Opinion: A great event is only half the job - you must measure its success

C&IT spoke to Paul Stoddart, managing director, CWT M&E UK, Ireland and Benelux, about the importance of measuring ROI.

Paul Stoddart
Paul Stoddart

CWT’s 2018 Meetings and Events Future Trends Report, released yesterday, gave five tips to improve your meetings and events in 2018.

  1.  Focus on the ‘why’ Set clear objectives from the start and use them to define your budget. Put a major emphasis on attendee engagement and then measure. 
  2.  Budget – Always start with the value the meeting or event can generate. A clear return on investment (ROI) for all to see is key to continued investment and successful meetings. 
  3.  Attendee experience Make the whole process as simple as possible.  
  4.  Technology Use technology to make conversations easier, and create user-friendly personalized attendee experiences. 
  5. Safety and security – Plan in line with the amount of risk for each situation for both physical and cyber security, and do not inconvenience attendees. 

Point number two mentions a clear ROI; something all events professionals are no doubt acutely aware of when talking costs with clients. But what’s the best way to measure it?

C&IT spoke to Paul Stoddart, managing director, CWT M&E UK, Ireland and Benelux, to ask exactly this question.

"I find it staggering sometimes, the number of quite large-scale events that are produced each year with very little thought to the notion of measuring the ROI or the impact of the event," says Stoddart.

"It’s important to ask why you’re having the event, what’s the purpose of it and how are we going to measure whether it’s worth the effort? There are lots of different ways you can get people together these days without moving them round the world and being in the same room. 

"Nothing beats face-to-face interaction but you have always got to ask clients ‘why we are meeting and what’s the purpose of the event?’ and be absolutely rigorous in making sure that is well understood by everybody. And that should be your guiding light for the whole process of putting on the event."

Setting KPIs to measure the success of the event is as important as all the details like food, decoration or music that made the event itself a success, suggests Stoddart. And when measuring that success, remember that sticking to the budget or coming in under budget may not be the best measure of success if other elements didn’t work so well. 

"The KPIs could be all sorts of things, quantitative measures like social media interactions, pre- and post-event learning measurements, surveying attendees for their attitudes towards a particular brand or product," he says. "But I would urge clients to use a range of techniques and KPIs to get a balanced view of the effectiveness of every event." 

For more breaking news and in-depth features, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
London calling: A look at what's new and forthcoming in the capital

London calling: A look at what's new and forthcoming in the capital

Hotels, venues and activities that should be on your radar for future London-based events.

Double acquisition for Gray Dawes Group

Double acquisition for Gray Dawes Group

Acquisitions include INC. Travel Group's corporate and marine businesses and the purchase of VIP Leisure Travel Ltd.

Love is in the air for one in seven event attendees, report claims

Love is in the air for one in seven event attendees, report claims

Research by Cvent and Edelman Intelligence finds 14% have met a significant other at a B2B event.

The advantages of being a second tier city

The advantages of being a second tier city

There are benefits to not being the capital, says Bas Schot, head of congresses and events at the Hague Convention Bureau.

What to do if a disgruntled event attendee threatens legal action

What to do if a disgruntled event attendee threatens legal action

Keystone Law's James O'Flinn discusses your options and how to prevent this happening in the first place.

Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

New event takes place between 25-26 April at ACC Liverpool, with inspiring sessions from industry leaders.

Why personalisation is the key to measuring an event's success

Why personalisation is the key to measuring an event's success

Mike Leeson, general manager Europe at ETM, explains why ROE may be a better measurement than ROI.

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Sultanate to host the International Gas Union's 16th International Gas Research Conference at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Epic Games issues claim against Exciting Events after widely criticised event in Norwich.

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

A three-day account of the C&IT A-List FAM trip, in partnership with Visit Norway.

LATEST JOBS