Typically, a pay-to-enter event will have gate receipts to help work out the return on investment. However, when a corporate event is held for the purposes of marketing, brand reinforcement and networking opportunities, the guidelines for calculating the benefits can be less clear when no direct revenue is being generated from ticket sales, product sales or sponsorship.
As there are so many other benefits which corporate events offer to organisations, it becomes vital to measure returns from activities such as training, leadership meetings, brand awareness events, awards evenings and congresses. So how to go about it? In this guide to event planning, we tackle the issue of how to measure ROI on corporate events.
Before we can calculate our returns or how much we have profited, directly or indirectly, from a corporate event, it helps to understand precisely what we have spent. Costs can broadly be divided into two main categories. The first is direct expenses, and these can include costs such as venue hire, travel, food and beverages, audiovisual, rental equipment, entertainment, marketing and promotional costs, and service providers. But to understand the big picture, we must also take into account indirect costs such as shared or pool-based expenses, accounting and administrative salaries, office expenses, rent and utilities.
Measuring the holistic benefit of a corporate event to your organisation can be made simpler by defining your key performance indicators (KPI) clearly beforehand. Whether you achieve these KPIs as a result of your event then becomes the yardstick for measuring indirect returns and overall benefits. KPIs can include:
You may find that KPIs are not the ‘exact science’ that totting up direct sales are when it comes to measuring returns, but only by setting them, and measuring them can we start to build a bigger picture of corporate event success.
If you need some help producing events that get results, get in touch.