Virtual events have an important role to play in the everyday operations and marketing efforts of businesses and non-profits. A lot of effort, time, and capital is involved in organizing virtual events. So, it is important to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your event. This is where virtual event success metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into the picture. To be able to measure the success of your virtual events, it is important to identify and assess the most important KPIs and metrics.
How Do You Measure the Success of a Virtual Event?
There are different ways to measure the success of your virtual event. The methods vary based on the nature of the event and its purpose.
Let’s start with the different types of virtual events:
- Virtual conferences
- Online exhibitions & trade shows
- Virtual career fairs & jobs
- Hybrid events
- Live webcasts & town halls
- Online training & classrooms
- And more
Having a good software product, like Kumospace, to host your virtual event is crucial. It is also important to define virtual event KPIs for measuring the success of your online events.
What are Virtual Event KPIs?
Virtual event KPIs are metrics used to measure the performance of an online event. The most commonly evaluated KPIs include the number of registrations for the event and the opportunities it creates. It is recommended to set the KPIs of your event during the planning stage. This will simplify the goal-setting process in conjunction with all the stakeholders.
Usually, virtual event KPIs are set around the expected return and the capital investment. Everyone, including sales management, marketing management, and other stakeholders should be aligned on the KPIs. After the event, it is the virtual event metrics and KPIs that will help you determine whether the online event was worth the effort and investment, whether you should organize it again, and where should you make the tweaks.
Virtual Event KPIs
Here is a list of the most important virtual event KPIs and metrics that should be kept track of and assessed to determine the success of your event.
1. Number of Registrations
There are many reasons why the number of people registering for your online event is an important success metric. This includes:
- Monitoring Lead Generation: The number of people signing up for your virtual event from the registration page will become leads.
- Evaluating Interest: If you have already held online events, you already know the average number of registrations. If the number of registrations is higher or lower than the average, you should know how much interest the event has generated.
- Registrations Vs Attendance: This comparison should provide you insights into how serious your audience is about the event.
2. Email Campaign Metrics
Email marketing is an effective promotional strategy for virtual events. You should evaluate email campaign metrics such as open rate and click-through rate (CTR) to get valuable insights. For example, when you send out emails for your online event’s registration and the event metrics show higher or lower open rates, it shows how interested your audience is in your event.
3. Social Media Engagement
You will be using social media as a platform for promoting your virtual event. It is important to monitor your social media channels to measure success. The elements related to your event that need to be tracked to assess your event’s success using social media include:
- Likes, shares & comments
- Related tags
- Responses, reactions & reposts
- Follower count
- Posts on your event’s hashtag
Social media engagement is a big indicator of the participants’ excitement about your online event or how shareable and useful they found it.
4. Event Attendance
Attendance numbers allow you to assess the difference between registration and participation. This is one of the most effective ways to evaluate the success of a virtual event.
You can take this metric a step further by measuring and comparing the following two stats:
- Returning event attendees
- New attendees
This should further help you determine the audience that finds your content more valuable. You can learn the following from this data comparison:
- An audience that keeps returning for your online events is more excited and/or loyal to your brand
- Try to reach out to this returning audience for feedback. Use the feedback info to serve them and their networks better.
These steps should help you market your event more effectively in the future.
5. Event Participation Time
The number of attendees is important, but it is also important to know how much their participation time was. Participation time refers to how much time the attendees spend in your online event. It can provide you with the following insights:
- Whether your online event meets expectations or not.
- Did your audience find the event interesting or boring?
- Whether something was said during the event that didn’t align with the audience.
6. Deals Closed
Deals closed is an important success KPI for online events organized with the goal of generating revenues. If you host a virtual event or sponsored one for lead generation, ‘deals closed’ should be one of the event metrics for you. It is a simple and straightforward way to find the ROI of the event. It will, however, not be a KPI for your event if your objective falls into the following categories:
- Boosting relationships with customers
- Sales cycle acceleration
- Press events
7. Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is used to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. This metric also makes it easier to understand how well your online event was taken up by the participants. You can calculate the NPS of your event by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. It is best to conduct a post-event survey. Promoters are highly satisfied participants, detractors are mostly unsatisfied, and passives are just satisfied.
Audience satisfaction is also an important virtual event success metric. Interestingly, it can be measured through the NPS. You expect all your attendees to be promoters. This means your virtual event’s NPS should be 9 or higher. Such attendees will actively share information about your online event with others.
8. Attendee Retention
When you host virtual conferences, attendee retention will be a KPI that needs to be measured. Online conferences tend to be long and can last several hours. A longer attendee retention period is good for your conference. If 70% or more attendees leave after 30 minutes, it is not a good sign. This metric should provide you insights into the satisfaction levels of your attendees.
9. Audience Engagement
You need a more engaged audience for your online event. It is best if the maximum number of attendees stay engaged during the entirety of your event. Live polling is a commonly used audience engagement tool. A more engaged audience is more likely to talk about your virtual event with their network.
10. Conversion Rate
When you want to generate leads, build brand awareness, and/or drive sales in the future through your online event, it is important to keep track of the conversion rate.
So, how do you measure the conversion rate for a virtual event? It is the percentage of participants that move from being just attendees to sales-qualified leads during the time the online event is in action. It is further recommended to compare this metric across different virtual events.
Other virtual event success metrics for your event can vary based on the type of virtual event you are organizing. Examples of such additional metrics include sponsorship revenue, opportunities created, chat messages, event replays, and sales pipeline acceleration.
How Do You Measure ROI On an Event?
If you want to generate profit from the registration sales of your online event, it is easy to calculate ROI. All you have to do is subtract the overall cost of the virtual event from the total revenue generated and divide it by the overall cost. Multiply the answer by 100 to get the result in a percentage.
However, the ROI of your online event will change if your goal is not to generate revenue from registration sales. In this case, it will be required to identify the right KPIs and also measure experiences. Combine the following measures to get a clear idea:
- Number of registrations
- Social mentions & brand awareness
- Opened Opportunities
- Attendee feedback
- Reinforced Relationships
- Monetary gains
5 Ways to Measure the Success of an Event
When you want to measure the success of your online event, it is important to keep the event metrics as simple and straightforward as possible. Here are 5 quantitative ways that make it simpler and easier for you to determine how successful your virtual event was:
1. Social Media Activity
You should monitor relevant social media activity leading up to your event. The monitoring should further continue both during and after the virtual event. Consider the following points to measure your event’s success:
- The engagement level before, during, and after the event
- How is the feedback?
- Track audience growth, likes, mentions, shares, and views
2. Virtual Event Attendance
It is important to realize that a high-interest level doesn't translate into high attendance. When you have recurring virtual events, keep track of each event to help create better future goals.
Assessing attendee experience is also one of the important event metrics in determining the success of your virtual event. Use social media and other platforms to conduct surveys and learn about attendee experience.
4. Monetary Returns
When the objective of your online event is to address financial goals, you should measure sales figures during and after the virtual event. You should measure the cost of producing the event against the revenues generated from it.
5. Press Coverage
It is further recommended to pay close attention to the publicity created before and after your online event. When your event gets positive coverage, it helps build awareness and trust around your event and brand. Press coverage is an important way to measure success if your goals include raising brand awareness.
A virtual event KPI is a metric that clearly indicates the success of your online event. There are different potential virtual event KPIs such as the number of registrations, attendance numbers, participation time, social media engagement, deals closed, net promoter score, and more.
The ROI of a virtual event depends mostly on the event’s goal or goals. If the goal is to generate profit, the ROI is measured from the difference in the revenues generated and the overall cost of the event. If profit is not the primary goal of an online event, attendee experience factors can be assessed to determine the ROI.
The following virtual event success metrics should help you assess the success of your online event:
- Number of registrations
- Email campaign metrics
- Social media engagement
- Attendance numbers
- Participation time
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- And more.
Whether you want to organize virtual meetings, webinars, conferences, or any other type of event, it is important to track your event’s success rate, gain learnings from it, and make improvements for future virtual events. At Kumospace, you can host your virtual events and customize your space to your event's liking.