Ways to Measure Event Success

Your event went off without a hitch, but was it successful?

Meeting and event planners are constantly looking for ways to make their next event more successful than the last. But after the event has wrapped, how do planners know whether they succeeded?

Before a meeting or an event commences, planners must establish goals — attendee satisfaction, sky-high registration numbers or unprecedented sales of a new product, for example. Knowing the meeting’s goals will help determine success.

5 ways to measure event success

  • Attendee satisfaction. If your goal is to host a fun meeting and create a positive experience for attendees, success lies in how much they enjoy the event. Gather attendee feedback by speaking with guests, emailing them a survey and monitoring social media chatter surrounding your event.
  • Monetary outcomes. For a Promote meeting, where a company, product or experience is being touted, sales from the event would be a realistic way to measure success. If the event is for charity, success would be based on how much money was raised.
  • Registration numbers. If your measure of success is based on the number of attendees, consider tracking progress year-over-year (if it’s a recurring event) to set realistic goals for future events.
  • Media and press hits. If publicity is a goal, look at press coverage of your event or conference. Pay attention to all media — including print, TV, radio and digital outlets.
  • Social media mentions. If your event aims to drive awareness, sales or general interest, measuring the reach across social media platforms will be important. Attendees, media outlets and industry stakeholders will probably all contribute to the social media buzz surrounding your event, but it’s important to consider not only the volume but also the sentiment of the messages.

For example, if someone tweets that they had a great time at your event, you could direct message them on Twitter and ask for specifics about what made their experience enjoyable. Likewise, for negative tweets, you can respond to the user and ask them to expand on their thoughts. This is a great way to gather feedback as well as apologize for any misunderstandings or inconveniences they experienced.