how to measure event roi

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Leveraging analytics: how to measure event ROI for virtual & hybrid events

Posted on 07/08/2021

All the metrics and analytics you need to measure event ROI for virtual and hybrid events.

How to measure event ROI (return-on-investment)

The most common way to calculate event ROI is by determining the total cost of your event – that means calculating all costs, including event venues for in-person and hybrid events to online platforms for hybrid and virtual events. Once you have this number, subtract the total revenue from the event, which will equal the profit. Take this number and divide it by the total cost of the event. Lastly, multiply this number by 100 for the percentage ROI.

How to calculate ROI

The total cost of the event – total revenue = profit

Profit ፥ total cost of event x 100 = ROI (percentage)

This is the general way to measure ROI for events. With the covid-19 pandemic changing the way we do business, the online trend will continue on a larger scale well into the future. More events are incorporating an online element to their events, as hybrid events take center stage. Here’s how you can measure event ROI for hybrid and virtual events.

Most popular metrics for virtual and hybrid events

According to an InEvent LinkedIn survey, event professionals are torn between the typical ROI calculation (as mentioned above) and post-event feedback.

Based on our findings, our audience of event planners found attendee feedback to be equally important as the costs involved. The fact that this conundrum exists tells us that even though profit margins are essential, event planners find their attendees’ feedback to be of equal importance. 

Metrics to measure virtual & hybrid event ROI

Post-event feedback

Post-event feedback can be helpful for event blind spots. As an event organizer, it is almost impossible to experience the event as an attendee, and this feedback can help event organizers with their future events. 

With that in mind, when planning a virtual or hybrid event, it is best to use a platform that integrates feedback forms at various points. Platforms like InEvent offer customizable feedback forms for the entire event and feedback forms or surveys for specific activities. 

For event organizers, it is possible to get feedback on the overall event once it is over. In addition, attendees are also able to share their experience of individual activities. 

For example, if you are hosting a virtual event for your company, also known as an internal virtual event, you might have different activities within the overall event. Platforms like InEvent allow you to separate the activities according to the various departments within your company. The insight you may want from the marketing department might be very different from the insight you wish to solicit from the customer service department. In this case, you can get specific feedback from that department by creating custom forms for that particular activity.

Registered attendees

Knowing how many people register for an event can signify how interested people are in your product, service, or organization. This signifier of interest can be essential for your business or your event, depending on your objective. Remember, when people register for your event, they inadvertently invest in you, your business, and what you have to offer.

Social media engagement

Depending on the purpose of your event, perhaps ROI might have nothing to do with profits made, feedback received, or the number of attendees. Maybe the objective is to take the conversation out of the realm of your event, engage new voices and expose your brand to a different audience. In this case, social media numbers might be a better identifier of success. 

Live analytics features like InEvent’s social media activity tracking can help keep you updated on how people are engaging with your event, even outside of your event.

Website traffic

Depending on the purpose of your event, it might be vital for your attendees to access your website. Platforms well-versed in virtual and hybrid events could offer system integrations of Google Analytics and UTM link tracking. These integrations ensure that you have accurate insights into your attendees’ buying behavior and will help to accurately measure the performance of your virtual and hybrid event campaigns.

Brand awareness

Depending on your business model and event objectives, brand awareness might be an insightful way to measure success instead of ROI, per se. Brand awareness could be a valuable metric for companies or event organizers who might not charge their attendees a fee for attending their event. 

InEvent is a case in point. According to InEvent’s events coordinator Fernanda Averbach, “For us to measure our success is to check the brand awareness and visibility that each event gives us, which is usually done through social media.”

Take a look at the complete list of analytics features offered by InEvent:

In conclusion, relevant metrics to measure hybrid and virtual events may differ, depending on the event’s objective. In some cases, profit margins might be most important, while in others, it might be the number of attendees or the attendee’s experience. With this in mind, having a thorough understanding of the objective is imperative in the planning phase of any given event.

Virtual Event Trends 2021

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