How to Measure and Increase Event ROI

Learn the 8 KPIs for measuring your events' effectiveness and 10 ways to increase event ROI by adding a virtual layer.

Both virtual and in-person events offer a powerful way for brands to increase exposure and build meaningful connections with their audiences. 

Running live events is exciting, but it’s also easy to mistake the hustle and bustle with tangible results that will move the needle for your business. So how do you know if you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI) with this experiential marketing strategy?

Let’s look at how you can measure event success, improve your ROI, and boost your bottom line.

benefits of events

The Importance of Measuring Event ROI

First thing first… why should you care about event ROI?

Measuring event ROI can help you justify the investment, get leadership support, and secure your marketing budget. You can also see if your strategy is meeting event goals and delivering the desired outcomes, such as generating qualified leads, building brand awareness, supporting a product launch, or driving sales.

If you aren’t getting a positive event ROI, you have the data and insights to re-evaluate your strategy and improve the results of your future events. 

8 Ways To Measure Your Event ROI

Event ROI represents the ratio of the net positive value you get from an event and the cost of hosting it. However, measuring event ROI can be challenging because many desired outcomes aren’t tangible. These include word-of-mouth marketing, brand awareness, future sales, customer relationships, etc.

We need to look at event ROI beyond ticket sales and consider its potential positive impacts on other marketing campaigns. For example, the improved brand image and customer relationships can help reduce customer acquisition and retention costs.

Therefore, you must define the right key performance indicators (KPIs) when measuring event ROI. While some of these metrics have direct correlations with sales and revenue, others may impact your marketing results indirectly.

Here are 8 KPIs to help you measure ROI of your event:

1. Registration and Attendance Number

Getting people to register for an event is great, but you reap the real benefits when they attend it. By comparing the difference between the number of registrations and attendees, you can identify patterns and close the gap to increase attendance.

2. Social Engagement

Social media follows, mentions, hashtags, and conversations offer important top-of-funnel metrics to show you if an event is promoting your brand’s message and delivering a memorable experience that people want to share with their networks. 

3. Media Coverage

Besides social media, consider how your brand is reported or featured on TV, radio, online publications, and other media outlets. These appearances can help you build brand awareness and reach new audiences.

4. Customer Relationships

Your event experience should help you strengthen customer relationships, increase customer satisfaction, and improve customer loyalty. You can gauge the impact with changes in net promoter score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.

5. New Business Opportunities

Find out if the new leads you generate during an event help you lower cost per lead (CPL), attract more high-quality leads, and convert them into customers with high lifetime value (LTV). If you have a long sales cycle that involves multiple touchpoints, integrate your CRM and use a sophisticated attribution model to measure the impact.

6. Sales and Revenue

This is an essential metric for events that aim to drive sales or raise money. Track both sales volume and the number of customers and see if they’re first-time buyers or repeat customers. Also, compare the final sales number with your projection to inform your future event planning.

7. Post-event Conversion

Not every attendee will pull out their wallet during the event. You should track an event’s impact on sales for at least a few weeks afterward to see if attendees show increased interaction with your brand (e.g., requesting a demo) and if they become customers. 

8. Attendee Feedback

Participants who find your event valuable are more likely to attend future events, tell others about your brand, or purchase from you. Positive feedback is a good indication that you’re successfully catering to the needs of your audience.

How To Improve Your Event ROI 

Event marketing strategies are evolving quickly to adapt to consumer expectations in the age of virtual and hybrid events. Adding a virtual layer to your event can help deliver a consistent omnichannel experience, drive engagement, and extend the event's impact. Here’s how:

1. Add Community and Interactive Elements

Having attendees participate actively in an event is the best way to increase engagement. Besides real-time Q&A, provide a space where participants can network and interact with each other to foster a sense of community.

Add Community and Interactive Elements

2. Charge For the Event

Asking people to pay for the event will lower the registration number but dramatically increase the percentage of those who show up. You can cover some of the cost of hosting the event and avoid booking excessive capacity. 

3. Streamline Production

Reduce production costs with easy-to-use technologies that consolidate various features and integrate with your website for a seamless brand experience. A no-code solution like Sequel helps reduce the time and resources you need to set up a virtual or hybrid event.

4. Create Targeted High-value Content

Virtual events are highly scalable, allowing you to create targeted content to meet the needs of different audience segments, increase engagement, and keep people coming back. Implement an audience segmentation strategy to appeal to the right people with the right content.

5. Incorporate Calls-to-action (CTA)

Whether you want participants to sign up to your list, learn more about a new product, make a purchase, download an app, or take other actions, incorporate a CTA on the screen so the audience can take action immediately.

6. Deliver a Consistent Brand Experience

Your interactions with participants before, during, and after an event can affect attendance, engagement, and conversions. Communicate your brand’s personality at all touchpoints throughout the customer journey, including follow-ups with attendees.

7. Use Simple and Seamless Technology

Virtual events are easy to attend but also easy to leave. Don’t lose attendees to technical issues! Use a platform that consolidates all the features you need so you don’t have to cobble together different software, which increases the risks of technical problems. Also, keep the UI simple and intuitive to avoid frustrations.

8. Ask For Feedback and Testimonials

Input from participants (e.g., via event surveys) can help you make targeted improvements. You can also use the testimonials as social proof to promote future events. People are more likely to sign up and attend if they know others are getting value from the experience.

9. Generate Audience Insights From Analytics

Gather real-time event data to develop deep audience insights. For example, you can identify where most people drop off during an event to improve engagement or test your CTAs to see what works best for your audience. Meanwhile, integration with your CRM and other marketing software can help track conversions post-event.

10. Repurpose Content On Other Channels

Get your event content to keep on giving by repurposing them on various channels. For example, you can create on-demand webinars from session recordings, share snippets on social media, or turn the content into blog posts and white papers.

Repurpose Content On Other Channels

Optimize Your Event ROI With the Right Technology

Using the right event technology can help you streamline event planning, get in front of more people, deliver a seamless brand experience, drive engagement, and continue the conversation after the event.

Sequel is a revolutionary virtual and hybrid event solution that helps you engage a virtual audience and extend the value of your event through various digital channels—e.g., repurposing the content as webinars. It offers features such as reactions, live polls, Q&A, and networking hubs to encourage interactions, build community, and augment the event experience. 

You can embed Sequel to your website without coding skills to streamline production and deliver an on-brand experience while eliminating technical hiccups that often happen when you cobble together different tools. 

Our highly modular and scalable solution can support brands and events of any size—we can handle up to 2 million participants! Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, we’ve got you covered.

Request a demo to see how we can help you improve your next event’s ROI by adding the virtual layer.

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