5 Ways to Use Data To Measure Event ROI

A common question we often get from our clients is, “What’s the best way to measure event ROI?”  

You, along with all of your event stakeholders, likely itch for an answer to that integral question after each one of your events.  

Good news! In today’s digital age, event data and analytics are readily available to event planners. And when utilized to its full potential, this information can be used to quantify results, prove your event ROI,  and help you create actionable insights for continued success.

It simply comes down to asking the right questions and identifying meaningful stories out of the jumble of numbers.

To measure event ROI, your success metrics will vary depending on your specific event goals. A few high-level benefits of analyzing your event data include:

  1. Providing quantifiable event ROI metrics
  2. Measuring audience engagement
  3. Identifying areas of improvement

How to Measure Event ROI? 5 Data Driven Answers

1. “How much revenue did our event generate?”

Calculating ROI is used as a key metric for measuring event success. It’s also a great way of providing quantifiable results to your event stakeholders, including your organization’s executive team and sponsors.

Oftentimes, you need to present numbers that confidently justify your spend on an event budget. A great place to start is by assessing ticket sales and registration.

Some common measures that are indicative of sales performance are:

  • Total number of tickets sold and their resulting revenue
  • Comparing the number of registrants vs. the actual attendance rate

Below is an example of Registration Sales Analytics:

Laptop screen shows event data used to measure event ROI
2. “Did our sponsors see value in participating with our event?”

Depending on the type of event, sponsorships are typically a significant contributor to the overall generated revenue.

With your sponsorships investing such a hefty portion of their marketing budget towards your event, it’s crucial that you provide them with event ROI metrics that prove the value and success of the sponsorship.

If you’re considering leveraging sponsorship opportunities within your event app, being able to provide insights into event app usage will be critical to help your sponsors understand the ROI they received from their investment.

For instance, EventMobi’s platform provides numerous metrics on sponsor banner ads, including:

  • Number of banner impressions
  • Total clicks
  • Conversion rates

Additionally, sponsors are able to see the number of page views their company page received within the event app. This helps to shed light on the amount of exposure each sponsor received and the influence they had on the app’s audience.

This is just one example of the many strong data points that event technology enables you to measure when validating the event ROI for your sponsors and creating a convincing case on why they should continue sponsoring your events.

Below is an example of the types of metrics that you’re able to gather using EventMobi’s banner ad feature.

Example of engagement data used to measure event ROI

Recommended Read: Make sure to read our ebook How to Create a Sponsorship Strategy that Will Maximize Your Event Revenue

3. “What was the level of attendee engagement at the event?”

Determining the level of attendee engagement during the event is a great measure of how successful your event was with your target audience. This event ROI metric can serve as a predictor on the likelihood of your attendees returning next year.

Your event app analytics can enable you to create attendee profiles. Data relating to things like topics of interest, popular speakers, and session attendance help you tailor your next event and plan goals and content accordingly.

High-Interest Topics: App analytics can reveal many insights about what your audience found interesting. Look for trends in the following areas:

  • Most popular sessions via page views
  • Most visited sections of the app
  • Most opened documents
  • Group discussion channels with the most interaction

This helps to highlight which topics and mediums garnered the largest amount of interest. You can then begin to decide which information to incorporate into future events so you can attract maximum registration and attendance.

Through real-time attendee activity tracking, it’s now easier than ever to follow and profile the attendees’ experience for more effective campaigning.

Below is an example of the data that can be gathered through an event app, related to the most popular areas of the event app and content sessions.

Example of engagement data on a laptop used to measure event ROI
4. “Were attendees able to network with each other and make connections?”

If your event goals center around enabling networking, key metrics to consider that can be gathered through an event app would be usage of the private chat feature and participation in group discussions.

Comparing the adoption rates of the chat and group discussion event app features gives a quantifiable representation of the online networking and discussion that took place between attendees, aside from good-old-fashioned coffee chats.

Below is an example of the types of networking-related data that are available to event planners through an event app.

Example of engagement data on a laptop used to measure event ROI

Recommended Read: Learn how to foster meaningful connections between your attendees in our ebook Create an Event Community to Increase Attendee Loyalty and Engagement

5. “Did attendees have fun?”

Are you integrating gamification or audience response systems like live polling to boost engagement and create an immersive experience?

If so, be sure to follow up on their respective adoption rates to understand how involved your attendees were. Depending on what engagement tool you’re using, you’ll be able to deduce different types of insight.

EventMobi’s gamification feature offers statistics on the total challenges completed and top challenges completed by number of players, so that you can easily determine how successfully the attendees interacted with your event.

Tip: Think of your top players as your “event champions” – individuals who were highly immersed in the event and are likely open to providing positive testimonials about their experience, in addition to being great potential leads for your business, depending on the type of event you’re hosting!

EventMobi’s platform also provides easily digestible, on-demand reports on the live polling and ‘Ask a Question’ features, showing the number of participating users and their responses.

Recommended Read: Learn how to use gamification at your next event with our pocket guide 5 Surefire Gamification Strategies to Crush Your Event Goals

How to Create an Event ROI Report

Now that you understand what metrics to focus on, how do you take this data and put it into a formal event ROI report? 

The key is to pull your metrics together and organize them to tell a story of your event: 

  • What were your goals and intentions?
  • What actually happened, according to the data?
  • What have you learned for next time? 

The final product can take any form you choose—whether you prefer a nice Word document, a slide deck, or a video report. Here’s an example event ROI report structure you might consider: 

Section 1: Goals & KPIs

For context, briefly review what your goals and intentions were for your event. Was your goal revenue? Brand recognition? Community building? The rest of your report should be centered around these initial goals. 

Section 2: Revenue Report

If bringing in revenue was your primary goal, then you’ll want to put this section next. Here, you’ll show what your initial event budget was, and compare that to what was actually earned and spent. Highlight any areas where you underestimated the budget you’d need, and look for places where you brought in unexpected revenue. 

Section 3: Attendee Engagement

Depending on what sort of engagement strategies you had in place, you’ll have a lot of data to share on how engaged your audience was. Here you can include things like event app adoption rates, session attendance, gamification participation, and social shares. Be clear about what aspects of your event sparked the most engagement, and what fell flat. 

Section 4: Feedback Review 

Now is the chance to show the human feedback behind the numbers. Using the responses to your session and post-event surveys, pull together a few quotes that give the best insights into how people responded to your event. Look for patterns in the words and phrases people use to describe your event, and take note if people are making the same suggestions over and over. 

Section 5: Planning For The Future

In your final section, summarize everything in the above report in a few short sentences/slides. Then, explain how you can take the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to your next event, to improve your event ROI going forward.

How to Improve Your Event ROI Metrics at the Next Event

Congratulations, your event is finally complete!

Now that the dust has settled, it’s time for review and reflection. Ultimately, all post-event analytics can be used to generate content to rock your future events. Here are a few ways to get ideas on designing your next event for the best possible experience.

Reviewing Attendee Feedback

Whether it’s through email, your event app, or traditional printouts, reviewing the feedback gathered from event and session feedback surveys is a great place to start when determining what worked and what didn’t.

These open-ended forms contain messages directly from the attendees themselves and serve as a way to get the information you might not otherwise have access to.

Promoting Event App Adoption for Improving Event ROI

If you’ve invested in event technology such as an event app, analyzing its adoption and log in rates show how actively your attendees used your app and how much they depended on it as part of their event experience.

Based off of these trends, you can be better prepared to set up your app for the following year in order to capture the data that is relevant to measuring your event ROI metrics.

Below is an example of the data you have access to through the EventMobi event app to better understand your app adoption rate.

Recommended Read: Read our ebook to learn how to increase your event app adoption and usage rates

Integrating Event App Tech into Sponsorship Packages

To create competitive event sponsorship packages that will be attractive to potential sponsors and provide them with the outcomes they’re looking to achieve, you can use event app data to demonstrate how the sponsorship can help reach and engage their target audience.

Even simple numbers can tell an important story. For example, if gamification was used during the event and a sponsor was giving out a passcode for attendees to collect points, you can see how many people used the passcode and use that as an indicator of the quality of conversations and foot traffic that the sponsors had at their booth.

The “I Don’t Have Time to Read Everything” Recap

Event analytics are a powerful tool that allows you to take advantage of data and formulate meaningful outcomes of your event, such as:

  • Providing Quantifiable Event ROI Metrics: Justify your event budget spend by pulling ticket sales and profit from your registration analytics. Don’t forget to also enlighten your sponsors on their own ROI by providing relevant app insights such as banner ad clicks and impressions.
  • Measuring Audience Engagement: Identify your attendees’ hot areas of interest by reviewing top visited sections of the app, popular group discussion topics, and most viewed session pages. Likewise, the usage rates around chat, group discussion, and gamification indicate the level of involvement attendees had during the event.
  • Identifying Areas of Improvement: All post-event data can be used to elevate your future events. Based off of your attendee and exhibitor analytics, tailor your future app content and sponsorship packages to attract more of both.

Interested in learning more? Request a demo of the EventMobi event app today!

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