There are number of ways to measure the
success and effectiveness of events. Following is an update of some
of the most popular measurement tools.
Out: It’s old school
for organizations to use ROI as the sole measure of profitability,
particularly when it’s based on the traditional equation of fiscal
year income, divided by common stock and preferred stock equity,
plus long-term debt.
In: There is now a
need to define ROI for items or actions that do not have assigned
monetary value. This is called return on objectives (see the next
section). ROI and ROO are yardsticks that work when all
stakeholders have agreed upon what will be taken into account and
how it will be measured.
new security/identification technology will make ROI measurement
more in-depth and accurate, by prequalifying potential customers,
reducing erroneous data and redefining quality and quantity.
Out: Traditional ROO
methods, based on short-term goals set by top management.
measurement of objectives determined by the marketing department
and like areas, including the events department.
increasingly will become the sole responsibility of the event
executor (the planner) and will include both long- and short-term
competitive intelligence -- market research of competitors’
events -- focused on demographics.
In: Targeted, specific
Next: Research will
incorporate new methods of measurements, such as “psychographics”
(lifestyle personality typecasting, often used by the auto and
fashion industries) and trend projections, to get even more
Out: Short-term (one
week or one month) reports, with a final report generated at the
end of the event; reports created on outdated software or
measurement (minimum one year) reports, done on classic relational
databases such as Access and Excel. Why? Quite simply, they work
even for small departments within large corporations. They require
little in terms of learning-curve costs and are famously compatible
with other organizations’ proprietary programs.
Next: A combination of
short- and long-term (multi-year) measurements, with reevaluation
with respect to ROI on an annual basis.
analysis using free online ROI software tools or free online
evaluation forms like Zoomerang.
(minimal, more intensive) data such as highly personal one-on-one
interviews, focus groups and long-term follow-up.
Next: Even deeper
evaluation of the customer experience and cross-functional
evaluation of data. For example, more involvement from sales
departments, so the events and marketing departments can leverage
sales’ customer relationship data.
Out: Emphasis on the
bottom line, with sales shouldering the most responsibility.
research and development, procurement and other departments sharing
in the firm’s fiscal success.
accountability,” where associate marketers/strategic partners and
others outside the organization can be held accountable for the
bottom line, too, when results, roles and responsibilities are
meticulously defined and agreed upon.