Some events like sales-based programs or sampling-focused initiatives are easier to measure than others. But it can be particularly difficult to determine the ROI of an internal event or initiative where the objective is often delivering a message or product knowledge. But just because it’s tricky doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact some of the easiest ways to measure internal events pull from standard metrics used to determine the value of other b-to-b or consumer programs. Four tips that will show you how it’s done.
1. Survey Says. Sure surveys are de rigueur at just about any meeting these days internal or otherwise. But too often they function as more of a necessary evil than a tool to really assess the success of your meetings. Don’t shy away from asking questions that invite criticism and leave room for open-ended responses.
For Washington Mutual’s annual business meeting the company uses a “robust” survey following the event to get the goods from the event’s 5 000 attendees. “We really want to understand what they want and how we’re meeting their expectations ” says Karen Horn senior vp-internal communications at WaMu.
2. Go In Early. It’ll be tough to get a true indication of the success of your internal meeting without having a baseline from which to operate. For an internal event that’s about reinforcing a company’s mission or values for example survey attendees ahead of time to see how informed they may already be about the content to be delivered at the meeting. “Pre-experience we try to get a feeling of where people are at and what the current state is says Tony Palazzo director-analytics and accountability at New York City-based Jack Morton Worldwide. Post-meeting you’ll get a truer measure of how much information attendees retained from the event.
3. Give It Some Time. Give attendees a few weeks at the minimum to absorb the info they retained before coming back to measure the success of the meeting. “We try to be out 30 days so people can actually comment on whether they’ve been able to implement the vision and the strategy and if they have changed any of their behavior actions accordingly ” says Steve Mooney practice leader at Jack Morton.
4. Tie It to the Web. To teach employees the product features of a new line of phones Nokia tied the training—which had employees acting as brand ambassadors to communicate the info to coworkers—to a web site. The employees talked up the initiative to coworkers then sent them to the site to get more info. Because the web site was for internal use only tracking the number of hits to the site gave the company a good idea of how many employees were getting the info. The company combined that with follow-up—questions asking them to name back some of the product line’s features and benefits—for a more well-rounded measurement.