How do you measure the success of your event?

11 12 2011

Measuring success is critical to any endeavor, without knowing the goal you won’t know when you get there.

The goals for an event can be varied but often include a certain number of people in the room, the quality of the people, the number of meetings or sales that take place with sponsors/delegates or client testimonials post event (and sometimes a profit for the organizer). All these things seem easy enough to measure but what if your goal was to create ideas worth spreading? or to help create the next Facebook? or to drive engagement of a new product? or develop a ‘back room’ or ‘online’ conversation around the event that would last beyond the two days in a conference room? how would you measure success?

I like to keep an eye on how innovative event companies use the web and events to spread their ideas. One of the best I have seen in long time was Le Web, an eclectic web conference in Paris. Following the event on-line was very easy through any number of feeds and Fisheye Analytics posted this great breakdown on their blog including some great charts representing how much of the content was shared. It’s a great post and well worth the quick read.

I was intrigued by a couple of things from Le Web and the Fish Analytics post; namely could success be defined by  Clicks and Sharing of stories,  and how would you use the knowledge of the top sharers or the source of the sharing to transform your marketing next time. Also worth considering if the conversation will continue post event and help promote or drive attendance to next year or simply help share the ideas of the event.

I think it will do both of those things for many reasons. Le Web provided loads of cool content and ways to share it. They used video, images and cartoons all shared though Google+, Twitter, fotopedia, flipboard, flickr, Youtube, and face book often sparking and feeding the conversation themselves. Here’s a link to my favorite piece of content from the event, even though it didn’t get shared that much, I like the take-aways around the image from Live Sketching, a cartoon of Karl. They also created their own radio station and streamed the event on their own website.

The Fisheye blog post states they got over 35,000 views of their related content and another 66,000 plus retweets.

If your goal is to share ideas beyond just your conference room and drive change, the combination of social media and remarkable content can make a big difference!