After an impossibly long and challenging 18+ months, in-person events are back (long pause for a happy dance! 🕺🏽) and better than ever. Attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors alike are excited to be back on the road, connecting with industry peers and learning new things in an engaging environment.
If your team is gearing up to hit the road again for in-person events, take a minute to think about how you're currently gauging event success. If you can't give a straightforward answer, or if you don't know off the top of your head, don't worry! Now is the perfect time to get your ducks in a row before you head back out to in-person events.
Here is how you can know for sure if your in-person marketing event was a success or not:
— The registration-to-attendee ratio was within expectations. Often, not all of your registrations will be able to attend your event in person. As long as the registration-to-attendee ratio was not too unexpected, then you are well on your way to a successful event before it even begins.
— Attendees were engaged and excited with the programming. One of the most significant qualitative indicators that an event is a success is if attendees are engaged with your programming and excited to be there. Look around – if people look bored, are on their phones, or are not engaging with events (such as a Q&A or a hands-on demo session), then things may need to be livened up a bit.
— Your brand experienced a noticeable impact online. One of the silver linings of the past year and a half of virtual events is that most people – aka your event attendees – have learned how to use technology to their benefit. This means that people should be posting online, engaging with your social posts on LinkedIn or Twitter, and even searching out new content on your site.
— Those that couldn't attend engaged with your follow-up content. If, for some reason, users are unable to attend, they should still be reaching out to access the content your team shared at the event or to do more research of their own on your website or social channels.
— You achieved measurable ROI. And, finally, the most crucial success metric of them all: ROI. This is the bottom-line number for achievement that will let your team, your department, and your executives know at-a-glance if an event was successful or not. However, the biggest challenge for many event marketing teams is being able to calculate measurable ROI successfully. Our biggest tip is not to wait until an event is over to calculate ROI. Instead, put technology in place to capture ROI at every step of your in-person event for a more robust calculation.