The other day we introduced the case study from our fictionally named, but very real company, Allsante. The study proved that there was a positive ROI for their event targeting independent insurance brokers.
In my last post, we discussed the importance of planning carefully if you plan to measure to ROI. This planning will determine when data should be collected and how.
High Scores Immediately After the Event
Most meetings and events have an initial uptick on the “engagement” meter. The participants, fresh from connecting with new people and being exposed to new ideas, are in a great frame of mind. In fact it is pretty rare when a professionally planned meeting has low scores on traditional satisfaction surveys.
The insight gainedfrom these immediate post-event surveys is good for guiding improvement. The findings help you plan logistics better, update your speaker list, identify new and different content for future meetings and events, etc.
What this information doesn’t tell you is whether all the information, brand-building, engagement events, networking, etc., had any lasting impact. If all your effort and work only lasts until the survey is turned into the hospitality desk – it’s probably a pretty marginal investment.
When measuring business impact and ROI, carefully determine when and how to collect the necessary data to determine the results over time.
Measure the Half-life Of the Meeting
Like radioactive elements their initial burst of radioactivity is powerful and strong – and then over time it becomes less and less powerful. Your meetings and events are similar. The initial impact is strong but it will decay in importance over time. It’s natural and to be expected. However, if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck you need to understand the rate of “decay.”
Three months from now, how well was key content retained? Have your attendees done anything different because of your investment? Understanding the return on your event requires that you find out to what degree you’ve been able to influence behavior – behavior that will ultimately lead to results.
Our case study included a 3-month pulse check on the Allsante event. The results from this questionaire showed that we did have some decrease in some of the key factors we were measuring. Not to worry, though, because once armed with the evidence we were able to determine what gaps existed and how we could fill them. As a result, we were able to extend the half-life of the meeting’s impact!
Do you measure the “decay” of your meeting? The effort required to follow up with attendees and check the half-life of your message is minimal and key to understanding how to sustain the impact on behavior and mindshare.
Next… the ROI question!