Did It Work? How to Measure Your Virtual Event’s Success

Keep these benchmarks in mind
Essentials
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August 6, 2021
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4 mins
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By
Jenna Gulick
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Every event manager knows that there’s an essential, albeit daunting, final task that follows a carefully planned program: the process of analyzing successes, feedback, and data to lay the groundwork for future events, especially if you’re hosting a quarterly series or annual summit. 

Here’s a guide for the key metrics to keep in mind when measuring success of your last virtual event and planning the next one. 

Ticket Sales, Registrations, and Check-Ins 

Every attendee’s journey starts in the same place—usually, your promotional website. Consider the number of ticket sales or registrations that this site generated in relation to the number of site visitors: Was your landing page compelling enough to convert visitors into registrants? With this ratio in mind, did you have enough digital leads to reach your target number of RSVPs? Was there a particular section of your website or ticketing checkout process that saw a high bounce rate? 

Assessing these questions can help you refine your prospect flow. Perhaps you’ll need to invest in additional targeted social media ads during your next event, or consider a different website design. You should also consider how many registrants were returning attendees: If you saw this number continue to rise, you must be doing something right!

Beyond registrations and ticket sales, you’ll want to consider how many registrants actually checked in for your event. If there was a drop-off between registrations and check-ins, you may consider improving your pre-event teaser emails and materials, from interactive virtual agendas to home-delivered, pre-event gift boxes.

Live-Time Engagement 

After assessing registration and check-in metrics, you’ll want to dive into data from your attendees’ journey through the program. This is where cutting-edge virtual event software comes in handy. The right platform begins tracking valuable data from the moment each registrant first logs on. Not only will you get basic metrics like the number of active community members at any given moment, but you’ll also be able to assess what content resonated the most and how it drove valuable conversations or connections. Check how many messages were sent within your virtual event’s community. Then dive deeper and assess which speakers drove the most engagement, which sessions inspired the highest retention rate, and which topics generated the most overall interest. Want a feel for your community’s general sentiment on a specific topic? Check out the results of live polls and emoji responses to keep your finger on the pulse. Whether opinions were polarized or responses were tepid, you can use these survey-like responses to ideate future programming and create a wish list of future speakers.

Event Surveys

In addition to data from live-time polls, you’ll want to follow up your event with a wrap-up survey. Be sure to ask how beneficial each attendee found your virtual event, with questions such as: Would they recommend it to a colleague? What would they have done differently? Were there any pain points or opportunities? What presentation did they enjoy the most? Whether you choose sliding scales, multiple-choice questions, or free-form responses, you’ll get a treasure trove of information from your most engaged participants.

Social Media Mentions 

Of course, some valuable engagements will be tracked off your virtual event platform. Consider a social reporting software like Hootsuite, or ask your virtual event professional to help scan social media and discover which moments attendees deemed most “shareable.” Pay special attention to platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, where key sound bites are posted and outstanding speakers are tagged. 

B2B Relationships 

In some cases, you may measure the success of your virtual event through other B2B relationships. Perhaps you hosted a showcase, a webinar, or a general seminar that positioned your team as industry experts. Ultimately, you will want to measure this type of event’s success through the number of sales leads you generated, the number of current accounts you influenced, or the number of new customers you acquired. Be sure to set a target cost per lead or customer before your event, so that you can confidently measure their value while creating wrap-up reports. 

Tying It All Together 

Ultimately, postmortem reports can be stressful, but the right virtual event software will make it easy to find key metrics and identify important trends. The right virtual event team can also help you extract as much information as possible from your chosen system, so you don’t miss any valuable intel. 

Want help planning and measuring the ultimate online event? Contact our team to get the ball rolling.

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