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October 16, 2019 / By admin
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How Do Brands Measure a Successful Event?

Whether it be a business conference, trade show, live concert or a product launch, planning and executing an event can be very tricky. As an event producer, you may be under the impression that you have pulled off a terrific event based on the number of tickets you managed to sell, but you cannot accurately measure and prove the success of your event until you know what resonated – and what tanked – with your event attendees. With that in mind, let’s look at five key metrics that you can use to determine whether your latest event was a hit or a dud.

1. Attendance

What if you invested a significant amount of your time, effort and money in planning your event and on the day, no one came? Well, event planners everywhere want to win over the best possible event attendance for their investment as even the most elaborate event can (and will) fall flat to meet its ultimate objectives if event attendance is not up to the mark. So, naturally, there cannot be a quicker and more convenient way to gauge the success of your event (or otherwise) than by comparing the number of people to whom you promoted the event or people who registered with the number of people who actually turned up.

Be that as it may, it is not just the quantity of your attendees that you should zero in on; the quality and status of your attendees can be just as valuable. Did certain professional categories registered turn up at your event more than the others? How many of your tickets were comped? Even if the turnout was what you hoped for, make sure that you know what parts of the event were the biggest traffic drivers – was it when dinner was served? Or when the event entertainment was at its high point? Latching onto this information can help you determine how to map out your future events.

2. Post-event surveys

The success of any event largely depends on the experience of the attendees. If you want to know how your attendees felt about the event, why not just ask them to fill out a survey before they leave? Sure, there are online surveys too, but those who respond to online surveys usually go into far less detail and are likely to focus on one or two issues, rather than an overall reflection of the event as a whole. The return rate is far higher when surveys are available, distributed and collected at the end of the event, before attendees depart than when they are sent online.

A short post-event survey can help you get general feedback from your attendees and identify specific elements that could be improved on in the future. We suggest easy, close-ended questions about the quality of the content, the venue, catering, and relevance to their specific needs that can be answered with a “yes or no” or “unlikely or likely.” You can ask questions like:

  • Would you be interested in attending our next event?
  • How was the quality of the content compared to last year’s?
  • What was your favorite part of the conference? The content, the networking, the venue, or maybe the keynote speaker?

3. Social media engagement

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great tools to promote your event and get your attendees all hyped up – and they can also be used to indicate how deeply your event resonated with attendees. So, make sure you have enough social media content to keep the conversation going. If the social media conversation around your event is active and mostly positive – days, weeks and months after your event, it is a clear sign that your event has been a hit. Facebook makes it easy to get immediate access to engagement metrics – such as likes, mentions, comments and shares. Engagement on Twitter and Instagram, on the other hand, can be monitored by your event hashtags.

4. Revenue

The revenue is arguably the most important metric for event success. Whatever your main objective, do not forget to compare what you made with what you paid. Without a doubt, the more you get out of your event the better. Properly tally up all of the revenue you have earned – every sponsorship dollar, every ticket sold. You may want to keep track of your sales for a while soon after your event is over. If there is a significant hike in the sales figures (especially from first-time buyers that attended your event or past customers that returned after an absence) or in the number of sign-ups for a trial service or your newsletters, it is an indication that your event has been a success.

5. SPONSOR RENEWALS

It is important to know your sponsors are excited for your event. They are the ones that made the event possible! Were they happy with the results? Was it a good investment or a good use of their time? Did they get everything you promised they would? It cost a ton of money for them to be there. Don’t take it for granted. Good sponsors should be treated like GOLD! If you do a nice job this year, it makes the ask for next year so much easier.  If the sponsor declines an option to sponsor the following year, be sure to find out why.

Wrapping up

When the question is “how to measure the success of an event?” there is no one answer. Yes, the number of tickets sold is a good measuring stick, but it is certainly not the only one. As an event planner, you should be aware of all the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you need to track to measure your event success so that you can plan and execute your next event to be more in line with your goals and objectives.

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An excellent Audio Visual setup and a capable AV team you can trust to deliver are essential to your event success. This means that if you want to keep your event attendees delighted and attentive, your event’s Audio Visual and the folks behind it need to be right. Unfortunately, though, your Audio Visual needs can also eat up a lot of your budget, and unless you have a bottomless budget, your AV bill has to be trimmed down to stay in the black.

But how do you do that?

Well, if you are trying to save big bucks on your Audio-visual expenditure, without compromising on quality, you may want to bring your own AV team to your event and make them a part of the event planning process right from the day one.

Hotel’s in-house AV vs. your own team

The hotel’s unreasonably persuasive sales manager may try to sway or mislead you by designing contracts that will attempt to keep you from bringing in your own Audio Visual squad. See, most major hotels have in-house Audio Visual service providers, outside companies who keep equipment at the hotel for use during events. These AV companies need to pay a rather hefty commission of your invoice to the hotel, which can range anywhere from 30% to 50%. To make up for their commission, you should expect to pay a premium. Using the hotel’s in-house AV services may be quick, easy and convenient, but that convenience can quickly drain your funds.

Let us also not forget unforeseen charges or service fees. In-house Audio Visual service providers often charge for unnecessary things (such as extra technician time) without letting the client know. These unannounced fees can throw a spanner in the works of your overall budget for the event. Needless to say, when you work with your own AV team, you will not be surprised by any unnecessary costs once the event wraps up.

Your team knows what you need

Working with your own team has other advantages as well. To begin with, you already have a history of working side by side at several events. Therefore, your own audio Visual team knows what you expect from them, what to look for and how to identify any architectural issues that you will need to account for in advance. They can efficiently handle everything from general sessions and AV to execution and stagehand labor.

They can help you get the right equipment

Sure, in-house Audio Visual service providers at a hotel may have a stock of equipment on-site, but how can you possibly ensure that they have the specific equipment you need and even if they have what you need, it is not in use at another one of the hotel’s events? Well, you cannot! This is yet another risk you have to be willing to take if you are considering paying for your hotel’s in-house Audio Visual team. When you work with your own team, on the other hand, you can avoid the situation where you do not have the right equipment needed for your event’s success.

Your team will be well-acquainted with what breakout equipment is needed at your event and will make sure you have them. They will determine exactly how many projection displays and AV inputs you will be in need of. They will also make sure the microphones, sound quality, cameras, stage and power supplies are compatible so your event unfolds as planned. You can count on your own AV team to be prepared and pack extra cords, adapters and HDMI/VGA splitters, so Audio Visual data can be communicated as intended no matter what unforeseen situation presents itself. Whether you have speakers showing up with a presentation you were not expecting or a musician brings an incompatible piece of equipment, a good AV crew will have you covered.

In addition, many in-house Audio Visual systems are outdated, with questionable reliability. Why? Because many in-house providers have very low (if any) quality control processes in place. However, your own AV team would have surely invested in the most advanced technology in order to bring in the most appropriate equipment to pull off the job with the highest standards.

Your team will be dedicated to your event

In-house Audio Visual service providers at hotels are often responsible for managing multiple events going on in the same venue. That being the case, it is quite possible that some of the AV technicians you need could be tied up on the other side of the venue while you are having a crisis and no tech is at your disposal. This is where having your own AV team can be worthwhile. If you have your own AV crew, any problems that might make an appearance, your own techs are there to troubleshoot.

Smooth operations

Lastly, your AV team keeps everyone on the same page and ultimately accountable. They may compile a cue sheet that summarizes the details of each segment, the equipment required, the person accountable, and every change in lights, sound or video. Having these steps planned ahead of time will undoubtedly make things go seamlessly for you and your audience.

Conclusion

Audio Visual plays an integral part in the success of your event; therefore, you HAVE to get it right. When you bring in your own AV team to your event instead of working with the hotel's in-house crew, you can be assured that you are saving a small fortune on AV and achieving the best value for your event, without making concessions on quality.

We, here at TOAST, are dedicated to the success of your event. For nearly two decades, we have produced flawlessly executed live experiences through innovative design, engaging event production, and smart technology installation. We would love to talk with you more about bringing in your own AV team to your event, and how we can make your event everything you dreamed it would be and more.

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