Good event organisers are expert planners, tinkerers and coordinators. They know how to operate under pressure, and are generally also great with people.
Great event planners have all those qualities, and strategic minds that allow them to look at the broader picture – calculating the business value of every event they put on.
A business perspective
Why is it important for event planners to understand the business value of events? After all, your expertise lies in managing events, not walking into boardrooms with a suit and tie. Because the true success of every event, lies in its ability to generate more value for the organisation, than what they have spent on it.
This means that even if all your event participants walked away from your event happy, if a $100,000 event only delivered $50,000 worth of value to the company, it’s a failed event. And a failed event can mean the cessation of (potential) future events. However, multiply your organisation’s investment in their event, and you’ll see them coming back to you for more.
From a business perspective, it simply makes sense to put more money into events and promotions that are multiplying their returns. This is why knowing and calculating your events’ return on investments (ROIs) is crucial, if you want to be a truly outstanding event planner.
What should you measure?
When measuring an event’s ROI, it can be tempting to simply compare your event’s income against its expenditure.
However, if an event doesn’t involve any direct sales, this can be an unfair yardstick to measure your success against. These are 2 key areas to take note of, when measuring an event’s ROI.
If an event is set up exclusively for sales, this is a simple measurement. How many future events/seminars did you sell from this one event? How many vendors and exhibitors rented booths, floor or stage space from you, and what was your income based on these rentals? Or if you’ve put on a consumer event and charged for entry, just sum up the total amount of money taken in from ticket sales and entry fees.
Essentially, the questions you’ll need to ask is, “What was our income from this event?” and “Did we turn a profit?”
Marketing/Public Relations (PR)
Sometimes, an event is put on for marketing and publicity purposes. There may not be any products or services on sale during an event, but the widespread reach and value of a product launch event cannot be underestimated. Apple’s launch events are a great example of this concept in action.
A single Apple launch event cost a lot of money to put together, while generating zero direct sales during the event – but the news and marketing coverage gained from having their event covered by news outlets and websites around the world, is easily worth millions of real-world dollars (that would otherwise have needed to be spent on advertising and PR work in individual countries and channels).
Start measuring your ROI
If you’re not already doing so, it’s crucial to begin measuring your ROI today. As more event planners understand the importance of maximising event ROIs for their clients (or bosses), business-savvy event planners won’t be the exception, but the norm.
For now, having this unique skill can set you apart and push you into league of extraordinary event professionals.
If you need help measuring your event ROI, or want to learn more about how to do so with your upcoming event, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help with a complimentary in-person consultation.