How Did You Do in 2016? The science of measuring, evaluating and improving your events.

We’re a month into 2017 and by now, you should know exactly how well you did in 2016.

Or do you?

While many people will simply think back on the past year and give a rough estimation of how well they think they did, that’s not good enough.

The most successful event planners have a strategy for evaluating their past year’s performance, and that gives them a definitive edge over the competition.

Here’s how they do it.

Everything starts with measuring

If you want to truly evaluate your performance, you must first measure it. Specifically, you need to know precisely how well each event in 2016 did.

Did you measure crucial statistics that will allow you to analyse each event’s performance and merits? We hope you did, because while numbers may be a bore to look at, they’re the most important ingredient of the evaluation process.

What did your audiences say?

As an event planner, the satisfaction of your customers is a critical factor to take note of.

This is a key statistic that will tell you whether an event was to their liking – and if they’ll return for future events.

This information is easily collected from event surveys. We recommend asking detailed questions about every section of an event – so you can easily determine what worked, and what didn’t.

And if you’re still only asking people for their opinions at the end of an event, it may be time for a rethink. We advise asking for feedback along the way, as your event is going on. That way, the memories of every speaker and activity will still be fresh in attendees’ minds, and they can provide accurate, detailed feedback that you can count on.

Want a simple way to do all this? We recommend technology that will give you a helping hand (and a distinct advantage over your more “traditional-minded” competitors).

What was your return on investment (ROI)?

In other words, did an event make a profit or achieve its goals? Know that when it comes to ROI, there’s more than one way to measure an event’s success.

For sales-focused events, this is simple. If your event revenue was greater than its cost, congratulations on a successful event.

For events that focused on branding or product reveals (instead of direct sales), you should consider the value generated from your event in terms of publicity, marketing value and indirect sales generated. Once again, if this number is higher than your event expenditure, you have an event with a positive ROI.

If these numbers are negative, you’ll certainly want to change things up and aim for a positive ROI. Getting a positive return on investment for every event you organise isn’t simply a nice result to have, it’s an absolute must. so be sure to measure your expenditure and revenue in detail!

Other factors to consider

While the attendee experience and ROI should be at the top of your list of factors to consider, there are other points you should take note of as well, such as:

  • How well did your events do in comparison to the previous year’s events?

  • Was your event marketing successful? (And how can you improve it this year?)

  • Did your company grow? If so, did the growth help (or hinder) your business?

  • Were you able to meet your business and professional goals?

  • Which clients/customers and markets did you serve best in 2016? How will that influence your business decisions in 2017?

Instead of simply reading and answering these in your head, we recommend pulling out a sheet of paper (or opening a Word document) and writing your answers down with as much detail as possible.

You may be surprised at how much clarity you can gain from this simple exercise.

Start measuring and analysing your performance now, your 2017 depends on it!


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