The past year has undoubtedly been the year of virtual events, thanks to Covid-19. But chances are, online events are likely to stay even after the pandemic because of the many benefits they provide. For example, they allow you to reach a wider audience at a much lower cost.
But how does one decipher whether their virtual event has really been a success?
Many virtual event management services use software to calculate the ROI and performance of an event to determine its success. However, these can sometimes be inaccurate. Luckily, there are other analytical tools event organizers can use to find out how well their event performed.
The Measure of Success
There are multiple ways to measure an event’s success, whether through an online event platform or an in-person event. Let’s take a closer look at each of them to gauge your event’s success.
1. Event Registration
Checking to see how many people have registered as attendees to your event is one of the easiest ways to measure event success. But it’s essential to compare the number of people who registered with how many actually showed up. If the gap between the two is too large, you might want to figure out why that is so and how to bridge it. With this information, you can also enhance your marketing strategies since you will know what day, time, content type and month led to maximum registrations and attendees.
2. Attendee Engagement
A significant factor that determines an event’s success is the level of engagement of attendees. After all, that is the reason you are organizing the event in the first place. However, when you are conducting an event through online event platforms, checking to see if your audience is engaged can be slightly challenging. Software features such as gamification can give you a measure. Or you can simply check to see how long attendees stayed online and whether they participated in discussions.
3. Attendee Retention
A vital measurement for event success is attendee retention, as it helps determine how well-liked your event was and whether or not it resonated with them. This is particularly helpful if your event is not a one-time occurrence and when there will likely be other such ones. To ensure attendee retention, make sure that your event is engaging and not too boring. For example, consider adding break-out room discussions or Q/A sessions. Lead conversion can also help measure attendee retention, and in turn, the event’s success and ROI. Many event agencies use software to help with that.
4. Online Visits
A key performance indicator (KPI) that can help analyze event success is the number of visits you have on your website after the event. Doing so will help identify whether the event left an impression on your attendees and that they are searching your website for more information. Again, several agencies can help you identify the number of website visits if you have created a specific event website. However, if it is your own website, you can check to see the traffic with the help of Google Analytics. It can help tell you how many clicks a specific landing page has had.
5. App Visits
Similarly, you can measure event performance through your app downloads and visits. Many virtual event management services create apps for specific events, which are gaining traction. This helps in tracking annual events, employee engagement and streamlines the entire planning process of events. Now, when things have become even more digital, checking the number of downloads of your apps can be a helpful KPI.
6. Feedback Forms and Surveys
An excellent and extremely helpful way to communicate with your attendees and ask them for their opinion on your event is through feedback forms and surveys. Your post-event feedback measure does not have to be too complex and lengthy; it should just include the necessary questions that can help gauge event success. For example, you can ask the following questions:
- How likely are you to recommend this event to your friend, family member, or colleague?
- How likely would you attend another event by the same event agency?
- Are there any improvements you want to suggest?
7. Social Media Metrics
When it comes to measuring the success of virtual events, social media metrics can be particularly helpful. You are likely already posting about your event on all social media platforms, and so analytics can be easily monitored. This can be done by:
- Checking to see if your followers have increased
- If people are using your event’s hashtag
- If people like your posts
- If people are reposting you, tagging you, or mentioning your event or page in their stories
8. Revenue Generated
The most significant way to measure virtual event performance and your ROI is by directly checking the revenue generated. Besides engagement, a key reason why virtual events take place is to generate sales and profits. Some of the ways to assess the generated income are the number of tickets sold, sponsorships, and funds collected. Many virtual event management services help calculate and analyze revenue and provide ways to increase your generated revenue at your next virtual event.
The Bottom Line
The success of a virtual event can be measured in a number of different ways depending on the purpose and nature of the event. However, the important thing is to use measurement tools that give you an insight into how you can do even better.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd, a leading event planning company offering event management and venue finding services in the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.