The best way to track and measure an event’s success is to use key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs should be determined based on your goals and desired outcomes.
Your event’s success will be determined by what you measure based on your goals. These goals will help you determine the success of your event, whether you want to increase audience engagement, increase revenue, or obtain more sponsorships.
Aside from your event’s goals, there is another variable to consider when choosing your event’s best KPIs. A number of factors need to be considered when deciding how to measure the success of an event.
The KPIs of a virtual conference are different from those of an in-person conference, such as session attendance, virtual applause, and chat activity, for example.
Why is it important to use KPIs to track the success of an event?
The success of an event can be difficult to prove unless you use metrics and values that can be tracked. KPIs can be used to measure concrete, quantifiable data, or they can measure more subjective concepts like consumer loyalty.
Setting KPIs helps you determine whether you achieved your event’s goals. It is possible to choose KPIs that collect feedback. In addition, they allow you to analyze an event’s success and challenges and identify ways to improve it.
22 key performance indicators to track the success of an event
Consider these top 22 KPIs when establishing metrics for evaluating an event’s success.
1. Event Check-ins
The number of attendees who checked in directly reflects this key metric. The number of event check-ins should be compared with the number of registrations for the event.
It would be ideal if everyone who registered would attend your event. However, that will not be the case in the real world.
As a result of having a baseline, if there is an unusual discrepancy between the number of registrants and actual check-ins, this would be worth looking into – why are you losing people between registration and check-in? To build excitement, would you benefit from more promotion leading up to the event?
2. Event Surveys
Asking attendees if they enjoyed the event is the quickest way to find out if they did. Using event surveys, you can better understand attendee satisfaction and get into the attendees’ minds.
The surveys can be conducted prior to, during, and after the event. Get an idea of what attendees are most looking forward to or what activities they are interested in before an event.
Send daily surveys during the event to assess what is working and what is lacking. This data can be used to make adjustments for the next day in real-time. You could, for example, add more time to the Q&A the following day if attendees felt they did not have enough time to ask questions.
Attendees who felt rushed between sessions during your post-event survey can have more downtime at future events if the break between sessions is extended.
Regardless of what part of an event you choose to survey, use the results to create future events that exceed expectations. Whenever possible, provide numerical responses and comment boxes to elaborate on your questions. Your data should be clean and quantifiable for you to draw deeper insights, but you should also leave room for expansion.
3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Despite falling under “event surveys,” the NPS (net promoter score) deserves its place on this list. Score this event based on how likely it is that you would recommend it to friends, on a scale of 1-10?
- Score of 9-10 qualifies someone as a “promoter” who will be a loyal advocate for your event.
- Score of 7-8 indicates the attendance of “passives,” who are satisfied, but still vulnerable to competitive offers.
- 0-6 scores are considered “detractors” who are likely to harm your event brand.
All key stakeholders will want to know how valuable your event was for attendees by looking at this score.
4. Active Community Members
You can use this metric to see which types of attendees are the most active. You can also track the level of activity within the community with this metric.
An active community member can be recognized by how many pages they view, how long they spend in sessions, or how often they chat. Data like this is helpful for optimizing event experiences and determining the most effective ways to engage attendees.
5. Messages Sent
You can determine whether your event networking tools were sufficient by examining the number of messages sent among attendees. Building relationships is a critical component of any event, and this metric indicates whether the platform helped facilitate connections.
6. Speaker Engagement
A speaker’s performance is ultimately determined by the audience. A presentation won’t be successful if the speaker’s message doesn’t resonate with the audience.
Speaker interest can be gauged by measuring the number of views a session receives or the number of ratings a session receives. Offer ways for attendees to interact with the speaker, such as live polling, live audience reactions, or after-session surveys.
7. Session Analytics
Analyze which sessions were successful by drilling down. The session analytics will show you the overall session ratings. Additionally, you will see how many people attended, average view duration, page views, and if they were online or in person.
Use this information to determine which sessions were successful. You can then use these themes to determine sessions for your next event based on the topics, tracks, and length of the top-performing sessions.
8. Top Performing Topics
How do you determine what topics are of interest to your attendees? By starring and favouriting sessions, you can find out when someone engages with your agenda. By collecting and aggregating this data, we can better understand what topics are successful.
Tag sessions and content to accomplish this. You could, for example, categorize a session on “How to Create Pipeline With LinkedIn” as “social selling,” “sales,” “lead generation,” etc. You can find out what topics your audience wants to hear by finding popular themes.
9. Live Polling Response Rate
During an event session, you can have attendees vote in live polls using the right event app or virtual event solution. Event organizers can use this response rate to determine which sessions were most successful and identify the attendees’ levels of engagement.
One of the most underestimated KPIs for event success is polling. It can provide important information about the success of a session, reveal people’s opinions of the speaker’s content, and provide you with ideas for future sessions or ways to improve your event.
10. Social Media Mentions
The term “social media mention” refers to the act of leaving a comment or tweet containing a mention of a handle or hashtag.
Make your event handle and hashtag simple, unique, and easy to share during the event planning process. It will be easier for you to understand the success of your event as well as the social media skills of your attendees if you keep track of mentions.
11. Total Registrations
Event success can be measured by the total number of registrations, a metric that is already top of mind. For a better understanding of sales performance over time, it is essential to track registrations monthly.
What was the month with the highest number of registrations? Why is this the case? When evaluating your event, the more detailed you can make this metric, the more clarity it will provide.
12. Registration by Ticket Type
Ticket types can also be used to register more granularly. You can determine which ticket types and price points were the most popular by dividing registration performance by ticket types.
It is possible to gain a better understanding of audience preferences by dividing registration performance by ticket type. You can also use this to understand the percentage of attendees who join in different formats if you use an in-person strategy coupled with a virtual component. Your next event will be more targeted with such data, allowing you to organize it better.
13. Gross Revenue
Gross revenue is often considered the most important KPI for event success. The difference between your actual revenue and your initial revenue goals indicates your level of realistic expectations. In addition to gross revenue, the industry’s demand for the event is also heavily influenced by gross revenue.
14. Cost-to-Revenue Ratio
The gross revenue of an event is not an insightful metric unless it is compared to the total cost of the event. You can use this ratio to determine how much profit (or loss) your event generated and how you might improve it in the future. KPIs like this are important to sponsors and investors.
15. Revenue by Promo Code
Identifying your revenue streams and campaigns that are most effective can help you measure the success of your event. Your promotional codes provide you with information about your attendees. Analytics, such as how often people used certain codes, provide a unique perspective.
This will help you determine which marketing efforts were successful based on which promo code sold the most tickets, as well as which campaign, platform, or business brought the attendees with their promo.
16. Sponsorship Satisfaction
Since virtual events usually have a lower ticket price, they rely more on sponsorships. Virtual events are usually free to register for. Compared to previous years, this is a significant change.
It is crucial to measure event success by ensuring sponsor satisfaction. Furthermore, it can be used to gauge future sponsorship prospects. A satisfaction survey, NPS score, or a post-event debriefing can be used to measure satisfaction.
Make sure you listen to your sponsors and ask them what worked well for them, and what they would like to see improved. Plan future events based on this data.
17. Returning Attendees
Whether it’s monthly, annually, or biannually, it’s likely that your team organizes recurring events. Recording the number of repeat attendees at subsequent events is an interesting stat.
Returning attendees will provide you with insight into whether your event content is resonating with the targeted audience and what value you are providing them. If you have a high return rate, you have found the right formula.
18. Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
The number of qualified leads generated by your event is a key indicator of event success if it is intended to generate prospects for your sales team. You should have detailed criteria before measuring this KPI, as the definition of a qualified lead will vary from company to company. A qualified lead may come from a specific industry, be in a managerial position within their organization, be of a certain size, or demonstrate a clear need for your products or services.
19. Pipeline Generated
In the B2B world of events, this metric complements the number of qualified sales leads. An important metric to identify and measure if you are aiming for revenue from your event is the number of new leads / open sales opportunities and the estimated dollar value of those opportunities. If the proper attribution is tied to contact or opportunity, your sales team can present you with this number.
20. Accounts Influenced (ABM)
Identifying the target accounts impacted by events (and other marketing activities) is an important metric for tracking the success of account-based event marketing. Typically, B2B organizations use ABM because they have longer sales cycles and multiple touchpoints. ABM strategy’s value can be quantified by understanding how an event impacts a target account.
21. Customers Acquired
It would be logical to measure the number of customers acquired from the event after collecting qualified leads. Ensure the event marketing attribution is accurate and that these customers were acquired as a result of the event.
You must identify the lead source as the event itself because there are multiple channels through which a lead can become a customer. You will benefit greatly from having the right event data integration setup.
22. Cost per Customer Acquisition
In order to acquire more customers, companies that sell a specific product should consider this metric. In addition to the number of customers acquired, the cost per customer acquisition is perhaps a more critical KPI for event success. Your event’s impact on the bottom line can be determined by knowing how much time and budget it takes to close a deal sourced from you.
Conclusion: Take Action on KPIs for Event Success
Defining and measuring event success requires a customized approach. Depending on the goals you have set for your event, you will determine which KPIs are important. Having these 22 KPIs in your toolkit will help you determine which metrics are most relevant to your desired event outcome and how to start measuring them.