April 4, 2019

The right key performance indicators help you show an event’s contribution toward strategic business goals.

Showing the value of an event is one of the top challenges corporate event managers face. Here are five KPIs that tie common event metrics to business outcomes. Pick the measurements that make sense in the context of your organization, add details that customize them to your company strategies, and start tracking. You’ll be prepared to speak to the value of an event throughout its life cycle.

Targeted Attendee KPIs

Turn your final attendee count into insightful KPIs by tracking the business segments attendees fit into. Knowing the percentage of attendees who are targeted decision makers equips you to show an event’s strength (or weakness) in engaging the right audience.

Targeted attendee KPIs

For example, if your company needs to build better engagement with LOB managers, but an event is selling out with end users, you can quickly identify the disconnect and make adjustments. Common business segments such as vertical market, title, geography, and more are easily captured and tracked through registration.

Sales Lead KPIs

New sales leads captured is a common metric for showing event ROI. Crafting KPIs that look beyond raw lead counts, however, will give more interesting and actionable understanding of event performance.

Some more insightful ways to consider lead counts include:

  • As a percentage of total new leads company brings in
  • As a ratio of total attendees to leads
  • As a cost per lead
  • As a comparison to the cost per lead of other events

Tracking year-over-year changes in these KPIs lets you monitor and quickly adjust when events grow more or less effective at increasing sales opportunities.

Sales Leads

Conversion KPIs

Sales teams have well-defined stages they move prospects through in the sales funnel. They know how long it takes to move a prospect through each stage and what your company’s conversion rate is for new leads. When current customers and prospects attend an event, evaluate how efficiently their attendance accelerates the sales cycle of turning prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.

event KPIs - conversion tracking

One valuable event KPI  built on conversion tracking might compare the conversion rate of prospects who did not attend an event to the conversion rate of those who did. Another might compare the length of time an event attendee spends in the sales funnel to the average time it takes your company to close a deal.

Brand Engagement KPIs

Increased brand engagement is at the heart of every event and engagement metrics abound. These metrics become interesting KPIs when the engagement they measure directly moves the needle on a specific business outcome.

To identify the brand engagement data sets that carry the most strategic value for your company, ask these questions:

  1. “What” is the business outcome to influence?
  2. “Who” needs to engage in “which action” at an event to influence that outcome?

Some examples include:

  • Impact of watching a demo at an event on product trial sign-ups or downloads
  • Pass rates on a product certification test after attending an event education session
  • Increase in inbound product or service inquiries after a product launch event
  • Referrals after attending an event
Event KPIs brand engagement

Content Quality KPIs

Successful events offer interesting, useful, and timely content not readily available in other formats. Attendee response to event content directly impacts their willingness to buy and recommend your products in the future.

setting event KPIs

Live polling offers a great way to collect insightful data on the perceived quality of event content. Capture ratings on sessions while attendees are still in the room. Use above (and below) average ratings to inform content planning for your next event. Include questions that allow you to attribute increased purchase interest, product trial, or other subsequent action to session content.

Other KPIs

There are as many KPIs as there are business objectives. When you choose KPIs for an event, remember not everything is “key.” Choose indicators that offer the most insight into how your event delivers on strategic business goals.

Share your tips on setting event KPIs in the comments below.

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