Events are an investment, and you need a strategy to get results. Your event strategy is the game plan for how you will get a return on this event. Whether it’s more leads or a boost in sales, the right event strategy will help you get what you need.
As an event management company, Endless is no stranger to event strategy. We help our corporate clients set up event analytics, pick key performance indicators (KPIs), and implement systems to track event performance from start to finish.
Of course, some KPIs are better than others. To track the proper KPIs for event strategy, ensure these 15 metrics are on your list. We’ve broken them down by overall event KPIs and KPIs for sessions, creative, budgeting, and sustainability.
Overall Event Strategy KPIs
You probably have goals for this event, right? Your goals are the “why,” and your strategy is the “how.” It’s the roadmap for how you’ll achieve your big, audacious business goals through the power of effective events.
You need a short-term event strategy just for this event, but it should also tie into your organization’s long-term goals. Track these KPIs for event strategy to keep your shindig on target.
How many people registered for this event? Registration is a good indication of event quality and attendee demand.
Of course, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Registration for an intimate gala will be lower than registration for a huge conference. Even so, tracking registration figures over time for similar types of events can help you gauge attendee interest.
Not all attendees will fill them out, but you can glean a lot of information about your event from surveys. Use a framework like Net Promoter Score to see how satisfied attendees were with your programming, venue, food, and overall event.
Engagement and quality are great indicators if your community is active during an event. Check your event analytics for community engagement KPIs like:
- Total threads
- Total comments
- Most active threads
- Time on site
P.S. If you don’t have a community for your event, we highly recommend creating one! It’s the best way to get long-term traction from your events.
If your goal is to generate more business from this event, lead generation is an essential KPI for event strategy. Track how many leads this event brought in. Use unique URLs or promotion codes to accurately attribute the leads to your event.
Session Strategy KPIs
If you’re hosting a conference, you’ll want to know which sessions were a hit and which were a bust. These session metrics are some of the most helpful KPIs for event strategy because they show how effective your event messaging is.
If attendees have a choice between multiple sessions, be sure to pull session registration figures. Session registration will tell you which sessions were the most popular with attendees.
Keep in mind that this KPI alone doesn’t indicate session success. All it means is that the session sounded intriguing enough for people to sign up. That’s valuable for learning how to market your sessions, although it doesn’t say much about the session itself.
How many actually attended the session? Attendance is a better indicator of content quality. If you’re using the right event technology, you can see how many people attended and stayed for the session’s duration.
Hands Raised and Questions Asked
These are technically two KPIs for event strategy, but they’re both valuable metrics for audience engagement. If nobody raises their hand or asks a question, it could mean attendees are off in la-la land and not paying attention. Of course, a flood of raised hands and questions can also mean an issue with the session, so you must dig into the analytics to see what the numbers mean.
One of the best ways to measure your session success is to send post-session surveys. You don’t need to bombard people with lots of questions. Send a simple email asking attendees to rate the session on a scale of one to five. Over time, you’ll see which sessions were a hit and which need work.
Creative Strategy KPIs
Content is the meat and potatoes of your event, but the creative strategy is the cherry on top. Event creative encompasses the visuals, sound, and A/V setup that create the overall vibe of the event. It might seem hard to measure, but there are a few KPIs you can rely on to measure the success of your creative strategy.
Social Media Mentions
To measure your success, look at social media. Create a unique hashtag for the event. If attendees snap pictures in front of your welcome sign, that’s a sign that your creative is a hit. Count how many shares, mentions, and likes you receive.
Email Marketing Opens and Clicks
You’re probably promoting the heck out of your event with email marketing. Since event creative bleeds into your promotional channels (like email), you can measure their success by checking your email analytics. Try split testing two versions of your event creative in an email. Check opens and clicks for each option to see which is more successful.
Money makes the world go-’round, and event planning is no exception. You need to make the most of your spending power, so track these budget KPIs to ensure you see bottom-line results.
Gross revenue calculates how much money you make from the event. It combines income from sponsorships, ticket sales, upgrades, food, merchandise, and other income sources.
Total expense is everyone’s least favorite KPI, but total expense is a must. The issue is that it’s tough to track every cost for an event. You’re paying for everything at different times, from the venue to catering to A/V rentals. Letting something slip through the cracks is easy, so you need to track everything in an event platform. This way, you can track all event expenses in one place and automatically calculate ROI with a click.
Return on investment (ROI) will tell you whether an event was a net loss or success for your brand. If you want to understand if you’re in the red or black quickly, consult your event platform or use an ROI calculation formula to see where you stand.
If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, you need to track it as part of your KPIs for event strategy. Sustainability is new territory for most brands, but you can easily quantify event sustainability with these two KPIs.
That’s right: you can calculate how much carbon your event produces. Use this calculator from MyClimate to calculate your carbon footprint for every event. If you take sustainability seriously, you should work to reduce your emissions over time.
When you replace single-use napkins with eco-friendly cloth napkins, you divert waste away from the landfill. That’s something you should brag about! Eco-friendly event vendors can also help you quantify how much waste you’ve diverted from the landfill.
Measure the Right KPIs for Event Strategy
You put a lot of time and money into your event strategy. Track critical KPIs, so you know whether your event strategy is worthwhile or if you need to change something. Track these 15 KPIs in your event planning platform to see what truly moves the needle for your business.
When in doubt, go with an experienced event management company like Endless. Our tech-forward approach means you can measure just about any event KPI. See how Endless’s approach can help your brand create, execute, and assess your event strategy.