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  • Writer's pictureKim Trieu

How to Measure Virtual Event ROI

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

As virtual events have taken over the industry by storm and is now a part of the new norm with

93% of event marketers planning to invest in virtual events moving forward (Bizzabo, 2020), how do we prove the event ROI of virtual? In person events have always proven value because person to person interaction can’t ever be fully replaced. However, even before COVID-19, more than half (54%) of marketers expressed difficulty in providing ROI, (Bizzabo, 2019). We realize that hosting virtual events comes with its own set of challenges and could be more difficult to prove its value.

So in this article, we’ll dive into the value of virtual events by discussing virtual event ROI and also shine light on how to measure them through specific tools.

First things first…

First step to measure any event, virtual, hybrid, or in person is to identify the “Why?” or business goal of your event. To accurately measure and determine the best metrics to see if there is ROI from the event, you have to figure out the KPIs and why did you have the event in the first place? Is it to drive brand awareness? To generate revenue? To educate? Or maybe a combination of these goals. Review possible event goals and once you identify your “Why?”, only then we can determine what metrics can be used for ROI and then how to measure them accurately.

ROI Metrics

Once you have determined your business goals, you can then determine the next step which identifies your specific event goals. Identifying these specific event goals will tie directly into the ROI metrics that will help prove the value of virtual events.

In the link below, there is a table of 5 common business goals. It turns out that many in person event metrics occur through digital channels such as social media, surveys, website visits, and demos so great news… these metrics can be transferred to virtual events easily.

Check out event success KPIs and event metrics to dive in deeper. (Bizzabo, 2020)

You got the why, but how?

We may have very similar ROI metrics from in-person metrics, some of which we can continue using the same tools such as CRMs, EMS, or social media platforms. But choosing the right virtual event platform helps you unlock direct event metrics that proves the ROI. Here are a few:

LinkedIn Live: Going live on LinkedIn enables companies to connect with their network in real-time which consequently builds closer relationships with their communities and those in the industry.

(GoDelta, 2020)

● Engagement metrics: likes, comments, shares

● Lifetime awareness metrics: watchtime, views, viewers, viewers at peak

● Audience firmographics: top pages, job titles, locations

Facebook Live: Using Facebook live enables you to go straight to your audience on one of the most popular channels instead of them coming to you. You’re able to see the live viewers, comments, and then save the video to the profile once finished.

(Hubspot, 2020)

● Video metrics: minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, average % completion, peak live viewers, total views, average watch time

● Engagement metrics: a breakdown of reactions, comments, and shares

● Audience metrics: people reached, and the demographics of who watched your video

Bizzabo: Bizzabo’s virtual experience solution consists of abilities to enhance the virtual experience and has the ability to measure your virtual event ROI accurately from webcasting live sessions to engagement tools to real time insights so you can make adjustments on the fly.

● Prove and improve your events by measuring the impact of virtual events on the business.

● Gain visibility into real-time attendee data and make changes to increase engagement at the right moment.

● See monetary value from accounts won or pipeline impact.

Happily Virtual Event ROI Calculator: If you have the metrics from your virtual event and would like to calculate the exact monetary ROI, here’s an easy already made calculator from Happily!

Key Takeaways

Virtual events can be in a way easier to prove its value versus in-person events with the right tools. Since many metrics transfer from in-person events to virtual events, it’s all about having the right platform to accurately track and measure those ROI metrics that can prove the value of virtual events. Ultimately with virtual events’ ability to reach wide audiences and ease of having technology integration so metrics can be tracked accurately, the challenge of proving ROI doesn’t seem too daunting.

● First step is to always identify the “Why?” or business goal of your event.

● Create specific event goals from those business goals.

● Determine metrics from those event goals to determine if the virtual event was a success.

● Many metrics from in-person events can transfer to virtual events.

● Use the right tools to measure and track those metrics such as the platforms like LinkedIn Live, FB Live, Bizzabo or calculate directly with the ROI calculator!

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