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Guest Column: The Event Measurement Fundamentals

Event Marketer has embarked on a partnership with the industry’s leading authority on event measurement and analytics, the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition. The year-long collaboration will provide experiential marketers with important tools and resources designed to help them track and measure the success of their events. Learn more here.


By Matt Sincaglia, Board Member, Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition

In the dynamic world of event marketing, where every moment is an opportunity to impact an audience, understanding the effectiveness of your efforts is paramount. The Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition’s (EMMC) mission is to demystify the topic of event measurement. Here, we explore the fundamentals.


Defining Event Measurement

At its core, event measurement is the analysis of data from a variety of sources to understand the impact of an event on objectives.

Firstly, it’s not merely about amassing raw data, but about delving into its depths through insightful analysis. An event measurer’s job transcends mere number-crunching—it involves infusing data with context, understanding the nuances of audience behaviors and mindsets, and discerning patterns that lead to actionable insights.

Central to this understanding is aligning measurement efforts with predefined objectives. Setting clear, measurable goals forms the foundation upon which meaningful analysis is built. Without these guiding stars, marketers navigate in the dark, unable to discern what worked and what could be improved.

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Types of Data

The EMMC advocates for collecting three types of data: perception data, behavioral data and social impact data.

Perception data offers a glimpse into the minds of attendees, gauging their sentiments and attitudes towards the event. Through well-crafted surveys and polls, marketers unearth valuable insights into audience perception shifts from pre- to post-event.

Behavioral data unveils the tangible actions driven by the event experience. Whether it’s tracking response rates to event communications or observing attendee movement during the event, behavioral data serves as a compass, guiding event professionals towards optimizing every facet of the event journey. Furthermore, we can connect the experience to post-event actions. Through surveying, we can analyze purchase intent, advocacy, and loyalty measures to support bottom-line impact for the business.

Social impact data looks at important elements like event sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe it is important to establish social impact objectives and to collect credible data in these areas—both to understand impact and to inform improvement efforts.

When it comes to events, the EMMC suggests asking people three fundamental survey questions:

–> Was the event a good use of attendees’ time?
–> Did the event change their perceptions of the brand?
–> Are they likely to behave differently as a result of an experience?

Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition Event MarketerRead: Five Insights on Measuring DEI in Events

In this column, Matt Sincaglia, board member of the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition, offers a glimpse into some pivotal insights outlined in the newly released Measuring DEI at Events guide.

Event Measurement Process

How does one navigate the labyrinth of event measurement? The EMMC outlines a structured process:

–> Objective setting. Clear objectives serve as the north star, guiding every subsequent step of the measurement journey.
–> Development of measurement tools. Tailored to the event’s unique structure, define methodologies to gather data. From survey questions to event technologies, each tool is used to extract meaningful data aligned with predefined objectives.
–> Data collection. Gather information before, during, and after the event through your measurement tools. Test the process to assure things are working as expected. Furthermore, keep a keen eye on privacy regulations.
–> Analysis. Moving beyond raw data to graphs and charts to make it more digestible. At this stage we seek to define if we have achieved the objectives set forth in Step 1 and uncover relationships between data points.
–> Reporting. In addition to displaying data visualizations, reports should transform raw numbers into actionable insights that lead to recommendations and drive decision-making.

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Why Invest in Measurement

In a landscape rife with budget constraints and competing priorities, our industry needs evidence to justify the cost of events as a channel. Marketers must articulate the value proposition of measurement, framing it not as an expense but rather as an investment in future success. The democratization of measurement tools makes it more accessible than ever before. Marketers need not be data scientists to navigate the waters of event measurement. With the right tools and guidance, success is within reach.

Ultimately, the key lies in aligning measurement efforts with business priorities. Whether it’s brand sentiment or lead generation, understanding business needs strengthens the case for investment in measurement.

In the fast-paced world of event marketing, success hinges on more than just dazzling displays and captivating content—it requires a deep understanding of the impact of those efforts. By embracing a culture of measurement, marketers can unlock the full potential of their events, paving the way for future success.

You can also learn more about the DEI in Events guide from our recent LinkedIn Live conversation, available on-demand here. For more EMMC content, click here. And for more on the coalition, visit eventmeasurement.org.

Image Credit: iStock/robuart

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