Events are a great way to help you drive leads for sales. Also, they’re a powerful networking tool that allows you to connect with their clients and audience face to face. Regardless of the type of event, you need to be prepared to calculate the ROI. There are aspects that need to be considered before, during, and after the event. Below, we will go through some tips to help you calculate the ROI after an event. 

Before your event –

Define goals

Defining your goals for the event needs to be one of the first things you tackle. Your goals should be measurable, achievable and relevant. Instead of having a goal of “increasing brand awareness”, you should have more specific goals. It can be to generate 25 leads through sign-up forms. Or, you may want to increase website traffic by 7%. Lastly, you may want to give 15 new product demos to existing clients during the event. The more details you include in your goals, the more accurate your results will be. While your goals may vary depending on the type of event, that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals. 

Measure everything before the event

Whatever your goals are, you need to make sure that you have a baseline. Then, you can measure your results against them after the event. You may already be tracking some analytics. However, you need to pull the most recent numbers prior to the event. 

During the event –

In-event surveys 

Are you wanting to know what your audience thought about the speakers you booked for your event? Did they enjoy the topic or wish something else was covered? Ask them while the content is still fresh in their mind. By sending out surveys during the event, you can gauge interest from your attendees. Also, you’re able to collect additional information that can be used when planning your next event. Along with these surveys, you can track the open rate, bounce rate, etc. Those who spend the time to give you feedback from the event may be qualified leads waiting to be added to your sales pipeline. What better way to reach out than with a follow up to thank them for their time?

Also, don’t forget to ask your exhibitors for their thoughts and feedback on the event. They are in the middle of everything by giving their presentation. They will most likely be able to offer you insight as to how they thought the event worked, what could have been done better, etc. 

After the event-

Add up all costs

From travel reimbursements to promotional materials you used during the event, make sure you take the time to add up all costs associated with the event. While certain products can be re-used for multiple events, don’t stress when trying to measure your events success. Those costs can be left out, and won’t make a big difference when calculating your ROI after an event. If you decide to count items like those out, you just need to make sure you’re consistent and not count them in your next events costs. 

Measure after the event

Like we talked about earlier, you need to make sure that you compare your numbers prior to the event to the numbers you have after the event. Keep in mind that some aspects may need to be measured directly after the event or a few days after, and it’s really up to you to decide.

If you had a goal to increase your web traffic, it might be best to check a few days after the event. It’s unlikely that attendees were scrolling through your website as a speaker was presenting at your event. They may have enjoyed your event and wanted to find out more about your company after. Similar to this, other goals such as giving 15 new product demos to existing clients at your event can be measured immediately after since your goal was for it to be completed during the event and not after. Regardless of your goals, you can make the call on when it’s best to measure results after your event.