Measuring the success of your events is critical to identifying problems and improving the quality of your future events. Unfortunately, this is something that many professional event planners and organizers overlook, assuming that it can’t be done or that it requires too much work. There are several ways to measure the success of an event, however, many of which are surprisingly easy.

Attendance Rate

Among the easiest ways to measure the success of an event is by looking at its attendance rate. If the venue was able to accommodate 300 guests yet only 100 guests showed up, it could be indicative of some underlying problem, such as lack of entertainment, poor marketing/advertising, overpriced tickets, etc. On the other hand, if you sold out every seat at your event, it was nothing short of a success.

Guest Feedback

You can also measure the success of an event through guest feedback. Many organizations use the Net Promoter Score metric for this purpose. Upon giving feedback on their level of satisfaction, guests are placed into one of three groups: detractors (0-6), passives (7-8) and promoters (9-10). Assuming you want to use the Net Promoter Score, you’ll need to follow up with guests after the event is over, asking them to answer questions on a scale of 1 to 10. For instance, “how likely are you to to recommend this event to a friend or family member?” If the respondent answers 7, he or she would be categorized as a passive, whereas someone who answers 9 or 10 would be a promoter. Send guests at list of questions such as this in a follow-up survey to help measure the success of your events.

Event ‘Mentions’

A third technique is to monitor the Internet and social media for “mentions” of your event. If a significant number of people are posting photos and messages on social media about your event, it usually means that it was a success. This can be done using Google Alerts, or a premium third-party service like Mention.com. But you’ll need to create a unique name and #hashtag for your event; otherwise, these services will pick up content that isn’t related to your event.

Revenue vs Cost

Depending on the nature of your event, you may also be able to measure its level of success by analyzing its revenue versus cost. In order words, how much revenue did the event generate? If you ended up spending more on the venue, marketing and services that the total amount of revenue generated, it wasn’t a success to say the least.

Photo credit: Mark Thiele