2020 was undoubtedly a year of webinars, virtual events, and hybrid events. However, what are the KPIs to measure the success of your virtual event. Being a relatively new concept, virtual events KPI’s are a hot topic of discussion.

 Even though we are returning towards normalcy, a report published by Markletic suggests that 67% of businesses use virtual events complementary to in-person events. This is a clear indicator that virtual events are not just a pandemic-driven fad, but they are here to stay.

However, how do you measure a virtual event’s ROI (return on investment) or determine its success?  Are there any quantifiable outcomes that are indicators of success? Would you be more confident if you knew what the true measures of success are? Let’s find out.

A brief explanation of “Virtual KPI’s”

Analytics plays an important role in measuring the success of any event be it a virtual or an in-person event. For organizers to understand and improvise on their budget, interaction tools, content plan, and investments; it’s crucial to gather event data and analyze them. Think about virtual event KPI’s. 

What are virtual event KPI’s?

A virtual event KPI is a metric that can help you identify how well your event performed. The planning stage offers the best time to create actionable KPIs. You can collaborate with all the key stakeholders to understand what outcomes you wish to achieve. A common KPI is the number of registrations you get for the event. 

One can define the KPIs based on essential elements like monetary investment and expected returns. When you design the KPIs, all the stakeholders need to have a unanimous opinion about them. A post-event assessment will help you understand whether or not you should hold more of such virtual events. 

So what parameters qualify as KPIs to evaluate the success of a virtual event. Let’s find out.

  • Event Registration and check-in numbers: A whopping 51% of companies use their business partners to drive event registrations. 39% of marketing experts suggest their sales team generate a significant number of registrations for an event. However, getting an adequate number of registrations is one part of the story. It is also important to ensure that registered users check in to the event as well. Registration and check-in numbers tell a lot about the success of an event.
  • How long attendees stay online: Audience retention is a key factor in determining the success of your virtual event. As a host you want attendees to be logged on longer and spend more time at your event. Too many attendees dropping off mid-event could be a sign that they do not find the content as per their expectations and engaging enough. 61% of virtual events use videos to keep their audience engaged.
  • Repeat attendees: Repeat event attendees are a good indicator of a successful event. It is a clear indicator of value creation and an event engaging enough to motivate people to come back for more. 
  • On-demand viewership: Keeping a track of the viewership of on-demand content such as downloading slides, accessing additional content, or reviewing recordings of an event is one of the important KPI’s of a virtual event.
  • Audio and video quality: Most virtual event platforms have tools to monitor video and audio quality. Much like OTT’s, good video and audio quality is imperative to how successful your virtual event is. 
  • Engagement level: To get a better perspective on whether your event was a hit or a miss it is a good idea to analyze the engagement levels on parameters such as response to polls, number of questions asked during Q&A, activity level on chats, etc. In fact, 49% of marketing professionals believe that audience engagement contributes in a big way to the success of a virtual event.
  • Social media engagement: Social media engagement comprises all the likes, comments, and shares you receive on event-related posts across all social media platforms. An increase in the number of followers and subscribers on your social media handles after an event announcement is an indicator that you have successfully managed to create brand awareness. 
  • Online search results and traffic: Increased search rate and more people visiting your website in the days following your virtual event is a clear indicator of its success.
  • Response to surveys post-event: Essentially includes surveys around the audio & video quality, streaming quality, technical glitches, etc. 38% of marketing professionals experience technical glitches when hosting virtual events. Poor audio and video quality is a major turn-off for most attendees.
  • Net promoter score (NPS): NPS is a critical KPI and is the most easily quantifiable way to measure the success of your event. Questions should be framed in a manner such that respondents can rate various parameters on a scale of 1-10. This helps to better quantify and track results from event to event.
  • A number of genuine leads generated: If a virtual event was organized with an intent to generate leads for your sales team, then the number of leads generated is definitely a KPI of success. It also a good idea to study the geographical breakdown of participants and generated leads.
  • Revenue generation: One of the primary reasons for any organizer to plan for an event is revenue generation. The revenue generated can be calculated on the basis of ticket sales, sponsorships, and funds collected. Many online event platforms calculate and set their price on the basis of headcounts at an event i.e. per attendee basis.

Key takeaways

Technology is fast changing the way we live, collaborate, work and engage. What started as a response mechanism to a global pandemic is here to stay as the benefits are way too many. However, anything that is new for us needs to be monitored to ascertain how sustainable it is.

KPI’s are therefore important and an effective tool to gauge the success of virtual events. There are several KPIs to determine the success of an event. However, a lot will depend on the purpose for which an event is organized. Whatever KPI you choose, it must give you actionable insights to help you plan and conduct your next event better than the last.

 As they say in the event industry, “you are only as good as your last event.” ☺

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