Virtual event ROI is increasingly an essential metric that marketers are keeping tabs on.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many companies to launch virtual events, from workshops to conferences. And that shift has caused many marketers to rethink their event planning strategy, including ensuring their virtual event ROI (return on investment) delivers impressive results.
In this blog post, we cover five ways you can make sure your company receives strong ROI from your next virtual event.
How to Deliver Impressive Virtual Event ROI
Much of what you need to do to see strong returns from your virtual event occurs before you send out invitations. Your programming, platform, and more all factor into how well the event performs for your company.
Set your event up for success early, and you will earn the positive virtual event ROI you and your organization expect.
Pick Your KPIs
You cannot know how well your event performs if you do not know what you want it to deliver. That is why the first step you will want to take in planning your virtual event is identifying your event’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
To determine your KPIs, ask why your company’s hosting the event. Are you launching a new product? Are you hosting a workshop or training session? Will you introduce your new CEO?
After understanding why you are putting on a virtual event, identify measurable goals based on that reason.
Is it purchases of your new product? Maybe it is downloads of an educational resource or registrations for a future class or workshop. Or perhaps it is media coverage and social media mentions of your CEO.
Make Sure You Can Get the Data
Measurement is essential to understanding if your virtual event delivered the ROI you needed. And measurement requires data.
That is why you will want to make sure you can track and review the data you need to measure your KPIs. Everything from product purchases during your event to social media engagement and attendee feedback can be tracked and analyzed in your post-event ROI analysis.
So, after identifying your KPIs, pick platforms and technologies that can provide you with the data you need. And establish processes and point people responsible for ensuring your data collection goes as planned.
Choose the Right Technology
Along with using platforms that can give you the data you need to measure your virtual event ROI, you will want to pick the right technology to host your event.
Not all video streaming and virtual event platforms are alike. Choosing the wrong one for your virtual event can create issues and diminish your event’s returns.
For example, most social media platforms now support live streaming. But these tools might not provide the best user experience for your attendees, and they may not provide the detailed data you need.
Technology runs virtual events, yet not all technology is created equal. Be selective about the platform you use to host your virtual event.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
Event planners know that planning is crucial. And that is undoubtedly true of virtual events, especially if you are trying to maximize your virtual event ROI.
As you plan, consider all aspects of your event. Every detail can impact your results.
Let us say one of your event KPIs is media coverage. Where the media you are inviting lives can influence when your event takes place. If you are in California and hoping New York-based reporters will cover your virtual event, you may want to avoid starting your event at night California time, when many on the East Coast are heading to bed.
Another planning example is making sure you have contingencies in place should something go wrong. You do not want to lose ROI because of a hiccup.
Or do your best to provide programming tailored to your attendees’ needs. Send attendees a survey after registering, asking them what they are hoping to get out of your event. See what your target audience is searching for and talking about by searching social media and online forums.
Analyze Your Data
Another way to ensure positive virtual event ROI is to analyze your data. This step might sound obvious, but we sometimes drop post-event work. We are tired. The event’s over. We just want to relax.
But missing this final step can undo all your work leading up to and during the virtual event. Whether your event delivered positive virtual event ROI depends on the KPIs you picked when organizing your event.
If your primary goal were to make money, determining this virtual event ROI can be as simple as measuring revenue generated by your event against the cost of hosting the event. Other KPIs, such as social media mentions or media coverage, might take more analysis of different data sets.
Yet if you followed the steps above, retrieving and analyzing the data you need to determine your virtual event ROI should not be too difficult a task.
A Recipe for Positive ROI
Ensuring positive virtual event ROI is quickly becoming essential for marketers as more companies host live-streamed conventions, conferences, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have caused virtual events to become commonplace, but many event and marketing industry experts predict the trend is here to stay.
Fortunately, there are five must-do ways to make sure your organization’s virtual events deliver positive returns:
- Pick your KPIs
- Make sure you can get the data
- Choose the right technology
- Plan every detail, for every contingency
- Analyze your data
Follow these steps, and you will not only host a terrific event, but you will also deliver positive virtual event ROI for your company.
Would you like to learn more about planning a virtual event? This comprehensive eBook gives you everything you need to know about running a virtual event.