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Marlou Kramer2/28/18 3:16 PM3 min read

5 Ways to calculate your event ROI

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) for events remains a challenge for many event profs. We will show you which indicators to use - and explain how your marketing objectives influence your events (and vice versa), this way you can justify your event investments in the future.

Marketing goals affect events

Events are part of a larger marketing strategy. This marketing strategy includes measurable goals, such as increasing brand awareness or turnover.

Other examples are:

  • Lead generation
  • Increasing involvement
  • Introducing a new product/service
  • Improving knowledge of product/organisation
  • Increasing traffic (event) website
  • Increasing social media engagement
  • Attracting influencers and brand ambassadors
  • Obtaining media- or press attention
  • Increase turnover by selling tickets


Organising an event should contribute to the overall marketing objective - and therefore the expenses should be justified. Use your CRM, social media platforms, analytic tools and event management software to gather statistics to measure the situation before the event. Afterwards, measure the situation again, in order to determine the impact of the event.

Note: Abbreviations are everywhere: CMS, CRM, MAP, EMS, ESP, SaaS… But what do they mean? Check this handy overview!

Measuring event results

Still, the direct effect an event has on the marketing objectives is often difficult to determine. Many other factors and channels play a role in affecting the marketing goals, like (online) advertising and social media campaigns.

Therefore, it’s important to determine when your event will be considered a success. You can use the following 5 indicators to do this:

  1. Number of event registrations: How many invitees have registered for the event? In order to achieve your marketing goals, you should focus mainly on the quality of the attendees. Try to find out who the decision makers are: a small group of decision makers can be much more valuable than reaching a big audience.

  1. No-show:How many of the people that registered attended the event? And how many of them did not attend? This is an important indicator for future editions. Selling event tickets instead of offering free entrance can lower your no-show percentage. For your marketing objectives, it’s interesting to examine the reasons for no-show. For example, by sending your attendees an email with a short post-event survey. With this information, you can adjust your future events to the needs of your audience.

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS): With this important indicator you will be able to measure your attendees enthusiasm by using one specific question: "How likely is it that you would recommend the event to a friend or colleague?” For obtaining your marketing goals, it’s interesting to know who your promoters (your biggest fans) and detractors (the biggest critics) are. Both groups are important: you can use information from your detractors to improve your event - and turn your promoters into event and brand ambassadors. Read here 'How to analyse your survey data'.

  1. Social media mentions/engagement: How big was the buzz around your event? How many attendees mentioned your event in their social posts or used the specific #hashtag? Gather relevant information by looking at the sentiment of the individual posts and tweets.

  1. (Potential) customers: Generating new leads can be an important event objective. However, events can also result in more commitment or expenses from existing customers. It’s important to find out where new customers come from - and to keep track of all the touch points. This will help you to attribute a certain part of the returns to the event.


Tip: Sending out a survey after each event, will enable you to compare events results and discover trends on the long term. For even better results, adjust your events accordingly.


Events affect the overall marketing objectives of an organisation. However, it’s also possible to measure the success of each individual event. You can use 5 indicators to give you insight in the event results - and each specific indicator provides new information for influencing your marketing goals. By evaluating your events, you can perceive long-term trends and improve future events. As a result, you’re making events even more valuable to the entire organisation.