Let’s talk KPIs, also known as key performance indicators, these measurements are corporate lingos that measure efficiency in projects or key strategies. Data trends have dominated headlines for awhile, but more importantly it has played an indisputable role in enhancing our daily tasks and the businesses that provide them. In 2018 alone, data sets were worth more than a barrel of oil as businesses and organisations fought to understand data points that drive the behaviours of their consumers and essentially, their sales figures. In the curious case of measuring KPIs to determine the success of an event, we have to first outline the objectives of the event. Was the event hoping to reach a broader audience and bring in new leads? Or was the event simply a product launch and if so, what are the data points and KPIs that matter?
In this new-normal, many businesses are adapting to hybrid strategies to carry out events so be it a physical or virtual one, there are a set number of indicators to keep in mind.
Event registration count
Pre-event prep is where most of the grunt work takes place. At this stage, event registration numbers are crucial to the event’s success as the purpose of an event is to bring like-minded individuals together to maximize conversion or engagement rates, low registration count would not bode well. Logistically speaking, event registration count gives a good estimate of the event capacity and is necessary to make sure that all traditional overheads or otherwise are accounted for and sufficient for the event flow to run smoothly. For registration count to hit the desired KPI, ensure that the process is intuitive and fuss-free for the audience, and to get the word out, disseminate marketing collaterals as early as possible with specific instructions to marketers on how you would like them to spread the word and pitch the brand.
Social media mentions
Some of the best social media practices that are here to stay include an all-rounded social media presence for the event, creating a social media marketing campaign that includes collaterals like event hashtag, logos and illustrations are relevant to building a presence and following. The KPI to keep in mind here is none other than the rate of engagement on the event page, using tools such as sprout social or Hootsuite, marketers can measure the number of times an event hashtag was used, photos were reposted/ shared and the number of comments / likes. Most social media platforms do offer in-app analytics and this could help you understand the kind of content your audience is pivoting towards and create future content as such. Other useful analytics include the number of viewers tuning onto a livestream, this figure is indicative of the number of active accounts that are reviewing the event page on a regular basis. It is an indicator of whether the campaign is going in the right direction as it reveals insights on the main viewership such as age, nationality, interests and gender.
Speaker engagement rate
Speaker engagement rate is a KPI that informs the organising committee how engaged the audience is and whether they are keeping up with the information presented at hand. For both physical and virtual events, the most convenient method to measure engagement rate is through live polls. These polls can be conducted immediately after a guest speaker presents or intermittently throughout the event to find out whether the attendees are genuinely interested in the content or the programme line-up is simply not their cup of tea. Some of the commonly used platforms for live polls include Mentimeter, Slido and Kahoot, not only can you check in with your audience members, it creates inclusivity, generates conversations and ideation. A culture of communication among businesses and consumers is a great way to foster relationships, so feel free to have Q&A sessions where people pay more attention and stay present.
Session analytics is the KPI that provides a comprehensive overview of all the event collaterals. It keeps track of the registration count, event website and engagement during the event itself. It breaks down the different findings and highlights areas with sufficient and insufficient hits. For example, average view duration, pages views, ratings and a vested interest in specific topics can all be recorded. Softwares like Piwik, Supermetrics and Chartbeat use qualitative analysis methods to increase web audience engagement and are widely used by digital marketers. Session analytics are what determines the success of the event as it can accurately inform you whether key performance indicators have been achieved and predict a precise conversion rate.
Net promoter score (NPS)
A Net-Promoter-Score is one of those smiley face polls that you take on the way out of a website where it requires you to indicate ‘how likely are you to recommend this business to a family/friend’ out of a scale of 10 be it via word of mouth or social media. Dissecting the derived NPS can be a little tricky however it is industry standard to use the NPS to benchmark how your business might be doing versus your competitors. There are three components to the standard NPS, the first would be a numerical indication of 1-10, where 1 would be the least favourable and 10 would be the most favourable. The second component is usually an open text question, asking the customer for the primary reason behind their chosen score. Lastly, the third component which is an open text question requires input from the consumer on what the business could have done better. The entire survey itself forms a summary on how the event could be improved and whether it has created brand loyalty and association.
Website conversion rate
The website conversion rate is an indicator of leads being generated into sales, so the higher the page traffic, the higher the sales volume. This is a review of whether the event has brought traffic to the business site and the number of attendees who are keen to associate with the brand. Post-event, using session analytics to peek at the predicted website conversion rate and contrast it with figures obtained from the event, gives insight on whether the expected figures were achieved and if not, why so? The ideal conversion rate would be approximately 10%. Before the event begins, there are three things to take note of to improve the conversion rate. The first is to dedicate time out of the team’s schedule to focus on conversion rate optimization, the second is to experiment with different calls-to-action and lastly, conducting big conversion rate optimization tests such as updating the landing page or reformatting the user experience of the overall site.
The purpose of conducting a post-event survey is to determine whether the team’s strategies have achieved all its objectives and if so, what more could be done to ensure continued success. One of the most commonly used methods to collect such data is to employ a qualitative survey method, the reason for doing so is to mete out any ambiguities in the collection process and to make it simpler for those collecting and interpreting the data. Early on in the survey, crucial questions should be prioritised. These questions include whether the attendees found the content value added and whether they have the intent to return the next year. The survey should then be categorised into two different components with the first one seeking general feedback and the second enquiring for content and speaker feedback.
New VS Returning attendees
This KPI is significant in determining whether the business/brand’s awareness is increasing and whether there is a healthy flow of recurring attendees and new ones. New attendees are important as they signify that the brand is trusted by its original audience and are good enough to be recommended to their inner circles, this process is then repeated by new attendees and that is how the customer base increases over time. Client retention is important because it accounts for a percentage of monthly revenue and is an indicator of the brand’s progress. However, if client retention is an issue, it could be a signal that the brand is straying too far from its original mission and utility. The conflict could arise from a disagreement in key strategies and directions taken to expand the business so keep in mind of the numbers and buffer a safe margin for attrition and new sign-ups.