During the summer months, the rate of government events tends to slow down, presenting a great time for reflection and planning. With this in mind, we wanted to outline some thoughts on how to measure the success of events. Whether it's setting goals for future events or looking back on past events, these tips will help ensure everyone is informed on what success looks like.
- Set Clear, Specific Goals and a Call-to-Action - Events are a piece of an overall marketing strategy and serve as a way to advance the brand and drive business. While setting goals around revenue and attendance are important, each event should also have a post-event call to action tied to it. What do you want attendees to do after they leave? Buy a product? Schedule a meeting? Attend another event? Clearly define this goal and ensure that the event is planned with this desired result in mind.
- Measure Twice - While overall satisfaction scores gathered through surveys are important, it is also critical to measure satisfaction across different elements of the event. This includes speakers, venue, food, timing/logistics, registration, cost, staff, and more. An overall satisfaction score could be pulled down by just one element or by a combination of multiple elements. Knowing the satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, in each element helps pinpoint the biggest opportunities for improvement.
- Dig into Social - If you highlighted social interaction as part of your event (or even if you didn't) take a look at what was said over social media. Go beyond the number of shares, likes, and hashtag mentions and look at the sentiment. Were attendees simply saying they were there or were they excited enough about what they were hearing to share soundbites from speakers and thoughts on the event content?
- Missed Numbers Doesn't Mean Failure - If the event went over budget or did not bring in the expected revenue, it does not mean that it was a failure. These numbers indicate a need for more informed planning and forecasting. Look at what you may have gained beyond the bottom line. How much did you increase the number of opt-in email addresses gathered through the event? Did event content generate social media buzz and/or media coverage?
We'd love to hear your thoughts on what signals success for your organization and how you measure it. Let us know in the comments.