Event success is measured through the accomplishment of event KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Whether you’re in the initial event planning stage, planning for your event activities, or writing a post-event report for your future events, this article contains all the information you need in setting KPIs for your events.
KPI for events is an ideal way to judge the success of your events by measuring specific event objectives and goals. KPIs to measure are usually set at the beginning of the event planning process as another approach to setting goals and budgets.
- List of Event KPIs to Track
- Financial Event KPIs
- Event Marketing KPIs
- Tradeshow KPIs
- Satisfaction KPIs
- Virtual Event KPIs
- How to Set SMART KPIs
- Tips for Achieving Event Success
- Set up Successful Events with Event Espresso
The Value of Having Key Performance Indicators for Events
With the unending list of an event planner’s job description, it’s easy to neglect creating your metrics for success. An event’s success can be prematurely measured based on inconsistent or irrelevant metrics. For example, a sold-out event does not mean you are successful. You may have sold out all your tickets but you didn’t earn any profit or attendees didn’t necessarily have the experience you wanted them to have.
A scenario like this shows the importance of measuring event KPIs. Furthermore, here are the different benefits of setting clear event KPIs:
- Data-Driven Decisions – When measuring an event’s success, don’t just rely on observation. It’s easy to assume or take things at face value. Data-driven decisions are consistent and repeatable, allowing for better decision-making. Did your event achieve a 100% return on investment? How many people downloaded your app?
- Areas for Improvement – Having a record of your KPIs can lead to continuous improvement for your future events. Organizations learn from past experiences and adapt their strategies based on evidence from their KPIs.
- Record for Sponsors – Your KPI results can serve as a track record you can send to your sponsors. When writing your event sponsorship proposal, sponsors will want to look at your previous KPI and track record.
List of Event KPIs to Track
Attendance Event KPIs
Event registrations contain the information of your attendees who expressed interest in attending your event. It makes event planning easier because event planners are aware of their upcoming attendance.
Online registration can be streamlined through event management software or platforms like Event Espresso. With Event Espresso, you can easily view and export the data on the number of registrations or attendees.
New vs returning participants
Looking at new and returning participants is an indicator of whether your event or organization is attracting new participants or retaining existing ones. A balance between new and returning participants signifies sustainability. Metrics for a good measurement depend on your event. Event experts suggest that a good breakdown is 70% new customers and 30% returning customers.
Check the number of people who registered for your event and the number of attendees who showed up. Your turnout rate can indicate the different factors you need to consider like schedule or competition. It may also indicate your lack of promotion for your event.
Consider incorporating event email reminders to your registrants to keep them reminded. You can automate this on platforms like Event Espresso.
By delving into attendee demographics, you gain valuable insights into who is engaging with your event, their preferences, and their needs. This information can guide decisions on everything from event content and marketing strategies to the overall event experience.
Some information on attendee demographics includes age, gender, location, and occupation.
Financial Event KPIs
Although event sales are not the only indicator of the success of an event, it shows the value and appeal of the event to both attendees and sponsors. Your event-selling platform can show a summary of all your ticket sales.
Cost to Revenue Ratio
This ratio, often expressed as a percentage, represents the relationship between the costs incurred in running an operation and the revenue generated from it. The cost of the events can include marketing, speaker fees, food, logistics, and more.
To compute this, calculate the total cost or all the money you’ve spent. Next is to calculate your total revenue. Finally, divide your total costs by your total revenue, then multiply the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.
Cost to Revenue Ratio = (Total Costs / Total Revenue) x 100
Cost of Acquisition
The cost of acquisition is dependent on the type of your event. If it’s a highly specific event, the cost of getting a customer is high. If it’s a general event, the cost to acquire it is cheap but the ticket will also be cheap.
Events can be a lucrative industry but it can also be very costly. Computing for your profit is critical because it will serve as a lifeline for your events business.
To compute your profit, determine your total revenue. This includes all sources of income from your event like ticket sales, merchandise sales, exhibitor fees, etc.
Next is to deduct all your expenses from the event. Examples of expenses include salaries, marketing, rental, etc.
Deduct the total cost of revenue to your total cost. This will be your profit.
To get your net profit, don’t forget to include taxes and fees. Also, factor in your refunds and discounts.
Sponsors offer support in various forms, including in-kind donations like products, services, or financial contributions. Account for any discounts and promotions on your sponsorship packages. If you did an auction for the in-kind donations you received, account for any costs incurred.
This indicator refers to the value of an attendee for all their engagement with your event or brand.
For example, the lifetime value for an events company can be computed like this: cost of a ticket multiplied by the number of events they will be attending future events.
Event Marketing KPIs
Social Media Engagement
Your social media metrics can be an indicator of your event’s marketing efforts. Go to your social media analytics and consider the reach, engagement (reactions, comments, shares), and messages received.
Event hashtags, pre-event surveys, and post-event surveys are some ways to measure brand awareness. Analyze referral traffic to your website from event-related sources, such as event websites, partner sites, social media, or registration platforms. An increase signifies that your brand is being recognized and referred to.
New names on your registration list or conversion page mean your event is reaching new people. You can converse with them to note how they got to know your event or what convinced them to participate.
Your event website is the place where all the magic happens. Attendees purchase their tickets and access all the event information on your event website. An effective search engine optimization strategy can also help in adding traffic to your site.
Lead Generation Source
Ask this important question through a survey or the event registration form. Knowing the lead generation source of your attendees helps you narrow down and strengthen your marketing on high-converting channels.
Discount Codes used
Measure the effectiveness of your campaign by tracking discounts used from your ads. If you have affiliate codes from influencers or media outlets, you can also measure their conversion rates. Account for the budget used for the discount codes so you can see which event marketing channels delivered the most conversions for you.
In the context of an event, conversion might refer to various actions, such as attendee registration, ticket sales, or lead generation. Once you specify the conversion goal, you can use the following formula to calculate the conversion rate:
Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversions / Total Number of Visitors) x 100
Your conversion rate is an indicator of how effective your event landing page is or your marketing strategy. Conversion rates can measure how many visitors engage with specific content, such as downloading an e-book, watching a video, or clicking on an article.
Measure the attractiveness of your company and offer with the number of attendees who visit your tradeshow booth. Employ lead capture technology to track booth visits. This technology can include badge scanners, mobile apps, QR codes, or interactive kiosks.
Event platforms like Event Espresso have features like a QR ticket scanner to make tracking easier.
The number of engagement cards dropped
When your customers leave their contact information, it means they’re invested in what you offer. Count the number of contact information you got after the event and reach out to them.
Measure your revenue from the different sources of income from your booth. The number of tickets sold, sponsorships secured, and merchandise moved not only reflects the financial health of an event but also indicates the resonance it has with its audience.
Sales, as a KPI, reveal the effectiveness of marketing strategies, pricing models, and engagement efforts.
Finally, measure the conversion of your trade show depending on your event goals. Trade show conversions are not limited to revenue or sales. Appointments set, service demonstration, and App downloads are all considered conversions too.
Use data from previously mentioned KPIs like booth visits or traffic and divide them by your sales or desired conversion.
Event Survey or Net Promoter Score
Get a feel of your attendee feedback by asking them to answer an event survey questionnaire. Surveys can be used for getting feedback from sponsors, attendees, vendors, and speakers of your event.
Give space in your event surveys for additional points for improvement. Data from your surveys can determine your attendee’s interest in your future events.
Session / Workshop Ratings
Some events are composed of different sessions with different speakers or different workshop topics. Measure your attendee’s satisfaction with each aspect of your event. Collect real-time feedback through interactive sessions or post-session surveys.
Gaining customer loyalty is a gift that keeps giving. Imagine sustaining a community of loyal supporters who will return to your event year after year. A loyal community demonstrates a deep connection to your brand, content, and the experience you offer.
Now, is there a good customer loyalty score? How can event organizers measure customer loyalty? One way to measure customer loyalty is through conversing with your audience.
You can divide your conversations into two groups. The first group you can talk to can be your event’s newcomers. Ask them what drew them to your event and what they enjoyed the most. Understand their needs and come up with the best ways to continually serve them.
The second group can be your audience who already spend time or invest in you. Some questions to ask can be how attending events significantly improved or impacted them. Another question is what keeps them coming back to your events.
Virtual Event KPIs
In the virtual event landscape, ‘Unique Attendees’ is a key performance indicator (KPI). Tracking this metric helps assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and the event’s ability to attract a diverse and engaged online audience.
In the fast-paced virtual realm, where attention spans tend to be brief, people frequently hop in and out of digital experiences. To gauge the effectiveness of your content and its ability to keep the audience engaged, it’s essential to measure ‘Audience Retention.’
By establishing a benchmark for retention, you can set a standard for what’s considered a strong performance. For instance, attendee engagement and retention can be assessed by the number of participants who remain engaged by participating throughout the entire event. This metric offers valuable insights into how well your content captivates and holds the interest of your virtual audience.
Just like in offline events, revenue is an important metric to measure in virtual events. Revenue can come from advertisers, sponsorships, ticket sales, and more. Successful virtual events monetize various aspects, making it crucial to track not only the volume of revenue but also its diversity.
Cost per Attendee
Tracking cost per attendee in a purely digital event can be easier to track because of the digital trail. Easily access your cost per acquisition from advertising platforms. Furthermore, event registration platforms like Event Espresso and Event Smart provide easier and more accurate tracking of your total participants.
How to Set SMART KPIs
Now that you have an idea of the different types of KPIs for events, it’s time to set your own KPI for your event. Here are some guidelines you can apply:
Identify KPI key areas
Discuss with your event planning committee about the goals of your event. Is the goal of your event more attendees? Will success be defined as the number of signups or the amount of revenue generated?
These are important questions to set and define as early as planning for your event agenda. Selecting the right metrics helps you align your event goals with your overall strategy. By choosing metrics that directly reflect your objectives, you can concentrate your efforts on what truly matters, increasing the likelihood of success.
Benchmark previous data
Seek to constantly improve your events by using data and performance from your previous events. Previous event data supports the development of a long-term event strategy. It provides a historical perspective on your event’s evolution and can guide decisions for your upcoming and future events too.
Make them specific
In setting your key performance indicators, don’t just write “Boost Event Attendance”. Instead, make it specific like “Increase event attendance by 15% compared to the previous year for the annual conference in July.” Specific KPIs can be motivating because they set clear targets to strive for.
Ensure they are measurable
An example of a KPI that is harder to measure is “Customer Satisfaction”. Simply stating “improve attendee satisfaction” is non-measurable. To make it measurable, you could specify it as “Increase post-event satisfaction survey scores from 3.5 to 4.5 out of 5 within the next year.”
Set achievable goals
Make realistic and achievable indicators of your event’s success. For example, “Increase Sponsorship Revenue by 20%” can be an indicator, depending on the realistic circumstance. While it’s important to set ambitious goals, avoid setting KPIs that are so lofty they are unattainable. Find the right balance between aspiration and practicality.
Check its relevance
A relevant KPI serves as a direct alignment between your event’s objectives and the path to success. It guarantees that your efforts are channeled toward measuring precisely what matters most. It’s crucial to also ensure that your event’s KPI is relevant not just to your organizational goals but also to the aspirations of your audience.
In this way, you create a powerful synergy between your event’s purpose and the expectations of those it seeks to engage.
Define its time frame
Give a specific time frame for when you plan to achieve your event goals. Event organizers can set specific KPIs for different stages of event planning. For example, your first KPI for the first 6 months can be a 20% increase in website traffic compared to data from the previous year.
As the event team does further planning, the next event KPI can increase the email subscriber count by 25% from the previous month or year. Establishing time-framed KPIs acts as milestones in your journey toward accomplishing your event goals.
Use technology and tools
Event management platforms and tools can help you set for your successful event through KPI and event planning. Trusted platforms like Event Espresso and Event Smart provide tools for collecting and analyzing event data. Use these platforms to track metrics such as registration numbers, ticket sales, attendee demographics, and attendee satisfaction ratings.
Additionally, these platforms have integrations with analytic tools making it easier for event planners to track KPIs. Both platforms also offer reporting features that can help you measure progress toward your KPIs.
Tips for Achieving Event Success
Key Performance Indicators exist to measure event success. This section of the blog talks about practical tips on how you can hit all your KPIs and achieve event success.
Events are all about bringing people together. Focusing on your audience’s needs, preferences, and interests leads to more engaging and relevant content and experiences.
Leverage the power of online branding
Make your event the talk of the town by having an on-point and attractive branding. Listen to what your target attendees find interesting and pattern your branding that speaks to them.
Use Event Technology
Event technology and management tools are event planners’ best friends in attaining their key performance indicators. From event management software that streamlines registration and attendee management to mobile apps that enhance engagement and networking, technology offers a host of advantages.
Be collaborative in your event planning
Event planning and execution require a broad range of skills, from logistics and marketing to design and technical know-how. Achieve your event KPIs by working with your team and bringing each of your expertise to the table.
Keep attendees engaged
An engaged audience makes memorable events. Whether it’s through thought-provoking sessions, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, or cutting-edge technology, the key lies in continuously captivating your audience’s attention. Engaged attendees are more likely to retain information, form meaningful connections, and walk away with a positive perception of your event.
Set up Successful Events with Event Espresso
Impress your participants from your first touchpoint with them – the event registration. Event Espresso offers fully customizable event registration pages and secure payment collection. What makes Event Espresso even special compared to other event platforms is that you can sell unlimited tickets at $0 commission fees.
Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in for event sites on the WordPress platform. If you don’t use WordPress, you can check out a similar platform called Event Smart.