Category Archives: Setting ROI for a conference

Exhibition and Tradeshow Review of ROI

Following on from the last blog on Exhibition and and Tradeshow review and follow-up where we reviewed the logistics, sales lead follow-up plus feedback and analysis.  We will now look at reviewing the original objectives to see if the ROI was achieved.

ROI (Return on Investment)

  • Review your ROI by looking at your original objectives for attending the trade show and see if they were met. If this included a sales target it may take some time before you can determine how successful the show was at generating revenue.
  • The two primary reasons for exhibition performance measurement are
  • To justify the investment.
  • To gather information to make your investment more profitable.
  • A good measurement system can help you determine whether you should continue exhibiting at a specific show, and if so to what extent. It can help you identify your exhibit program’s strengths and weaknesses. It can also provide benchmarks for comparing different shows you that have exhibited at, and measure what your exhibition return was for the current year when compared to last year’s show. You can even look at how your marketing budget spent on trade-shows compare to other sales and marketing media. If you’re going to win the game of exhibiting you must have a score keeping process.

There is a very good article by Jefferson Davis of Competitive Edge which is available on the Internet in a number of places including:

http://www.ewea.org/offshore2011/fileadmin/eow2011_documents/exhibition/9_Exhibit_Measurement_Made_Easy_How_to_Measure_Exhibiting_Results_and_Return_on_Investment.pdf

The article outlines six basic measurements that almost every company should be measuring:

  1. Return on Objectives: What specific goals were you pursuing and what progress did you make toward those goals?
  2. Exhibit Budget versus Actual: What was your total exhibiting budget and what did you actually spend?
  3. Post-show Sales Written: How many orders and what was the total value of orders written after the event? Ideally, you should measure post-show sales at the 90 and 180 day points, unless you have a very long sales cycle. Also take into consideration the frequency of the show.
  4. Quantity and Quality of Leads: How many leads did you capture? How many were A – B – C leads? What is the estimated total sales potential of the leads?
  5. Cost per Lead: What was your cost per lead? Divide total number of leads captured by total show investment to determine this number.
  6. Cost per Interaction: What did it cost you to generate a face-to face contact? To determine this number simply multiply your total lead count by 2.4. This will give you a pretty accurate method way of determining your total booth traffic. Then divide total show investment by estimated total booth traffic.

These six basic metrics are by no means all that could and should be measured, but they are a very solid starting point. They will give you a very good picture of whether you are winning the game of exhibiting.

There is one final metric that all exhibitors should attempt to measure – the elusive exhibiting Return on Investment. To determine ROI accurately you must first be able to track at-show and post-sale revenue. Once you have that, simply follow the formula below.

Here is a Return on Investment example:

Total post-show sales from exhibit leads:                250,000€

Less cost of sales or gross margin:                             -190,000€

Equals Gross Exhibit Profit                                         60,000€

Less Exhibiting Costs:                                                    20,000€

Equals Net Exhibit Profit:                                           40,000€

Net Exhibit Profit 40,000€/Exhibit Costs 20,000€ = 200% ROI

Track the trade show organisers analysis of the show number and type of attendees to check whether this might be a show you would like to continue to attend.

You now have the basis for having the analysis and justification for exhibiting and also for participating in future exhibitions.

 

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Tips on Running a Successful Conference: Measurement of Return of Investment ROI on a conference

In this blog we will follow on from the previous tip where we looked at setting Objectives for ROI to review the measurement of ROI objectives, incorporating different  levels of ROI Methodology used to measure ROI of an event.

As mentioned in the previous tip on setting objectives for ROI which is another way of expressing the contribution to profit made by an event.  The profit is the net value created by the event minus the event costs.  ROI is the profit expressed as a percentage of the cost of the event.

Measuring Level 0, Target Audience

  • The target audience should be the right people attending the event.  They are the ones with the greatest learning and behaviour gap in the potential participants.
    • The target audience is therefore defined by a method of deduction from desired behaviour (level3) and required learning (level2)
    • Measuring that have the right target audience, the post event evaluation could ask the question ‘To what extend is the topic of this session relevant to you job?’ Or ‘ How much of what was covered in this session did you already know?’

 Measuring Level 1, Delegate Satisfaction and Learning Environment:

Normally the delegates satisfaction is measured by asking the questions as to whether they were satisfied with the facilities of the venue, the logistics of organising the conference, such as registration and information sent, content of the sessions, the topics covered, quality of speakers, enough time for discussion and Q&A, was networking beneficial?

The learning environment is very important in the learning of the delegates and the changes in their behaviour which will provide value to the stakeholder.

Level 2 – Learning

  • Learning in events comes under that of information, skills attitudes and relationship learning, this can be done by self reporting.  Questions such as indicate on a percentage scale your level of knowledge or skill both before and after the session.
  •  Attitude learning, can include questions which indicate changes in brand perception, where the respondent expresses his degree of agreement or disagreement with an attitude statement, using the Likert statements.
  • Relationship learning refers to the building of affinity between people, getting to know others, trust and liking, the answers could be scored on a scale from very low to very high

Level 3 – Behaviour

  • Behaviour is the application of learning but either stop doing something, doing something differently or something new as a form of their learning experience.
  • Behaviour is often best measured by observation, e.g. if the delegates has learnt how to set up a website, and he claims to understand and remember well enough the steps and procedure to put into practice, by using learning measured by self reporting you could at some time later see if he has used the processes learnt

Planned Actions

It is useful to measure the intended application immediately after learning, with question such as ‘How do you plan to use what you have just learned?  Also by suggesting possible actions and asking delegates to consider whether they are likely to follow this through, question delegates if there are any barriers to these planned actions or if there are enablers

Level 4 Impact

  • The business impact is the very reason for which the event was designed, such as increased sales to new clients or wider range of products to existing customers, increased customer penetration, or customer loyalty. Internal events such as team building are likely to reduce costs as their business impact.  The impact data may be obtained from accounts of the company sales performance.
  • For measurement of business impact then one has to isolate the effect of the meeting to know if the sales when up after the customer event that it was this and not for example a new advertisement campaign. The best method of doing this is to have a control group, comparing the results from one group which attended and the other that did not.  For this to be reliable then the groups need to be closely matched to see if they respond in the same way or if other influences and difference was due to the event.
  • Some business impacts are monetary like sales, others which are intangible need to be converted into money values for ROI calculation. Such as reduced employee turnover or absenteeism after an event, motivation of staff.  This can lead to time saving cost per hour, recruitment by the HR department.
  • Impact values when expressed in monetary value deducted from the total cost of the event you will get the profit or loss for the event. The profit or loss value is the same costs as the percentage of the ROI figure.  The return is the impact value and the investment is the total cost.

The benefit of applying ROI methodology will always out way the costs.  It forces you to be precise in setting event objectives when planning the event, these are clear and measurable, resulting in the event programme focusing on achieving them, thereafter improving each event when applying the measurable results

Tips on running a successful conference: Setting Objectives for Return on Investment

The previous blogs we reviewed the corporate reasons for having a conference, and how to plan and market a successful conference. There can be many business reasons why a company should consider having a conference, not least that events are an important part of the marketing mix. In this blog we will review the setting of Return on Investment (ROI) objectives, incorporating different levels of ROI Methodology used to measure ROI of an event

The ROI Methodology used for the planning of meetings and events was first developed by Donald Kirkpatrick in an academic paper in 1959 which suggested a model with four levels. These were satisfaction, learning, behaviour and impact (or results). Jack Phillips added ROI as a fifth level to the model in the 1980s as part of making it more practically applicable.

ROI is another way of expressing the contribution to profit made by an event. The profit is the net value created by the event minus the event costs. ROI is the profit expressed as a percentage of the cost of the event.

Planning and Measurement

Six Levels of Objectives and Evaluation

Level 5 – ROI

Level 4 – Impact

Level 3 – Behaviour

Level 2 – Learning

Level 1 Satisfaction & Learning Environment

Level 0 – Target Audience

In order to be useful the ROI of an event needs to be measured, monitored and compared with that of other investments to ensure that spending money has created value. The most important application of the ROI Methodology is in the planning of meeting and events to deliver the best outcome.

  • There must be clear measurable objectives for the event otherwise measurement is meaningless.
  • You cannot measure the value of an event without specifying the objectives of the various stakeholders for the event, the meeting owner and the budget holder.
  • Objectives are set for the desired ROI or profit from the event, its contribution to the stakeholders
  • The objectives cascade down from level 5 to the lowest level which is the target audience. The Behavioural Objectives derive from the Impact objectives and so on.

 

Impact Objectives:

The business impact is the ultimate value contribution of the event to its stakeholders, and is used for ROI calculations. For a customer event this could be product sales while for an internal event it could be and improvement in organisational effectiveness.

Behaviour Objectives

  • What do the participants need to do during and after the event in order to create value for stakeholders?
  • This could be to purchase a product or it could be to ask for more information, share knowledge with colleagues, or investigate alternative solutions.
  • The behaviour change may be to take some new action, or do things differently as a result of attending the event.

 

Learning Objectives

  • Learning is required for participants to change their behaviour. This might be subconscious learning but there has to be some kind of change in the mind of the attendee before behaviour change can result.

 

Satisfaction and Learning Environmental Objectives

  • How can we design a learning environment which will make a change in the attendee’s behaviour? Learning is influenced by the state of mind of the learner as well as environmental factors such as room temperature and the quality of the speaker.

 

Target Audience Objectives

  • You need to have the right people attending the event so that they can apply what they have learnt to the benefit of the stakeholder. They are learning something new which will change their behaviour so you need to target the appropriate audience for the behaviour change.

 

By setting clear objectives for each level of the model you can focus your planning on achieving those objectives and as a result you can get the greatest possible return for the investment in the event.

The process of setting objectives starts from the top and cascades down, whereas the measurement of the attainment of the objectives starts at level zero and works upwards to the top.

The next tips blog will outline the measurement of objectives through the different levels to produce a measure of the ROI of the event

For further reading about ROI for events visit

  1. roiinstitute.net
  2. eventroi.org/methodology