With the rise of virtual events, and the tech that comes with it, we can now gather and analyze more user data than we ever thought possible.
Gone are the days where in-person events were a free-for-all with nothing but attendee numbers and a few email addresses gathered in return.
With today’s virtual event platforms, and their built-in analytics, we can track almost every interaction between attendees, speakers, and vendors. This increased level of data not only helps event planners improve their event’s messaging, effectiveness, and user experience, but it also helps them quantify both their event and business’ success.
In this blog, we’re offering you insights into the 12 event metrics you need to be measuring for overall success.
PSA: Setting Clear Event KPIs Will Lead to Success
First things first! Once you know your goals, you can determine what event metrics will help you track them. We’ve provided event KPI examples to help you set these objectives. Knowing what KPIs you need to analyze will help you determine which event tech and software you need to help you gather that data.
Event Metric #1) Event Attendance
Track how many people attended your event. This data, when combined with other metrics, like check-ins, follow-ups, sales, and others mentioned on this list, gives you a nice picture of how successful your event was.
Event attendance tracking also helps you determine your event’s return on investment (ROI). For instance, calculate the expenses of your event and divide it by the number of people who attended to give you a rough estimate of how much you spent on each person (more on that later in step #8)
Event attendance tracking also helps you gauge how effective your marketing and communication efforts were in spreading the word to your audience.
Many virtual event apps feature built-in registration pages and check-in pages that automatically populate a spreadsheet filled with user data, so you have an accurate attendance count.
Looking for more ways to solidify your event’s success? Check out 5 Ways to Maximize Your Webinar ROI [+ Key Metrics to Evaluate]
Event Metric #2) Engagement Rate
Attendees who are participating and interacting with each other are being actively engaged, and it’s a clear indicator that your event is working.
By tracking different forms of engagement, you can narrow down specifically what your guests liked and didn’t like during your event, which will help you refine your events going forward and possibly your product or service.
Tracking engagement can involve many different sets of data. For example, you can track speaker engagement by viewing how much “applause” or survey/poll responses each speaker got. Speakers who resonate most with your audience will garner the most praise, interactions, and attendance.
You can track user engagements to determine which attendees were the most active during your event. Tracking the number of posts and comments a user left on a live feed, the amount of time spent on the app, or the number of sessions viewed helps you understand what captured their attention, and what didn’t.
This engagement data is useful for your salespeople who are contacting leads after the event. If they know a guest spent a lot of time participating, they’ll probably be more receptive to your sales offers.
Pro Tip: Take it one step further and analyze your live webinar call to action (CTA) click-through rate. If it was high, take note of what you did right. If it was low, how could you improve setting up your CTA or offer included in it?
Event Metric #3) Session Popularity and Analytics
You’ll want to know what your most popular and least popular sessions were so you can understand what topics and formats resonated the most with your audience, and which fell flat. This data helps you continually improve your event’s messaging and scheduling, so you can repeat your successes and avoid irrelevant topics.
Common session KPIs include the number of people who watched the event, time spent watching, and the number of page views.
As we mentioned before, you can also track which attendees watched each session, to better understand each guests’ preferences and interests. Knowing what your attendee’s interests are will help you sell to them later.
Event Metric #4) Net Promoter Score
You’ve often seen this question on a survey, “How likely are you on a scale of 1 to 10 to recommend this event to your friends and colleagues?”
Ideally, you’ll want to receive a 9 or 10. Anything less than that is an indicator your attendee wasn’t sufficiently engaged during your event. A 7 or 8 rating is neutral and isn’t considered when calculating your Net Promoter Score. Any rating between 1-6 is considered negative.
To determine your Net Promoter Score, take the percentage of positive responses (9s and 10s) and subtract the percentage of negative responses (1-6s). Again, ignore the percentage of neutral ratings (the 7s and 8s).
Pro Tip: With virtual event platforms, gathering this can easily be done in the form of a survey.
Event Metric #5) Event App Adoption Rate
Event apps have become an indispensable tool for hosting virtual, hybrid, and traditional events. For virtual events, these apps become the actual venue itself, replacing the physical space.
Event apps allow your guests to attend and participate from anywhere with access to the internet and a computer, tablet, or smartphone, which improves your event attendance.
These apps also act as the central hub for your event. This allows a quick and easy way to notify guests of upcoming agenda changes, send reminders, add promotions, fill out surveys, and offer more engagement and messaging options.
For these reasons, it’s crucial to track your event’s app adoption rate, which can include bonus event metrics such as sign-ins, engagements, time spent on the app, frequency of use, etc.
Event Metric #6) Attendee To Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) Conversion
How many of your attendees are actually interested in purchasing your products and services? How many aren’t? Knowing what makes a lead qualified or not is necessary for improving revenue and attracting the right attendees to your event.
Simply put, sales qualified leads (SQL) are people who attended your event and are “sales ready.”
These people checked all the right boxes of desired traits and actions that seem to be a good fit for your sales team to reach out to — they attended the event, participated, watched several sessions, and filled out many surveys. Odds are, they want what you’re selling.
However, if your attendees don’t participate, don’t watch sessions, and only logged in once, they aren’t highly qualified, and probably won’t be interested in further engagement from your company.
Tracking user engagement rates (Step #2) will help you determine your lead quality for a higher attendee-to-SQL conversion.
Check out Sales and Marketing Alignment: How To Bring Them Together In Your Virtual Event Strategy to ensure both teams are on the same page for all of your events.
Event Metric #7) Live Polling Response Rate
It’s recommended that speakers poll their audience frequently during a virtual event. Why? Because it’s easier for guests at home to get distracted and become unengaged. Maybe instead of watching the session, the attendee is watching YouTube or checking Facebook.
However, by polling the audience regularly, the speaker creates a back-and-forth conversation, gathering feedback that makes their guest feel important, understood, and also steers the speaker in a positive direction that will create further engagement.
This polling response data helps event hosts and planners understand how interesting their speakers are, and how interested their guests are.
Pro Tip: It’s recommended that session speakers poll their audience at least every 20 minutes to reduce attendee “drop off” (Step #9).
Event Metric #8) Cost Per Attendee/Customer Acquisition
You can’t calculate your event’s ROI without understanding your cost per attendee or cost per customer acquisition.
Simply put, how much money did you spend on planning, marketing, and running the event, versus the amount you got back from new sales or new impressions/attendees?
Tracking cost per attendee is simple: calculate the amount spent on the event and divide that by the amount of people who attended.
However, when it comes to tracking customers, it gets a bit trickier. Did your guest turn into a customer during the event, immediately after, or did they become a customer months after attending? Tracking event attendance (Step #1) can help answer these questions to give you a more accurate ratio.
Pro Tip: Always ask for a referral source when making your sale with a new customer. Perhaps they attended your event last year, or heard about your event from a colleague who attended (Step #4). You can use this information to update your cost per customer acquisition ratio.
Event Metric #9) Live Webinar Drop-off Rate
The longer people watch your webinar, the more interested they are. If they watched the entire presentation, they’re probably very interested!
On average, most live webinars receive a 46% drop-off rate, meaning that slightly under half the people that tune in end up leaving before the webinar has finished.
Many virtual platforms’ analytics allow you to see how long visitors spent on your webinar, and the precise moment when they dropped off.
With enough user data, you can pinpoint the specific topics and reasons why people began dropping off. Using these event metrics, you can craft a new webinar that avoids the pitfalls of your previous one to lower drop-off rates, and improve your conversion rates.
Event Metric #10) Email Open and Click Through Rate (CTR)
Email marketing is the most important tool for driving registrations for your event. So how do you measure its effectiveness? By tracking email open and click through rates.
Email open rates show you when a recipient has opened their email. CTR tracks how many people clicked on a link within that email.
For instance, you sent 1,000 event registration emails, of which 400 were opened. Within those 400 emails opened, 200 people clicked on the event registration link. Of those 200 links clicked, 100 people actually registered for your event.
This information tells you that you have 900 people who will need another reminder email so they can click the registration link and register for your event.
Knowing which people opened your email and registered is crucial for boosting registration rates. Luckily, email open and CTR are a standard feature on most email marketing automation platforms.
Pro Tip: Don’t be shy when it comes to sending reminder emails. Sending four to five reminder emails might seem like a lot, but emails are easily buried and overlooked.
Event Metric #11) Post-Event Surveys
Post-event surveys help you track your event and brand’s sentiment — how attendees actually feel about your event and your company. Sentiment should not be overlooked, even if it doesn’t neatly convert into a monetary value.
Post-event surveys are a good opportunity to determine your Net Promoter Score (Step #4) and gather feedback that will help improve your event and its marketing efforts moving forward.
Event Metric #12) Accounts Influenced (for the B2B Marketers)
Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you’re either trying to attract new customers or higher-ups at companies (for new accounts) that you’d like to do business with.
An easy way of determining the source of your attendees is asking them during your registration page. Add questions such as “What company do you work for?” and “What’s your role in the company?”
If there’s a vendor, company, or person that attended your event that you want to work with in the future, take notice and use their attendance as a talking point for further engagement.
Pro Tip: You can also check email registration lists to see if attendees used their company’s email address to determine where they work.
Measure Your Event Metrics with a Data-Driven Marketing Events Management Solution
SpotMe is an interactivity-rich virtual event platform with a built-in analytics tool to give you all the data your team will need to measure your next event’s success. Tracking user engagement activity with SpotMe is simple.
Our analytics dashboard provides quick access to important high-level analytics for event KPI examples such as event attendance, user engagement, polling responses, session popularity, drop-off rates, and more!
Analyzing these event metrics helps you better understand your user’s behaviors and learn how popular your sponsors, speakers, and content were so that you can continuously improve your content and delivery methods. This data can help you improve your year-over-year event growth and business success.
Ready to take the next step in capitalizing on your event’s success? Be sure to read our guide to Building a Lead Generation System in 2021 – Incorporating Webinars and Other Virtual Events.
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