# How to: Calculate Event ROI

The event may be over, but thereâ€™s still work to finish up. That includes writing a post-event report, which in turn means gathering and analyzing data. Part of that process involves calculating your eventâ€™s return on investment, or ROI.

## Why Is Event ROI Important?

Measuring event ROI is important for one simple reason: Itâ€™s a way to measure the success of an event. The higher the ROI, the more successful the event. Proving ROI is useful in itself as a measure of success, but itâ€™s also useful because itâ€™s proof of success. When you can point to hard numbers that prove the event achieved its goal, you have a solid case for attracting bigger budgets and more sponsors for future events.

There is a caveat here: For ROI to be a useful measurement, it has to be accurate and thorough. And that can be difficult to achieve, especially as events get more complex and it becomes harder to accurately measure all the elements of success. Sometimes ROI isnâ€™t just about hard numbers.

## First, the Hard Numbersâ€¦ How to Calculate ROI for an Event

ROI is a measurement of revenue versus costs, with a straightforward core calculation. For that, you need your total event revenue (R) and the total cost (C) of the event.

ROI = (R â€“ C) Ã· C x 100

Subtract total event cost from total revenue generated from sales. Then divide by total cost of the event and multiply the result by 100. That final figure is your ROI.

For a straightforward event where the primary goal is profit made from ticket sales, itâ€™s easy enough to calculate ROI. But what if your event goals are less tangible? Itâ€™s much harder to calculate event ROI accurately if your eventâ€™s primary goal is to raise brand awareness or to generate new sales leads.

In these situations you can still measure ROI by adjusting what is meant by revenue. Instead of revenue related to ticket sales, itâ€™s about measuring the primary goal of the event.

### 1. Identify the Primary Goal

The first step is to identify the main event goal that defines its success. If itâ€™s not about ticket sales, what is it about? Some options include:

• Launching a new product
• Raising brand or company awareness
• Improving employee performance or education

## Setting Event Goals & Objectives

### 2. Identify Measurable Metrics

Having an event goal is pointless if you donâ€™t have some way of measuring how well that goal has been achieved. Whatever your primary goal might be, you need at least oneâ€”preferably moreâ€”event metric to help you determine whether your corporate event has hit the mark.

Those metrics should relate directly to the goal, of course, but itâ€™s also important to choose metrics you know you can generate data for. Make sure youâ€™re measuring parameters that actually can be measured so you have some hard data at the end of the event.

For instance, if you want to build brand awareness, some metrics to track might include:

### 3. Gather and Analyze Data

With your goal and metrics set, youâ€™ll be able to gather data in the lead-up to the event and throughout the event itself. Once itâ€™s all over, itâ€™s time to analyze the data and figure out what went right and if there are any spots for improvements.

For some metrics, youâ€™ll want to start your analysis early. For instance, if youâ€™re tracking brand awareness and customer sentiment, itâ€™s important to have a pre-event baseline so you have a basis for comparison after the event. Keeping an eye on social media metrics is also useful in the lead-up to an event because itâ€™s a good way to measure the success of your event promotion.

## ROI Alternative for Sales Events: Projected Business Value (PBV)

For sales-focused events, a useful metric is projected business value. This is a good alternative to ROI that can work particularly well for products with long sales cycles. The longer the sales cycle, the harder it is to pinpoint the event value. Calculating PBV lets you estimate that value right away, instead of having to wait for data to track.

To calculate PBV for an event, you need the following information:

• Number of qualified leads (QL) gained from the event
• The companyâ€™s average historical close rate (CR)
• Added business value (BV) for the event â€“ This figure is the average difference in value between clients who attend the event and those who donâ€™t.

To find the PBV, multiple QL x CR x BV. The PBV represents a value estimate of the value the event provides, that wouldnâ€™t have been gained had the event not been held. It measures how much value the event generates in the long-term and is useful to compare to other methods of lead and value generation.

## Alternatives to ROI

ROI isnâ€™t always the most important event metric, and itâ€™s definitely not the only one. Especially for events where calculating the ROI is difficult, itâ€™s important to consider other metrics too. Some options include:

• Website visits, content views, and social media engagement donâ€™t add to your bottom line, but theyâ€™re a good way of gauging interest in the event.
• Net promoter score can show what your event audience thinks about the event and your brand.
• Sales metrics such as close rate and cost-per-lead are useful for sales-focused events.
• For virtual events or hybrid events, engagement metrics help you explore how people reacted to your event content.

## ROI Helps You Understand Your Event and Prove Success

There are multiple ways to measure event success, all of which involve gathering and analyzing data. ROI is a useful figure that directly measures financial success, and, with a bit of retooling, the same principle can help you measure any event goal. Using ROI and other metrics to track your event success also helps you refine your event planning skills so every event you hold improves on the last. Working with the event planners at ProGlobalEvents can ensure youâ€™re set up from the start to hit your goals and gather the data necessary to track event ROI. Contact us today to learn more.

Ivan Fujihara

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Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

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As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.

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Having served in a number of executive roles for companies in Silicon Valley for over 25 years, Paul has a client-side perspective of the corporate events industry. He has a broad set of experiences working for startups as well as global firms such as Applied Materials. At ProGlobalEvents, Paul helps the company to reach clients through traditional and digital marketing programs. With an extensive background in the High Tech sector, he’s also involved with technology strategy both internally and for clients. Paul is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the Stanford Engineering Design School and Claremont McKenna College. In his spare time he is a also a principal member of the non-profit Gratitude Network which mentors award winning social entrepreneurs.