ROE: Measuring Successful Meetings in San Diego

Conferences and meetings are held for various reasons: to inspire, educate, reward and most commonly, impact both the top and bottom line. While some of these objectives are more quantifiable than others, there are several ways to measure the success of a meeting regardless of the end goal.

Given today’s smaller meeting budgets and larger corporate accountability, not to mention the endless hours invested in planning, determining the ROE (return on event) is more essential than ever.  

Many planners try to measure the success of a meeting once it has concluded, but there are several valuable insights to be gathered throughout the course of the event.

BEFORE

  • Marketing-related metrics. Increased website views, email clicks, inbound calls, and social engagement and will give you preliminary feedback on how interested people are in attending.  
  • Registration counts and pace. Most registrations open with only a few key facts unveiled: topic, date and cost. Watch how sign-up rates behave when you determine and release certain details.  Selecting an attractive, unique conference venue in San Diego such as Paradise Point versus an airport hotel in St. Louis will amplify registration rates even at early stages.

DURING

  • Session attendance. When measuring the success of a meeting, compare registration numbers to actual attendee figures, and conduct headcounts during sessions to gauge interest on speakers and topics. 
  • Watch engagement. Calculate using audience-polling techniques or make a point to simply observe the physical and verbal cues of attendees. Do they look bored? Are they laughing and interacting with each other? It may seem like excessive scrutiny but actions speak louder than words written later on surveys.

AFTER

  • Survey scores. Within a few days of the conference ending or even during the closing session, conduct a survey of both attendees and no-shows. Ask for feedback on everything from agenda topics, time of year, city and venue, food choices and value for time and money spent. If they didn’t come, why? Compare your internal survey results with those from the meeting venue. Most hotels and conference sites typically send out a post-event survey to evaluate satisfaction with similar aspects of the experience, which can help you measure the success of your meeting from both angles.
  • Corporate metrics. Sometimes the impact of an event is immediately evident and sometimes it takes time to see the results, but look for a correlation between conference material and your company’s KPIs. Remember that it may be quantitative (improved employee satisfaction scores, increased revenue) or qualitative (heightened creativity or teamwork), but the ROE on face-to-face interaction is almost always there. 
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