These days, dashboards are kind of like a status symbol for event professionals. After all, there’s no better way to kick off a meeting than with dials and charts that skyrocket to life, answering the question “what have you done for me lately?”
But let us be the buzzkill here: dashboards and other business intelligence reports are driven by nothing more than raw data. So, if your strategy for getting that data isn’t fully thought through, you might end up with the equivalent of a gas gauge that shows “full” while you’re on the phone with roadside assistance.
To get meaningful event insights, you need to think about how the data gets there.
We’ve narrowed down some steps you can take in a good-better-best approach to aid with your journey towards improving event performance with data.
Good: Set basic event goals and track them
Don’t be intimidated. Think about what you want out of your event. By setting some goals based on throughput expectations, you can define what success looks like for your event. Then, build an activation strategy that is designed to support these goals and make sure everyone is aware and accountable.
Better: Measure event impact through perception change
This approach isn’t terribly different from tracking event goals, only now you are tracking before and after the event so you can understand the impact. Being able to share data that depicts how consumers’ brand perceptions changed due to an experience or activation comes in handy when justifying experiential spend. The key to uncovering your impact score is in how you craft your pre-and post-event surveys, which is an art form in its own right.
Best: Establishing standard KPIs across all events
Whereas the Good and Better approaches could enhance a single event, the Best approach is to develop algorithms to normalize all of your metrics so they can be fairly compared across all of your events. Once you can get to this level of consistency, you can accurately compare performance across all your events. Taking this approach leads to more accurate ROI calculations and better budget optimization that’s based on event performance rather than just “gut feeling.”
There are other ways to get great metrics, but over the years we’ve found the only way to ensure we’re capturing the right data is to consider the goal first.