KDM surveyed event owners and organisers from 49 companies in December 2014 to find how they measured ‘event success’.
The group’s research showed that 88% of the companies measured success by ‘everyone enjoying themselves’, while 64% measured it by things going well logistically. In addition, 69% thought events were successful if budgetary targets were met.
Business objectives were far lower down the scale, with 14% of event planners claiming that they did not set any objectives at all. Communicating business strategies was cited by just over 59% of respondents, while only 19% measured success by ‘collecting new business initiatives’, and 26% by ‘helping to achieve sales targets’.
The survey also showed that while delegate feedback is the most popular method of event evaluation, very few organisers issue surveys to delegates before conferences, leaving little chance to see if the conferences change their views.
Despite this, organisers said they wanted to be able to demonstrate the business case for events, with 75% stating that being able to easily quantify event success would be an advantage.
KDM Events commercial director Nicky Whyman said: "Our findings gave the distinct impression that the achievement of wider business goals was outside the remit of many event organisers, who are often quite disconnected from the board strategy that determines business objectives.
"If maximum return on objectives is to be achieved, boards need to better communicate their business priorities to the event organisers so that they can agree together how these will translate into event objectives. Once objectives are clear at the early planning stage it will be easy to take baseline measurements of business metrics for post-event comparison."