“Hybrid” is currently the buzzword in the events industry with a lot of companies jumping on the digital bandwagon while also meeting the demand for face-to-face interactions. Event planners are limiting the number of in-person attendees and allowing a greater audience to attend via virtual event platforms. A recent study by Linda Nilsson titled “Hybrid Events, breaking the borders” revealed that after the covid-19 pandemic, 59.5% of event organizers are making room for hybrid events in their budget planning while 35.1% are considering organizing hybrid events in the future.
Hybrid events have proven to be an effective strategy to boost ROI as well as local and global audience engagement for varied industries. To measure the efficacy of hybrid events, evaluation factors and KPIs are a must. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential data sets that qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the success of any hybrid event by analyzing the audience engagement rates, email click-through rates, etc.
Top 10 KPIs To Measure Your Hybrid Event Success
1. Number of Participants
The number of participants represents the total number of people who have attended your event. This is used as one of the most important metrics to determine the success of any event. To calculate your participation rate, you’ll need to know the total number of attendees present at your event and the breakdown of both your virtual and in-person participants.
As per a study by markletic, on average, 56% of hybrid event attendees join the in-person event and 44% attend the virtual version. Since a hybrid event allows participants to choose the event format that best suits them, you can expect to see even higher registration rates.
2. Engagement Rate
When your attendees are interacting and actively engaging with each other, it is a clear indication that your event is on the right track.
Engagement rate can be assessed by checking different data sets. For instance, you can track user engagements to determine which attendees were the most active during your event. You can check speaker engagement by viewing how many survey/poll responses or questions each speaker received. Tracking the number of sessions viewed, the number of posts and comments a user left on a live feed or the amount of time spent on the app helps you understand what captured their attention and what didn’t. You can narrow down specifically what your attendees liked or disliked during the event by tracking down different forms of engagements. It will help you refine your event strategy going forward.
3. Attrition Rate
The Attrition Rate represents the average fraction of your event registrants who didn’t attend the event after registering. The formula for calculating attrition is: (number of absentees / total registrants) x 100.
You can assess the attrition rate for both virtual and in-person audiences separately to know which event strategy proved less effective. There can be many reasons for registrants to miss your event. You can send out emails to your event registrants asking the reason for missing the event. This will help you in planning your future marketing strategies to overcome those issues.
4. Email Open and Click Through Rate (CTR)
Sending customized email with compelling CTAs is one of the best strategies for event broadcasting, content sharing, sending invitations, and gaining ROI. To know if your email marketing strategy is working or not, consider the click-through rate (CTR) of every email you broadcast. CTR tracks the total number of participants who clicked on the link in your mail out of all the participants in your mailing list. Though the average event CTR is a little less than 5% today, you can improvise on the specific content strategies that get better CTR and potentially increase the number of participants in your virtual and physical venues.
5. Attendee Satisfaction Rate
Response rates for live polls and surveys are also another valuable metric for measuring attendee engagement at your hybrid event. When your attendees are interested in your event they get actively involved in surveys, live polls or Q&A sessions held during the event. With the right event app or virtual event platform, you can have attendees vote in live polls or ask questions during an event session. This response rate will indicate the audience engagement levels and help event organizers understand which sessions were most successful.
6. Social Media Mentions
Social media mentions are essentially shout-outs from attendees by using a handle or hashtag within their comment/tweet on any social media platform. Specific event hashtags or profile handles allow you to track all the buzz around your event with ease and get a qualitative feel about attendees experience at your event. Include your hashtag and handle in pre-event communication, at the live event and on your customizable event platform.
Social media is a great qualitative KPI for tracking both brand awareness and lead generation goals, so you can analyse the number of potential customers who found your brand via social media buzz around your event.
7. Cost Per Attendee/Customer Acquisition
You can’t calculate your event’s ROI without calculating your cost per customer acquisition or cost per attendee. This metric assesses the amount of money you spent on planning, marketing, and executing the event vs. the amount of money you earned from new sales or new attendees/impressions during your event. Though the number of acquired customers is a key metric, a more critical KPI is the cost per customer acquisition. Knowing the amount of budget and time required to close an event-sourced deal is an essential indicator of your event’s success on the bottom line.
8. Sponsor Engagement
Sponsors are important for events of any size and it is vital that your sponsors also benefit from your hybrid event to ensure their continued backing of your future events. Your sponsors will expect a quantifiable metric or proof of audience engagement, brand promotion or revenue generation caused by your event to justify their investment. You can use virtual platform features to track the sponsor link clicks, inquiries or chat mentions throughout the event. Also, you can set up a team to track the sponsor brand’s inquiries and leads at the physical venue.
9. Audience Retention
In a hybrid event, audience retention is one of the major KPIs that helps in measuring success. It determines how many attendees joined the event, how many were online at particular intervals or the average time they spend at your booth or session. You can use your virtual platform’s real-time analytics report to check which sessions or parts event attendees enjoyed the most or analyse the most engaging hotspots at your event. Tracking audience retention and drop-off moments will allow you to make changes to keep attendees engaged.
10. Revenue Generated
One of the primary reasons for any organizer to plan an event is to drive sales and generate profit. The most significant way to measure your event performance and ROI is by checking the revenue generated. The amount generated can be calculated on the basis of ticket sales, sponsorships, and funds collected. Various virtual platforms offer comprehensive analytics and reporting tools that enable you to track every event activity and user action, giving you a granular picture of your event’s performance so you can easily calculate the revenue generated at your event.
Defining and measuring KPIs for event success is a specific process that depends on what goals you have set for your event. FLOOR is one of the most advanced virtual event platforms with a built-in data analytics tool that enables organizers to track important KPIs including event attendance, user engagement, polling responses, session popularity, and more!