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Conference Planning Metrics You Might Be Missing


As a conference planner, how do you measure success? You look at the data, of course. You keep an eye on the number of registrations and you religiously send out surveys at the end of each event. You know that in order to provide the best possible experience for attendees you need to pay attention to what they want and how they behave. But what you may not know are all the ways you could be paying attention, but aren’t.

Event technology provides conference managers with a variety of opportunities to creatively quantify their events. With the help of the right technology, managers can track everything from registration numbers, sponsorship spends, number of networking opportunities created, to speaker and event attendee engagement. So, measuring all this and keeping on top of the data is a no-brainer, right? Not so fast. According to a recent study conducted by AMEX, only 29% of event planners reported always or often monitoring attendee engagement. Furthermore, 37% report never monitoring attendee engagement at all. In addition, the latest 2016 Event App Bible states that many event planners don’t know what the adoption rate or downloads of their event mobile app are (only 25% and 27% respectively are aware).

Are you one of the 70% of conference planners not measuring attendee engagement and mobile adoption rates? You don’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to measure attendee engagement using both new technology and established methods. This is your wake-up call to take your conference management skills to the next level.

The best event managers understand how engaged their attendees are at their events. Staying on top of what attendees are paying attention to (and what they don’t care about at all!) is crucial in everything from shaping overall event strategy and content to anticipating problems and building a speakers’ program. Furthermore, new techniques and technology can provide quantitative data about attendee engagement that can make it even easier to have a direct impact. Rate of registration, check-ins and social media activity at a speaking session, survey results, and more can provide the numbers to back up anecdotal attendee feedback. Given how powerful attendee engagement can be, event managers who combine these methods will inevitably get the best outcomes. Knowing what your attendees are responding to gives you crucial insights into what your attendees value, in turn informing what content you provide them and the structure of your show.

Modern management whisperer Peter Drucker famously wrote, “what’s measured improves”. In other words, being able to measure something is a core component of improving it. Conference planners have benefitted greatly from the growth of new technology and techniques that have made measurement of so many aspects of the event life cycle possible. You don’t have to stay in the dark any longer. Get on that data train!

Feel like you’re too busy to gather and review data for insights? You might need a content and task management system to automate those pesky conference planning tasks.

Want more on this topic? 

Data Roundup: An Analytical Approach to Understanding Your Event

The Data-Driven Event: Hubb's Guide to Optimizing Your Event with Data and Evaluations

How to Plan a Successful Conference: A Step-by-Step Guide

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