How to Measure the True Value of Your Events
Adapted from the session “Advanced Event Metrics: Beyond the low-hanging fruit” at the 2017 AHP Annual International Conference
Most development events are measured by number of attendees and dollars raised. You can learn more through careful analysis at different stages of your event planning. The true value of your event can be discovered by looking at immediate metrics, post-event engagement and long-term metrics after the event.
Immediate Event Metrics
Tracking your immediate event metrics from event to event will help you tailor your special events to maximize impact. First, tracking attendance is important, as well as the demographics of those who attend. Make sure to give an outlet for participants to offer feedback to your organization on the event. What can be improved? What worked? What didn’t work? Track your donations received at the event and compare to your event cost. Was the event worth it? Did you maximize your potential for donations?
Does your audience stay engaged after attending your event? Track gifts from this audience, as well as onsite visits and personal engagement. Are they staying in touch? Be sure to note repeat attendance at other events put on by your organization. Finally, track referrals given by donors for new donations.
Long-Term Post-Event Metrics
After your event, be sure to track your organization’s number of gifts, total dollar amount raised, number of first-time gift givers, renewal gifts, donors who have broken their highest previous contribution, increases in giving from donors and donors who have reached giving milestones. Make sure to follow up with your audience after your event. Placing personal phone calls, sending a personal note and scheduling personal meetings will add to your attendees’ event experience and increase the chances of receiving a donation in the future.