“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Taking a cue from marketing organs like TV and Internet, you can learn how to measure the success of your event. You should be able to develop a bespoke measurement process to garner data in the manner that you deem most useful to determine the success of your event. While measuring its success is an exercise that you will be more focused on after the event rather than through the rush of preparation, having a clearly identified plan would enable you to gather the required data at every opportunity. The process starts with having a clear set of objectives from your event. These objectives will determine what to measure or follow in order to ascertain how well your event did. Also remember to align the objectives with any changes in the plan caused by external influences in the lead-up to the event.
HOW TO MEASURE?
Measurement of the impact of an event is becoming increasingly common in the consumer industry. However, measurement can also help gauge the success of an internal event. It helps you know if the event managed to create the desired impact and if the budget was well spent. It also gives you insight for improvement for the next event.
These are broadly of two categories:
- Quantitative Studies: This method of evaluation deduces results from numerical data and its analyses. These studies require large sampling of a wide cross-section of the subject audience. The better the quality of the sample, the more reliable the results. Generally, small sample sizes are not very accurate for quantitative research.
- Qualitative Studies: This method of evaluation relies on the variances in quality rather than quantity. Qualitative studies can be carried out with a smaller sample base as compared to quantitative studies. However, the analysis of data usually takes longer because of its complexity. Qualitative studies usually add more dimensions to the results gathered from the quantitative analysis of a subject matter.
- Different Methods of Evaluation: There is a plethora of methods of evaluation available and you can choose the one that suits your purpose the best. Some of these are as under:
- In Person Survey: This method is highly useful in securing immediate feedback at the event site. This is more helpful in recording people’s perception of the event rather than recording quantified metrics.
- Phone Survey: This usually follows the collection of participants’ phone numbers during the event. Survey by phone calls is most often used to conduct qualitative research.
- Online Survey: This involves collecting the participants’ email addresses at the event and then following up with a survey form sent through email. Generally, not more than 2% of the people contacted for the survey participate.
- Digital Survey: A digital survey is usually conducted with the help of your audience’s smartphones. This approach is more consumer friendly as the respondents can attempt a digital survey at a time that best suits them. However, this survey must be short and not a long online format.
- Observation: This is a low-cost method that involves watching and listening to your audience with a purpose. You may need a team of volunteers who can blend in the audience without being noticeable. In order for the results to be reliable, brief your observers thoroughly as to what they need to observe and how they must record it.
- Questionnaires: This is a useful method to gather information from a large number of people. The method is so common that people are generally comfortable with this mode of survey. Based on your objectives, you can use either closed or open questions. A number of free online tools are available that enable you to set up questions, conduct surveys, and get reports.
WHAT TO MEASURE?
What you need to measure depends on the nature and scale of your event and your objectives from it. For example, a few of the aspects you can measure are:
Brand Experience: This is often the primary target in the consumer industry in particular and customer-facing events in general. Some of the criteria that govern brand experience and can be measured are:
- Consumption: This ascertains if the respondent has purchased the brand in the past.
- Brand Recognition: This ascertains which of the brands of a business the respondent is aware of.
- Brand Perception: This ascertains how the respondent rates or perceives the brand.
- Brand Equity: This ascertains if the respondent feels a connection to the brand.
- Word of Mouth: This ascertains if the respondent has recommended or has been recommended a certain brand.
- Perception of the Event: This ascertains the respondent’s opinion and understanding of the event.
Employee Experience: This is extremely relevant to the internal events and gauges their success according to their purpose – team-building, education, communication, motivation etc. It is usually easy to measure as employees are a captive audience. Sometime it is determined by comparing the pre-event and the post-event data. Some of the things that can be measured are:
- Employee satisfaction with the content of the job.
- Employee satisfaction with the work environment.
- Employee happiness in working with their teams.
- Employee understanding of the event.
- Employee takeaways from the event.
- Employee suggestions for the improvement of the event.
Social Buzz: The result of social media campaigns is easy to measure and learn from. Some of the common benchmarks are:
- Event Website: Google analytics can provide you with extremely useful information about the volume and quality of traffic on your website.
- Twitter: Programs like Hootsuite provide you with instant data about the number and interactivity of your followers. You can also know how many times your brand is mentioned on the twitter and the number of people interacting with your brand.
- Facebook: Facebook also offers plenty of information to measure the success of any activity or campaign on Facebook.
PR Lift: When building or enhancing PR is a significant objective of your event, you need to measure it too. One way of measuring this is assessing the coverage of your event in the media as compared to what it would have cost to buy the advertisement space for the same coverage. Also identify how many journalists included your key messages in their coverage.
ANALYSING THE RESULTS
A meaningful analysis of the results is rooted in the ability to make right comparisons. It is hard to know whether the result is bad or good unless you have something to compare it against. Present the information in a manner that is easy to understand by its target audience. Sometimes it can be in the form of charts and graphs and sometimes it can be a tabular presentation.
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