How do meetings and events create value? In his online presentation on the subject, Dr Elling Hamso, of the Event ROI Institute, proposes that events only create value for guests when they have to DO something. In other words, stakeholder value is created when there is a change in participant behaviour thanks to them having attended your corporate event.
For your guests’ behaviour to change, you need to ensure that you’ve put (just enough) money where your mouth is
Event guests merely feeling or thinking something different does not mean that there has been behaviour change, or that stakeholder value has been created. Instead, guests have to “physically do something”, says Dr Hamso, either after the meeting or during it, for an event to have created value.
What’s more, for an event to be successful, stakeholders’ behaviour needs to be changed “at the lowest possible cost”, so that money isn’t wasted. According to Dr Hamso, money can either be lost if more is spent than is necessary, or if too little money is invested in an event for it to resonate and bring about the desired change in behaviour. The bottom line is that an event that has no proven ROI is a money- and time-wasting activity.
The Event ROI Institute has developed a few steps for ensuring an event sees a ROI
In his presentation, Dr Hamso provides a step-by-step approach for ensuring event ROI. This involves setting key objectives to know what needs to be done and which targets need to be reached to bring about behaviour change through your event experiences. When planning an event, you will need to set objectives for:
- The event’s bottom line impact
- The guest behaviour that will generate this impact
- The learning experience that will change participant behaviour
- The ideal learning environment to host this learning experience
Lastly, you will also need to identify the ideal target audience to invite to this learning experience, whose behaviour you want to change.
Measuring the success of an event starts with an honest assessment of your target audience and ends with measuring event ROI
Dr Hamso shares that for measuring event ROI you need to flip the above points on their head and start with an assessment of your target audience. Did the right people attend your event? If not, you may just have wasted a great deal of your company’s time and money.
Measuring the learning environment
The following questions can be used as a guideline for measuring the effectiveness of the learning environment you have created:
1. Was the learning environment hospitable enough?
2. Did the food and venue selection resonate with your guests?
3. Were guests satisfied with the content delivered?
4. Were their expectations met – did they learn and experience what they came to learn and experience?
Measuring the learning experience
According to the good Doctor, “behaviour will change only as a result of cognitive change”. After measuring the learning environment, event planners need to assess the learning experience that their event has offered their guests. Has the information about your company’s values, products, knowledge and skills been useful and valuable enough for it to be remembered and applied? Or did you just waste a whole lot of your attendees’ time with an inapplicable or boring information download?
Your event’s impact is measured by what event guests then go on to do with their newfound knowledge. Ideally, you would want them to go out and buy your product, enlist your services and encourage others to do the same.
“ROI is the profit as a percentage of the cost”, says Dr Hamso. Measuring event ROI (or profit) entails adding up all the impacts from your event and then subtracting the cost of your event. For this, you will need to know how to isolate the impact of your event from other in-house advertising or marketing activities that might be driving product sales or demand for your services.
Event professionals need to know how to monetise the outcomes of their events. In his presentation, Dr Hamso provides the example of better management being a positive behaviour change in participants from a management course they attended. Event organisers need to know how to assign ‘better management’ with monetary value to prove their event’s ROI.
Event management software can help event organisers measure impact and changes in client’s behaviour
Intelligent event management software allows for more streamlined event relationship management (ERM™) as it enables event managers to automate the gathering, storing and analysing of guest’s data to provide event managers with key insights into their ideal target market’s behaviour. These insights help event professionals create learning environments and learning experiences that resonate deeply with their guests and affect change in their behaviour.
The RSVP Agency’s event management software, for example, allows for real-time updates of guests’ responses to automated electronic invitations (sent by the same software system), so that event organisers can correctly gauge the effectiveness of their email marketing and change their strategy accordingly.
Our software solution also allows event professionals to set up online surveys, before, during, or after the event, to gather insights into guest preferences, or valuable feedback about their learning experiences. Here, event participants can be asked directly about any changes in their behaviour after an event to assist event managers with measuring event ROI.
For more information about The RSVP Agency’s event management software solution, click the link.