After your event has ended, and attendees are singing your event’s praises on social media,  you probably feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment. You did it! But personal satisfaction isn’t a true measure of success.

If you can measure something, that means you can improve it, and the importance of event evaluation cannot be understated. And this is where return on investment (ROI) comes in. 

To determine the ingredients of your event’s success, it’s a good strategy to assign “success goals” to each vertical that makes up your event. Marketing, ticket sales, attendee satisfaction, and sponsorship are good benchmarks to start with. 

Based on this framework, you can create a custom recipe for effective events and learn which points can be improved in the future.

Marketing and promotion ROI

From smaller events to giant conferences, when you’re putting together an event, getting the word out is an integral part of the work. Event coverage is a great metric for measuring event recognition. Monitor your marketing efforts by leveraging search engine optimization, email sends, and social posts. Automate some of the process by using monitoring service like Google Alerts or Mention, where they track where traffic is coming from and provide you important data

Ticket sales

If you sell different ticket types at different rates (General, Early Bird, and VIP, for example), it’s important to know which ones drive the most revenue. To improve your ROI, keep track of what’s working. 

For example, let’s say your VIP tickets drive a lot of revenue, but your Early Bird tickets have a high refund rate. You might want to consider reducing how many Early Bird tickets you offer and add more VIP. The same can be said for coupons and discount codes. If you can track your coupons and their performance, you can lean into the tactics that work best.

Attendee satisfaction

Attendee feedback is crucial to evaluating — and improving — your event. Even if you sold out, you can’t call your event a success if your attendees aren’t satisfied.

Three quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Send it quickly: To get the best possible response rate, you need to act fast. Send your survey within 24 hours of the end of the event to capture attendees while they are still engaged and everything is still fresh in their minds
  • Keep it short: Keep questions to an absolute minimum. A maximum of 10 questions will ensure the highest completion rates. 
  • Calculate your “Net Promoter Score”:  You’ve seen this question before: “between 0 and 10, how likely are you to recommend this event to someone else?” To calculate your Event NSP, take the percentage of respondents who are promoters and then subtract the percentage of respondents who are detractors. 

Sponsorship ROI

Once you’ve delivered on your sponsorship commitments, you should provide them with a fulfillment report. In a fulfillment report, it is essential that you include proof that you delivered on what you said you would. You should also calculate sponsorship ROI for them using your valuation numbers and your actual deliverables.

For example, if you promised an event with 500 people worth $X but you had 600 people show up, you recast your valuation based on actual numbers. If you promised one eblast with a coupon attached at $X but you actually did four eblasts, show your sponsor the actual value of what you delivered. 

Has one of your actions produced good results, but taken an inordinate amount of effort to achieve? Is it really worth doing again? This is where looking at ROI can really help you prioritize better than only looking at absolute results.

Your fulfillment report should include these five elements:

  • Intro and summary: Start off with a few sentences about your event’s value proposition and a brief summary of the results.
  • Attendee stats: Use visualization (charts, graphs) to summarize attendee demographics, attendance, and survey results.
  • On-site stats: Include photos of their on-site activations, brand impression numbers, and anything else you promised.
  • Off-site stats: Share documentation of off-site exposure from screenshots of social media mentions to number of impressions and engagement.
  • Last page: End your fulfillment report with gratitude for the sponsor’s support and the immeasurable impact they’ve made on your attendees.

Generate more revenue with your data

Want to know how to professionally calculate sponsorship ROI? Check out this workbook and impress your sponsors with ease.