Event measurement: are you doing it well?
Hopeful is the general feeling we all have right now. We’re hopeful that we’ll receive vaccinations soon, we’re hopeful that we can travel over the summer and we’re hopeful that we can return to some level of normalcy at work. This is definitely the case in the meetings and events industry.
According to the PCMA’s COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard survey, in the same week that vaccinations were first distributed, 11 percent more suppliers and planners reported feeling hopeful about the industry’s recovery. As a result, 66 percent of planners reported changing their event outlook, which resulted in 10% of planners initiated booking space or reserved space.
Change is coming. Are you ready?
Even before the pandemic, event professionals were well versed in justifying meetings and events to stakeholders. But the events landscape is changing, and so must our strategy. Events in the future will include a mix of in-person, hybrid and virtual options. Though we had these event types prior to the pandemic, we have gotten more creative in our delivery. Event professionals will have to work even harder to ensure an event is successful for the company, the attendees, and the event sponsors.
So how do we start? Measurement is the key to success, and it needs to be completed before, during and after your event. Here’s how you can adjust your approach to event measurement to adapt to the new post-pandemic landscape.
Before your event:
How many of us really conducted a survey before an event? Though the data would have been important (and we recommended it), few of our clients would invest in this pre-event info-gathering.
Now, surveys and research before the event are more important than ever. How comfortable are your attendees with gathering in person? How do your attendees really feel about travel to the event? This information is critical before you begin planning an event in the first place. You must determine the comfort level of your audience to ensure you plan an event that meets their needs. Your event simply won’t be successful without it.
During your event:
Don’t wait until the event is over to start gathering meaningful information from your attendees. Technology is an event planners’ best friend when it comes to measurement – both in-person and virtually.
One of the greatest parts about a virtual event is the data that can be gleaned! You have metrics around participant behavior at every step along the away whether someone is downloading a piece of content or visiting a session. Additionally, for in-person events, mobile apps offer exceptional opportunities to collect data based on how the attendees are using the app to build their schedules, participate in your contest or connect with other participants through contact features.
When designed properly, this measurement can give event planners valuable insights into what specific points of the event audience engagement was the highest or lowest or how your audience reacted to certain messaging. Using this data, you can adjust future content and event designs accordingly.
After your event:
We all understand the value of a post-event survey. But, remember the days when post-event surveys were completed by hand, only to be shoved into boxes and the results lost in the long data entry process? Now, technology makes post-event surveys a dream. We can collect more data than ever before, instantaneously, and we can use this data in meaningful ways.
For example, ask your in-person event attendees for their feedback on how organized and clean the event space was? How safe did they feel in person? Was mask wearing enforced? This information can be used in event marketing efforts to encourage others to become more comfortable with attending future in-person events.
Event measurement yields valuable insights to help make your events more successful than ever, regardless of whether or not they are conducted in-person, hybrid or virtual. Learn more about building your strategy for growth in our white paper: “The Importance of Event Measurement Beyond the Global Pandemic.”