Measuring the impact of your events can be tough. Simply selling a lot of tickets or going home with a sense that guests have had a positive experience aren’t reliable ways to tell if an event was a success: there’s a whole range of ways that different attendees can experience the same event.
Fortunately, modern event organisers have access to a whole arsenal of digital event tools they can use to measure metrics and build a better understanding of how their event performed – and how to improve the next time round.
Here, Tim Green, digital marketing and cyber security expert, shares five examples of digital tools to help you measure the impact of your next event.
Web Analytics Suites
As a large part of your pre-event engagement is going to happen online, web analytics suites are an indispensable digital tool for measuring the impact of an event. With a robust online analytics tool, you can get a more detailed view of the activity happening on your website, and give yourself a good starting point to measure impact before, during, and after your event.
Some common functions for popular web analytics suites include, but aren’t limited to:
- Tracking paid and organic traffic to your website.
- Tracking on-site conversions and their sources.
- Creating customised reports based on what you want to measure most.
- Understanding details about your target audience like their age, geographic location, and other demographics.
Many event organisers can achieve an infinitely more detailed understanding of their event with a generalised analytics suite like Google Analytics. However, there are other tools specifically geared towards the events niche, such as 10times, which you may find more accessible if you’re less familiar with marketing dashboards.
Before you launch into incorporating any event management technologies for analysing online engagement, it’s essential to go in with a clear understanding of what your event is setting out to achieve in order to inform your most important KPIs.
Digital analytics tools have a huge array of features and possibilities, and the various data sets you have access to, they can quickly become overwhelming if you’re not able to filter down the data to look at what matters.
Digital Survey Platforms
One of the most accessible and reliable ways to gauge the success of your event remains directly asking attendees and partners to fill post-event surveys.
With popular tools like SurveyMonkey, creating and distributing post-event surveys in a digital medium is easy for any organiser, and often come with great analytics features you can use to spot trends and themes, which you can use to inform the way you plan future events.
Obviously, your attendees are busy, and it can be hard to ensure engagement with any survey you send out following an event. You can improve the response rate and quality of data you receive by keeping the questions and format as simple as possible, allowing attendees to fill it out quickly and easily.
Here are some simple “yes/no” questions you might want to use:
- Did the event meet your expectations?
- Did the panel successfully answer questions you had on [product/topic]?
- Are you likely to attend the next event by [organisation]?
- Did you find your check-in experience convenient and easy?
Keeping things simple in your post-event surveys will not only improve response rate, but make the collated responses easier to understand as datasets, and measurable goals for future events.
Hire Space top tip: To measure the impact of your event, you’ll need to really consider what data you need to gather. Check out our full guide to measuring the impact of your event for more guidance.
Social Listening Platforms
Social media is an essential tool for event organisers in this day and age, and social listening is a crucial part of it. It involves monitoring your brand’s social media channels for mentions of your event to glean the sentiment of online discussions that feature it.
Attendees are often more inclined to share their opinions of an event with the people in their online communities, rather than a brand explicitly asking for feedback. This makes social listening a great way to tap into feedback you may not have access to otherwise.
Aside from this, there are any number of things an attendee might want to provide feedback on, from the content of speakers’ slots to inclusivity, advertising, and more. Compared to the more restrictive format of a post-event survey, social listening can highlight points for improvement that you may have never thought of otherwise.
If, for example, attendees loved a particular speaker’s slot at your event and would like to see them at future events, or thought there was excessive sponsorship at your event, you’d need fairly specific questions or sections in a survey to gauge this kind of feedback. With effective social listening, however, you’ll find it much easier to pick up on these sentiments, and collate them into actionable steps to make future events more appealing to your audience.
Though glancing through your brand’s feeds and checking all the mentions of your event can feel a little chaotic, there are many purpose-built social listening platforms such as Brandwatch which allow you to better-organise social media content by keyword, hashtag, industry, and other categories.
With effective social listening, you’ll soon be better-equipped to measure the impact of your event, and how effective your own social media activities are both pre and post.
Having an event app is quickly becoming a given for a positive attendee experience, allowing people at your event to keep track of updates, create a personalised schedule for their time at the event, and network with other attendees.
Aside from improving the attendee experience and driving engagement, these kind of event tools can be fantastic for harvesting key datasets and understanding the impact of your event, both during and after the fact.
Registration and check-in data, the rate of engagement with push notifications, return attendee analysis, and the simple analysis of ticket sales and conversions, are all important success metrics which can be recorded by using an event app.
Event apps are also a great platform with which to deliver surveys and other ways of directly asking for attendees’ feedback. One method of doing this is using attendee scheduling data to see which content your attendees are engaging with, and prompting them with live polls shortly after a talk or other event has concluded. Because this occurs directly after a certain part of your event has concluded, attendees’ opinions will be fresh in their minds and hopefully more true to how the content made them feel.
With countless possibilities for building a more positive, personalised experience for your attendees, and gaining a more intimate understanding of the way your target audience interacted with your event, rolling out an event app is a no-brainer for any organiser who wants to gauge their impact.
Emerging AI solutions
AI is fast becoming a valuable tool for event professionals to add to their arsenal, and the applications for measuring and comparing data are game-changing. From AI-driven audience segmentation, to planning targeted marketing campaigns, and reporting back on the success of split tests, there’s a huge amount that AI tools can do to help make your life easier!
Tools like Sprinklr and Devi.ai can assist in social listening, while ChatGPT is useful for analysing audience types and creating targeted messaging for different personas. Google also runs courses to learn to use generative AI, and get to grips with applying AI to understanding and using data.
Check out our guide to using AI in events for more tips and insights into where this technology is taking us.
Measure for Success
Understanding the impact of an event can seem challenging with so many different variables and a diverse spread of wants and needs among your attendees. However, by equipping yourself with the right tools, learning how to use them, and going in with a clear understanding of the metrics you should be measuring, you’ll be able to paint a much clearer picture of how well your event achieved its overall goal.
Check out Hire Space’s guide to measuring the impact of your event for more detailed tips on getting the most out of your data.
We hope this guide has been helpful as you plan your next event, and informed a clearer roadmap towards planning more successful events for the future.
If we can help you to get to grips with planning or scaling your event programme going forward, just get in touch below!
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