go through in a session. To calculate this KPI, check your completed Q&As in your event software. If you have an in-person event, this is as simple as counting how many Q&As you can get through during the session. 

Total Q&As could be good or bad, depending on the situation. Lots of Q&As mean people are engaged, but it could also mean they’re confused and asking questions for clarification. Like the other KPIs on this list, it’s best to look at total Q&As in the context of other KPIs to see what’s happening. 

5. Q&As Answered vs. Unanswered

You can’t answer dozens of questions over the span of a 15-minute Q&A. Unanswered questions can leave attendees feeling frustrated and unheard, so this is a crucial event audience engagement KPI for keeping attendees happy. 

To calculate this, tally up your total Q&As. From there, look at the number of unanswered questions in your event software. If you had an in-person event, you could also tally this by counting the number of people in line to ask questions or who had their hands raised to ask a question.

6. Total Session Replays

This KPI looks at how often people replayed your session recording after the event. More replays generally mean attendees found your session useful, and if they want to watch it again, which is a sign that you’re doing something right, generating awesome event audience engagement! To see your total session replays, check your metrics a few weeks after the replay goes live to see how engaging the replays genuinely are. 

7. Sessions with Most Chats

Chats indicate interest, so it stands to reason that sessions with the most chats are probably more interesting. Your event software can rank sessions by the number of chats; look for your top five sessions to see if you can spot any patterns or similarities. 

8. Number of Hands Raised

This KPI looks at how many people raised their hands at an event, either virtually or in person. Attendees raise their hands to ask questions or get help, so it’s a sign that people are paying attention. You can easily track this in your event analytics software, but you can also count how many people raise their hands in person. 

9. Most and Least Registered Sessions

Session registrations won’t necessarily tell you how good or bad a session was — but they say a lot about your pre-session marketing. If many people register for a particular session, that’s a sign that people want to see that type of content. On the flip side, low registration means people probably aren’t as interested. Rank your sessions from most to least registrations to spot any patterns that may be disrupting your event audience engagement. 

10. Session Rating

A simple five-point scale can help you evaluate whether attendees enjoyed a session. This feedback won’t give you a ton of context, but ratings are the way to go if you want to compare different sessions against each other quickly. After a session, email registrants asking them to give the session a quick rating out of five stars. Not everyone will respond, but you’ll still gather valuable data for future events. 

11. Chats Per Session

Chat activity is an excellent indicator of event audience engagement. This KPI looks at the total number of chats sent in each session at your event. To see this data, visit your session analytics dashboard — you can even total up all your chats and divide them by the number of sessions to see your average chat rate. 

12. Session Feedback Survey Results

Session feedback surveys give you more information than a plain Jane session rating. This allows you to ask multiple-choice questions and give attendees the chance to offer candid feedback. It might take more time to look through session feedback results, but you’ll get event audience engagement feedback that you would miss out on otherwise. 

To gather the data, send survey feedback requests to registrants via email. You can track responses through your event platform or survey providers like SurveyMonkey. 

13. Event Feed Posts

You’re promoting up a storm on social media, right? This metric looks at how many likes and comments your event posts got on social media, which indicates that your event is gaining more traction online. Hashtags make it easy to track event feed posts at scale, especially if you use social listening tools.  

14. Posts Per Discussion Forum

If you created a discussion forum for your event, this KPI shows that people are thinking critically and deeply about your content. To calculate this KPI, visit your forums and calculate the number of posts per topic. You’ll see which discussion threads have the most comments, which is a good sign of event audience engagement. 

Boost Your Event Audience Engagement by Tracking the Right Data

Look, we know that events aren’t easy. You can use many qualitative measures to determine if an event was successful, but your leadership probably wants to see hard numbers. Track these event audience engagement KPIs to optimize future events and turn even more heads.

But you don’t have to go at it alone. Endless Events is a technology-driven event management company that helps event planners get more out of their in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Let’s make your next event a winner: reach out to Endless to plan your next big bash. 

Sonja Hayden

Author Sonja Hayden

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