As an event organizer, you put a lot of work into coordinating incredible events. However, to ensure the best ones possible, you need to take a closer look at the various aspects of every event you plan. The way to do that is by collecting data or “event metrics”.
Data collection during all stages of your event — like marketing before, on the day of, and after the event, for example — is critical. You’ll want to do more than collect it, though: you’ll also need to analyze it. With analysis of event metrics, you can identify various trends, see what your attendees liked most, and determine what needs adjusting. In other words, data analysis lets you know how successful your event really was. Thus, you can figure out what you can do next time to ensure an even better event in the future.
Several factors determine the success of an event and can help you figure out ways to improve future ones. According to EventMB, 63% of professionals believe that staying on budget is essential for measuring success, while 47% believe profit plays a role and 32% say receiving money from their sponsors is most significant. A 2019 survey conducted by Bizzabo also revealed that 37% of respondents named attendee engagement and satisfaction as the two most important KPIs of event success. However, before you begin collecting anything, you’ll need to determine the specific information you want to gather and analyze — or your key performance indicators (KPIs). Trying to obtain too much data can quickly become overwhelming, leaving you achieving nothing.
Instead, you want to be strategic. Every piece of information you monitor should provide you with actionable event insights. Make sure that you consider your overall goals first. Then, you can determine the specific post-event data you should watch. Here, we’ve got some of the various types of data you should gather. We also provide a few strategies for collecting it so that you can make the most of it.
Types of Event Metrics You Should Gather
There are many different types of event metrics you can collect to prepare for the post-event phase of the event lifecycle. The specific ones that you choose will vary based on your event management goals. Here are a few important metrics to consider.
1. Marketing Performance
Collecting information for post-event data analysis starts before your event even begins. You put a ton of effort into marketing. No matter what strategies you use to generate interest and encourage people to attend, you want to make sure they’re working.
Your KPIs will depend on your specific marketing strategy. For instance, if you use email marketing, you may look at open and click-through rates. If you rely on content marketing, you might pay attention to page views and site visitors. For social media marketing, your KPIs might include post engagement and reactions. The information you collect can help you see the effectiveness of your campaigns and allow you to adjust as necessary.
Events.com EveryAd™ allows you to sell more tickets on platforms like Facebook and Instagram while benefiting from significant return on investment (ROI). With EveryAd™, you can easily also track conversions.
2. Registration Rate
Another event metric you’ll want to pay attention to is the registration rate. The revenue you generate from ticket sales can help you assess the success of your event. This data can help you determine the best pricing strategy. It can play a role in determining the effectiveness of your marketing strategy (if you aren’t getting enough registrants) or if you need to look for a larger venue (you have a lot of people wanting to buy tickets).
At the same time, you’ll want to be on the lookout for churn. For instance, you might want to look at the number of people who began the registration process but stopped somewhere along the way. It could be a user experience issue (your event website isn’t working correctly, for instance), or they might not know which steps they need to take. The information can help you figure out what next steps you need to take.
3. Attendee Demographics
Attendee demographics can be a very crucial piece of post-event data. Whether you’re sending personalized invitations or you open your registration to everyone, you’ll want to have some of their basic demographic information. With the Events.com platform, you can request that your event attendees fill out forms with specific questions and enter their basic details such as their name, email address, date of birth, gender, phone number, and address.
You can also ask additional questions pertaining to demographic information such as age and income level and then generate a custom report with these details. This function allows you to identify target audience trends. Much like the previously mentioned KPIs, it can assist with your marketing efforts. Once you know more about the people signing up for and coming to your event, you’ll be able to target others more effectively.
4. Event Registration Page Traffic & Engagement
Your event registration page is one of the most important tools in your arsenal to garner awareness about your event and draw interest in it. Therefore, it’s important to see who and how many people visit this webpage in the months or weeks leading up to the big day (or days). You can then use this information to either develop a long-term event organizing strategy — if you’re new to event management and marketing — or modify this plan if you’ve already organized multiple events in the past.
It can also be highly beneficial to see what your main sources of traffic are. For example, if most visitors to your event registration page are coming from Instagram, allocate the majority of your marketing resources to posting about your event and running ads on this platform. To track how many unique visitors your event page is receiving, consider using tools like Google Analytics.
5. Attendance Figures
Whether you’re hosting a single-day event or one that spans a few days, you’ll want to collect and analyze your attendance figures. How many people checked in versus the number of people who registered? Did more people show up on a specific day of your event? You’ll also want to track the attendance rates of individual sessions and possibly how long your attendees spend at a specific location. This information can provide insights into attendee engagement, their preferences, and what might not be working for them. It can also provide insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Attendance figures can also let you know if you might need to change certain things about your future events. This is especially true if your rates are lower than they have been in the past. If you notice a decline in repeat attendee, sponsor, or exhibitor rates, it could indicate there’s an issue you need to fix.
6. Merch Sales
Many event organizers don’t just sell tickets. They also sell merchandise. You might have t-shirts, pins, drawstring bags, window decals, or one of many other types of branded merchandise. Merch provides a memento of the event, and it can be a conversation starter. It can also help to market your brand and your future events.
When it comes to merchandise, it’s not only about the revenue you bring in. The information you collect from sales will let you know what people want as well as what they might not want. You can use that data to improve the types of merchandise you offer in the future, allowing you to bring in more revenue. Events.com allows you to sell merchandise to your attendees in the registration process and additionally provides dashboards that allow you to view your merchandise sales in real-time. You can see your total number of purchases, net revenue, tax net revenue, and more. In addition, the Events.com EverySale™ platform allows you to sell event merchandise on-site and allows you to track those sales and stats in real-time.
7. Attendee Satisfaction
The end of your event isn’t actually the end. There’s still more data to collect. Your attendees have experienced everything your event had to offer. Now, it’s time to find out what they thought. The satisfaction of your attendees is essential for figuring out what did and didn’t work. You can send out surveys and use the resulting feedback to improve your next event so that you can provide the best experiences possible. You can also send emails to thank people for attending the event and provide a preview of next year’s event (or any other upcoming events your business helps put on).
Tips and Strategies for Collecting and Analyzing Post-Event Data
Now that you know what types of data you should collect, it’s time to start collecting and analyzing. The question then becomes how? Here are a few tips and strategies that can help you gather and assess the KPIs you set.
- Registration systems. A registration system can help you collect a lot of vital attendee information, including names, email addresses, and locations. The data can provide incredibly valuable insights into how you plan and manage your events.
- Analytics tracking. Analytics tracking can help you track and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. The information can help you make more informed decisions more quickly.
- Check-in systems. A check-in system allows you to collect a wide range of attendee details. In addition to their name and email address, you can also see their answers to form questions and their purchases.
- Post-event surveys. Send the survey shortly after the close of your event for the best results — your event will be fresh in the minds of attendees. You can ask questions that use a scale to rank their satisfaction as well as open-ended questions to get more in-depth insight.
Get the Most Out of Your Post-Event Data
When it comes to event planning, one of the most important things to many organizers is the success of an event. To optimize future events, you’ll also need to take a close look at what worked in your past events and what didn’t work so well. That’s where post-event data collection and analysis come in.
By gathering essential pieces of information throughout all stages of your event, you can gain valuable event insights that can help you measure how well it went. The information you collect can also help you find ways to improve your upcoming happenings, making them even better, more enjoyable, and more successful. That benefits you, your team, any vendors or exhibitors you might have, your sponsors, and — most importantly — your attendees.
Are you looking for ways to gather and use post-event data to improve your future events? Events.com has analytics dashboards that can help you track conversions, view real-time purchases, and gain other essential insights. You can generate custom reports to get the information you need to make better decisions in less time. Events.com’s custom reports feature allows you to be as specific as you want and download all of the data you request from your attendees. To get started, visit Events.com today and request a free demo.