As the last echoes of applause fade and the buzz of excitement settles, it might appear that your event has concluded. But amidst the emptying venue and departing attendees, the true evaluation of success unfolds. Though you’ve just witnessed your hard work in action, the question remains: how do you know if your corporate event was successful?

During the planning phase, you identified goals. Post-event? It’s time to review whether you achieved them. There are a variety of factors that determine event success metrics and overall ROI to help you make data-driven decisions and improve your corporate events. And with improved corporate events, you’ll also be able to boost your ROI and improve attendee experiences in the future. 

ROI for event success

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How Do You Define Event Success?

Event success could look different to every stakeholder and will vary depending on your event goals. To begin, event goals need to be SMART, meaning they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. By considering your goals and whether you met them, fell short, or exceeded your expectations, you can generate a definition of success specific to your corporate event.

Let’s start with a more concrete view of event success. You might have event goals that can be quantified, such as 100 attendees for a specific session. Obviously, if the number of people who show up meets or exceeds the goal, you can consider that specific aspect of your corporate event a success. 

Likewise, you may aim to boost event app engagement. This will entail comparing the engagement metrics of your current event with those of a previous, similar one. If those metrics increased, again, it’s a clear indicator of success.

However, you might also want to consider features that can’t as easily be quantified, such as attendee experience. Of course, you want to plan an event that promotes a positive attendee experience, but how do you measure that, and what qualifies as successful in that regard?

This is where post-event surveys become important. By gathering feedback from guests, you can assess how successful the event was in the eyes of your attendees. Utilizing the feedback received from these polls and surveys, you can make adjustments for future events in order to be more successful and generate more revenue based on what attendees want. 

Seven Valuable Corporate Event Metrics to Track

To gauge success, you’ll need to track important event key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs will help you and your team determine which event goals were met and which will require more attention in the future. Additionally, this is where you’ll evaluate revenue and spend to determine overall profitability and ROI for your corporate event. 

1. Event Registrations

Prior to your event, you sent invites to relevant individuals, such as employees, stakeholders, partners, loyal customers, or potential new customers. As you reflect on these initial efforts to attract attendees, it’s essential to review your event registration numbers. 

What was the total number of people that registered? Did that total meet your goal for this event? Did you see an increase in registrations in comparison to previous ones? These are the kinds of questions to consider when evaluating this aspect of your event.

2. Attendance

Now that we’ve discussed registration, the next step is determining how many of those registrants actually attended. You can even break this down into more detail by reviewing how many people attended each session and comparing that to how many attendees checked in for the entire corporate event. 

Better yet, you might be interested in evaluating how many people attended from each department (or any other identifying category for your specific event) and what sessions they were interested in. Any gaps in attendance might identify room for improvement in programming, marketing, or fulfilling attendee preferences. 

In general, attendance or check-in metrics should reflect the total number of registrations. If attendance numbers are significantly lower than the number of registrations, this may require further digging into why people registered but didn’t actually attend. 

corporate event registration

3. Engagement

Within your event app or website, you should be able to track how many users are engaging with different features. This includes visits, number of sign-ins, time spent in the app, push notifications, messaging, itinerary usage, chatbot activity, and more. By evaluating engagement, you can gain a better understanding of how active attendees are with the tools you provide them and how they can be improved moving forward. 

Overall event engagement can be tracked in a variety of ways. Generally, you’ll want to establish a baseline, as well as a goal, for engagement metrics. How these numbers compare to the data gathered from the event will contribute to your understanding of overall event success. Insights from attendees can be particularly valuable in gauging engagement levels.

4. Survey Response Rate

When it comes to collecting these insights from guests, post-event surveys are an excellent way to understand attendees’ experiences and what they might be looking for in the future. One way to measure success in this regard is to look at the number of responses received. 

When sending out surveys, make sure it’s as easy as possible for attendees to provide feedback. This includes email or text reminders, oral reminders from speakers, and signage throughout the venue encouraging guests to participate in the survey. The more responses received, the more comprehensive your understanding will be of attendee experiences. Plus, the easier the survey, the more likely you'll garner participation. Keep surveys short and sweet, and of course, mobile-friendly.

5. Net Promoter Score

In a similar vein to survey response rate, you can measure event success by evaluating net promoter score (NPS), which is an indication of attendee satisfaction. This metric assesses attendee loyalty by evaluating how likely an attendee is to recommend a similar event (or an event hosted by the same organization) to another person. 

When asked how likely they are to recommend the event to others in a post-event survey, respondents will provide a number between 1 and 10. The higher the number, the more likely a recommendation is. In other words, scores between 9 and 10 indicate attendees are considered “promoters,” scores between 0 and 6 suggest guests are “detractors,” and scores in the middle range (the “passives”) don’t tend to promote or detract. 

The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the total percentage of promoters from the total percentage of detractors. For example, if 75% of respondents were promoters, and 15% of respondents were detractors, then the NPS would be 60. If you decide to utilize NPS as a success metric, be sure to create a goal NPS prior to the event in order to measure this score. 

6. Event Budget

Cost metrics can be broken down into more specific metrics as needed. But at the very least, you’ll want to track your total spending to ensure you stayed within your event budget.

This will include all spending related to marketing and promotional efforts, branded swag bags, vendors, keynote speakers, food and beverage options, technology, labor, venue, as well as any other resources required. Understanding how event planners utilize spending will play a great role in determining overall event success in relation to budget and ROI. 

7. Revenue

Finally, it’s perhaps most important to measure profitability in order to understand ROI. How much money you made during your corporate event is often a significant indicator of event success. Analyzing your actual revenue against your revenue goals can also help you determine how successful your event was, as well as how realistic your goals are. After all, when it comes to SMART event goals, they need to be achievable. 

corporate event success

How to Measure Event ROI

To calculate how successful your corporate event was, let’s take a look at both cost and revenue. In order to execute your event, you had to determine a venue, vendors, speakers, and food and beverage, just to name a few. 

Additionally, attendees had to pay to register for the event and perhaps purchase swag bags or items from vendors. With all of this put together, you can calculate your return on your investments. And better yet, 60% of event management software users report this tech can help better track ROI. 

Measuring ROI doesn’t need to be overly complicated. This simple formula is a great way to understand the relationship between event spending and revenue:

Event ROI (%) = [(Total Revenue - Total Cost)/Total Cost] x 100

While this formula is helpful in determining the value of your investments toward corporate event planning, there is often more that goes into ROI. And with event technology, these metrics can be automatically tracked, so you don’t have to do manual calculations. 

As mentioned previously, there are some important factors that can’t always be quantified or tied to a dollar amount. Any and all data you collect can contribute to your event ROI. Any accomplishments should be attributed to your overall event success, not just revenue. 

Take qualitative metrics for example. To measure event success beyond revenue, you might want to gather testimonials. While there may not be numbers tied to these, you can compare the number of positive responses to negative or neutral ones as a way to determine event success. Qualitative data can be just as valuable as quantitative, so you don’t want to overlook it, especially as you prepare for your next event. 

What You Can Do with Corporate Event Data

The data you gather throughout a corporate event is vital for improved success for future meetings or events. What you learn when evaluating your KPIs can help you make informed decisions to boost ROI, improve relationships with sponsors, vendors, and stakeholders, and strengthen attendee experiences. 

Using event tech, all of these metrics can be easily compiled into a post-event report. This will be useful for sharing insights into what you’ve learned and next steps for future events with important stakeholders. Using your calculated ROI, you can pinpoint areas of improvement to push your success even further. After all, once you’ve taken the time to gather and analyze the data, it’s essential that you leverage that information. 

For help with event management and technology, the expert event planners at Bishop-McCann are standing by. Our team can help you craft exciting corporate events, utilizing key insights from previous events and leaving attendees feeling delighted and engaged. Be sure to reach out today to get started with corporate event planning with Bishop-McCann!

Corporate Events and Technology Can Provide the Data You Need in a Cookieless World

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