Additional menu

How to Measure Event Marketing Performance and ROI?

Event marketing is an effective strategy for building customer relations and solidifying brand image. If your role in your company is to host events – be it physical or virtual, it’s crucial for you to prove that these programs are actually creating an impact on your business. Unless you prove the effectiveness of your events and how it is helping your company’s business, how will you be able to acquire more budget, hire more resources, or how promote a virtual event or physical event?

Although measuring event performance is crucial to determining the success of any event, most marketers struggle to do this task.Even though around 93% of companies around the world host event programs, around 55% of marketers promoting these events don’t exactly know how to measure event marketing performance and ROI. If you also struggle with measuring the performance and ROI of your events, don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Event measurement has gotten a lot simpler thanks to different performance measuring tools. Now, figuring out how well your physical or virtual event performed can be done with advanced tools.  In this article, we will explain how you can easily assess your event marketing efforts and their ROI by using the right metrics. So without any delay, let’s get started.

Most Important Event Metrics to Measure the Event Marketing Performance

When organizing events, businesses spend a lot of time and money. Keeping track of everything that goes into hosting a stellar event is extremely crucial. The performance of any virtual or physical event is measured through certain metrics. Every goal of your event will have a different set of metrics. Let’s look at some essential metrics for different event goals that’ll help you measure the performance of any event.

Measuring brand awareness

Hosting events is a great way to create brand awareness. It’s a great way to let prospective customers know what your business is all about and what it stands for. Creating brand awareness falls at the top of the marketing funnel. In marketing, TOFU, or the top of the funnel, is a phase where you create awareness about your brand.  
The goals of the awareness phase include:

  1. Event sign-ups and registrations
  2. Local media coverage
  3. Website traffic
  4. Social media presence

To measure the performance of the brand awareness goal of your event, you’ll need to keep track of the following metrics.

  • The total number of event registrations
  • The total reach of your event on social media
  • The number of mentions your event earned online
  • The number of website visitors your event pulled in
  • The number of people who engaged with your event on social media

Measuring performance during an event

You may have managed to get a lot of people to show up at your company event, but how can you find out if they’re having a good time? How will you figure out if your attendees are learning about your business and why it is better than all the other options? 

The learning and engaging phase falls at the middle of the funnel (MOFU). This is where your prospecting customers have become aware of your brand and will ask questions to gauge how it stands apart from the rest. This is why it is important to measure the performance of your event while it’s actually happening. During an event, you’ll want your attendees to engage with you. You’ll want them to talk about your event and share pictures online. 

Metrics for measuring event engagement include:

  • The number of responses on your live poll
  • The number of questions asked during your Q&A sessions
  • The number of mentions and hashtags your event gained on social media

These metrics are crucial to measuring the performance of an event. It’ll help you break down the number of attendees who had a good time at your event. It’ll also help you reflect upon your shortcomings so you may improve your upcoming event. 

Measuring customer acquisition

The reason why people sign up for virtual or physical events is that they want to learn something new. It could be a new skill or a product that they didn’t know much about. Customer acquisition falls at the bottom of the marketing funnel (BOFU). It is the final stage where a lead turns into a paying customer. 

The primary goal of events is to make prospecting customers aware of your products and get them to purchase them. The event goals for customer acquisition include customer satisfaction and customer retention. The metrics for measuring customer acquisition includes;

  • Product purchases
  • Free trials and demos
  • In-event product surveys
  • Post-event product survey

These metrics are designed to measure the performance of different stages of an event. Using these metrics, you can measure the performance:

  • Before
  • After
  • And during your event

What Tools Do You Need To Measure Event Marketing Results?

As we mentioned earlier, measuring event performance and ROI has gotten a lot easier nowadays thanks to different advanced tracking and analytical tools. Speaking of which, here are 5 event performance and ROI measuring tools that every marketer should use.

Google Analytics:

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide you with valuable insights into your event marketing efforts. 

Here’s what Google Analytics can help event marketers with:

  • Track demographics of people who visited your event website
  • Track which channels your visitors are using to registrations for your event
  • Which pages did your attendees visit on your event website
  • Which event content on your website was the most or least popular
  • Conversion rates of your event goals such as registrations, downloads, or purchases
  • At what stage are people abandoning the event registration journey

Google Analytics is really easy to set up. All it takes is just installing a tracking code on your website. After that, Google will be able to provide you with real-time analytics of your event. 

Event Surveys:

How better to ask for feedback about your event than your attendees. To measure the success of your event, you can shoot up an email to all the attendees who signed up for your and ask them to fill up a survey.

Using the survey data collected from your attendees, you can uncover key elements to improve your future events. Uncover insights such as how much they enjoyed the session and how long they spent there. You can also ask them which topics they wish you covered. This can help direct your future event strategy, not to mention your content marketing efforts. People who will take the time out to fill out your survey will likely convert into leads. You can add such people to your list of qualified leads to engage with in the future.

Social Listening:

Social listening is a great way of figuring out what people are talking about your event on social channels. It can help you gauge the engagement before, during, and after your event. 

You can use social listening to measure:

  • The number of times your event hashtag got used
  • The number of times your company got mentioned on social media
  • The number of times your event name got mentioned on social media

Social listening is not only used for post-event analysis but can also be used during your event. During an event, you can keep track of the number of mentions your event is getting in real-time. If you notice the level of engagement dying down, you can share insightful or inspirational quotes from your event speakers to entice people to retweet them or share them on other social platforms. Another benefit of social listening is that it can help you build a repository of user-generated content (UGC) that you can after your event stay engaged with your attendees. 

Keep track of the number of posts/tweets, as well as any images and videos to fuel your user-generated content (UGC) efforts post-event. Social listening can also measure engagement during sessions. Do this by looking out for speaker quotes and overall sentiment (e.g. if they’re going on too long, how excited they are etc.) There are many tools that can help you set up dashboards for social listening. Define which keywords, hashtags, and branded terms to monitor and you’ll get a real-time report as they happen.

Some of the best social listening tools that you can use to track the performance of your event are:

  • Sprout Social
  • Buffer
  • TweetReach
  • BuzzSumo
  • Hootsuite


Similar to Google Analytics, Hotjar is behavior analytics and user feedback software. It can help you understand why visitors are or are not taking certain actions on your event site.

It can also help you essentially gather the voice of the customer (VoC) feedback.With HotJar, you can track product experience, visitor clicks, visitor scrolls, and even mouse movement through heatmaps. But that is not it. HotJar can help you perform even more in-depth analysis by recording users’ browsing sessions.

How To Measure Event Marketing ROI?

To measure event ROI, you’ll need to keep track of everything that went into your event. You must take into account every event expenditure and all your event goals and objectives. Here’s how you can calculate your event marketing ROI:

Step: 1 – calculate the cost of your event

When calculating cost, you’ll need to figure out your “total cost to execute”. Total cost to execute or TOCE is composed of:

  1. Upfront cost: This is made up of your approved marketing budget and is, therefore, easier to measure and track. Costing may include venue cost, catering, printing, social media promotion, and more.
  2. Hidden cost: This is made up of elements that are harder to keep track of. For example, people helping out at the event and the time they invested.

Hidden costs may be harder to calculate but it is not impossible. To calculate the hidden costs of your event, calculate the total number of hours your event staff worked and multiply that by their average hourly wages.

Step: 2 – Measure the results of your event’s goals and objectives

Once you’ve calculated the cost that went into your event, you’ll need to calculate the goals and objectives that you managed to achieve with your event marketing efforts. Unless you don’t do this, you won’t be able to tell whether your event was fruitful or not. Keep in mind that not all events have the same goals. Your event’s goal may not be to generate revenue from ticket sales. Instead, your event’s goal may be to generate leads or something else. Depending on your event’s goal, you will need to measure what objective your efforts managed to achieve. For example, you may need to measure:

  • Revenue generated from your event
  • Number of customers acquired
  • Number of leads generated
  • Number of appointments scheduled

Again, it all depends on the goal of your event – why you organized your event in the first place. Once you have all the figures at hand, you can measure your event’s ROI based on your total costs and the percentage of expected event objectives achieved. 


How effective is event marketing?

According to statistics, roughly 31% of marketers believe that event marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels.

How do I know if my ROI is good?

According to statistics, a good annual ROI is considered to be around 7% or more. But this number can vary depending on different industries. 

What are the three benefits of measuring event marketing ROI?

The three major benefits of measuring event marketing ROI are:

  • Helps you justify your event’s expenses. 
  • Coming up with the most effective marketing efforts. 
  • Learning from your experiences.

Final words

Because of immense competition, businesses around the world are investing heavily in event marketing in an attempt to capture a bigger market share. Event marketing has gotten a lot more popular over the years. With minimum investment, event marketing can help businesses establish better customer relationships and improve brand awareness. That being said, in order to assess the performance of your marketing efforts and justify your spending to stakeholders, marketers must know how to measure event marketing performance and ROI. Marketers must know what metrics to track and measure in order to gauge the performance of virtual or physical events.

Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.