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4 Metrics Every Virtual Event Planner Needs to Know
June 13, 2014 @ 12:18 PM | By Eric Vidal

An important part of accurately measuring the success of any virtual event is looking beyond the basic metrics. A common misconception is that event attendance alone determines whether or not your event was successful. While attendance is indeed a useful piece of data, there are many other aspects of a virtual event you should also measure and analyze. This will help ensure that the participants not only showed up, but engaged with your brand and left with a positive experience.

Virtual Event Metrics

With that in mind, here are four metrics to keep track of at your virtual event:

1. Attendee behavior

While harder to measure for in-person events, tracking attendee behavior at virtual events is rather easy and extremely beneficial. Doing so allows you to see everything from how attendees engage with certain content, experts and even their peers. This provides you with insight into what experts and sessions were most successful – something that traditionally could only be be inferred from attendance rates, which does not paint a very accurate picture.

For instance, if a session has a high attendance, but little engagement, you know that while the topic was interesting, the format in which the information was presented probably needs to be reworked.

2. Engagement

Anyone can log-in and “attend” an event, but that doesn’t mean they were actually engaged with the content or even paying attention to the session taking place. While more time-intensive than simply looking at attendance rates, measuring engagement sheds light on two important areas:

  1. The good, the bad and the ugly – If one topic in particular had really low engagement levels across the board, chances are it either needs to be reworked or scrapped altogether. On the other hand, if one session, unexpectedly did particularly well, you know it’s a keeper for your next virtual event.

  2. Potential client prospects – Most virtual event solutions allow you to customize the engagement metric. For instance, you can give senior-level decision makers who attend certain sessions, actively ask questions and communicate with certain subject experts at the booths a high ranking. Then, those contacts with a ranking above a certain threshold can be sent automatically to your sales team as leads.

3. Attendee Satisfaction

Engagement and behavior may capture attendee activities, but not necessarily their feelings about the event. Within one to two weeks after the event date, launch a short survey to capture this information. Keep the survey friendly and to the point. Create a separate survey for event sponsors or exhibitors. Survey data will prove useful in knowing what aspects to augment for your next virtual event. Also, be sure to take note of any positive customer feedback or testimonials, and relay them to your marketing or sales team as marketing ammunition. Knowing who realized value from the event will help you determine what client prospects to target next.

4. Number of registrants vs. attendance rate

On average, only 40 to 50 percent of registrants attend the live-day virtual event, so don’t get disappointed when only 100 people out of the 250 people who registered attend your event. One major benefit of virtual events is their extended shelf life. So just because your event is over, it doesn’t mean your job is finished. Your next goal should be to get the rest of the registrants (or as many as possible) to attend the event on-demand or through a recording – something that can be easily accomplished by having a solid follow-up plan ready to roll the day after the live-event occurred.

Eric Vidal Eric Vidal is a Director of Product Marketing at InterCall and is considered a leading voice and expert in virtual business, which expands from marketing to collaboration to learning. He has more than 15 years experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies. As the director of product marketing for InterCall’s event services, Eric manages the strategy and initiatives for the virtual technologies that include virtual environments, streaming, event management services and operator assisted services. Previously from WebEx, Eric managed the virtual classroom product, as well as brand advertising and new media. Over the last several years, Eric has held management positions at Cisco, WebEx, IBM, BBDO Worldwide and Macromedia.

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