Events are a tried and proven strategy for driving leads and sales, and can be a powerful way for exhibitors and attendees to make connections. But that’s something you already know. The problem is how to qualify these leads and know which people are most likely to turn into sales.
And as any event organizer or marketer knows, figuring out which leads are valuable and which aren’t isn’t a clear-cut process. After all, not all leads are the same, with different people taking paths before making a purchase decision.
The challenge of measuring an event’s success highlights the pressure marketers and organizers face when proving the value of their events. The secret lies in setting clear event objectives, and using techniques to measure their relevant metrics.
Below are 4 ways to do just that.
1. Track Activity on Social Media
As far as media platforms go, social media is perhaps the easiest way to track attendee activity before, during, and after your events. But rather than just counting the number of views, comments, likes, and shares your posts receive, try measuring what your followers are actually saying. These might offer valuable insights on what your attendees feel about your event and how to organize future events.
For example, if you’re constantly getting feedback about a certain problem, be sure to take note so you can fix the problem (if you were notified during the event) and avoid making the same mistake in your next event.
The simplest way is to create a hashtag relevant to your event, which will ping your social media account’s insights tracker every time it’s mentioned. Keep track of what people are saying when they use your hashtag. Do they like your keynote speakers, or do they find them boring? What are they saying about certain exhibitors? Do they like the venue? Do they like the mix of exhibitors?
2. Conduct Surveys on the Day of the Event
If you want to know what your attendees think of their event experience, just ask them. And be sure to do it while the experience is still fresh in their minds, which means asking them on the day of. Just create a simple and easy to fill up survey form, which you can send to attendees during or on the night of an event.
Examples of questions you can ask include:
• How much time did you spend at the keynote, conference session, or meeting?
• Did you enjoy the topic discussed by the speaker?
• Were you satisfied with the speaker’s talk?
• Is there anything you wish the speaker could have touched on?
• What topics would you like to see more of in the next event?
Paper forms aren’t exactly convenient, so be sure to use the following survey tools to maximize the number of response you get:
• Your Event App – Your event app offers one of the best ways to reach out to already engaged users.
• Email – Ideally, collecting attendee email addresses is part of your SOP. Email might not offer the same speed of responses as a dedicated app, but you might be surprised at the number of responses on the night after the event.
• Facebook – Alternatively, you can post a link to an online survey form on a tool like Survey Monkey on your event’s Facebook page of group page.
You should also track the metrics around the usage of your survey forms, such as number of opens, bounce rate, and time spent on the survey page itself. And of course, use this information you get to make your future events better.
3. Take Note of Insights on your Mobile App
When built right, event apps can be a goldmine of insights for organizing better events. Besides the number of downloads, which you should always take note of, be sure to track how your app’s features were used—contact the developer for more information about this.
• Does your app have a matchmaking feature? If so, how was it used?
• Did users your app’s messaging function?
• Did users link the app to their social media profiles?
• Does the app have a survey function? If so, was it used to its full potential?
These metrics should allow you to form a clearer picture of just what your participants experienced during your event and whether their expectations were met. In addition, having this information should also help improve the app’s functionality.
4. Gamify Your Event and Use the Resulting Data to Measure Activity
Gamification is a relatively new strategy that encourages audience participation. Because adding a game twist to your live events generates attendee activity, it also creates a wealth of metrics that you can use to measure your event’s success and improve future events.
A few examples of gamified activities include:
• Treasure or scavenger hunts - Great for fostering cooperation between attendees—just make sure the prizes are worth the effort
• Photo challenges – You can hold a contest to encourage attendees to snap photos of “secret” locations at your event venue, which they need to post on social media with your event hashtag to qualify for prizes
• Networking challenges – Prizes for the first person to find an attendee in a certain industry, an attendee with a last name ending in a certain letter
More than anything, gamified events are exciting and help generate hype for your event, its speakers, and activities.
As you may have noticed, these techniques all have one thing in common—they all rely on making connections, which in turn helps to drive sales and leads. Use these methods to understand your attendees’ experience during your event, which should help you figure out if you’re hitting your event targets.
Written by Tabitha Naylor
Want to learn more about getting event apps fired up to boost ROI at your next event? Then check out our collaboration with Core-apps; industry-leading event commerce and insights paired with world-class event apps, what could be better?