Do you know if your event marketing is working?
Which promotions were the most successful?
Is your association reaching attendance, member acquisition, and retention goals?
Are you making real, quantifiable progress toward your mission?
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are measurable values that show you how effectively your association is achieving key objectives. They can help you gauge what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments along the way. Tracking KPIs allows you to use real-time data to make smart decisions for your marketing and your long-term sustainability.
How to Use KPIs
KPIs can help your association focus on common goals and ensure those goals stay aligned within your association. The first step is to determine what your goals are. Next, choose KPIs for each one so you can measure progress. For example, associations who hold events often focus on improving lead generation, event registration, brand awareness, and member engagement. If we match each of these goals with KPIs, it might look something like this:
Best Practices for KPIs
How do you determine which metrics are meaningful for your organization? Effective KPIs align with the long-term mission of your organization, not just this year’s event. They should be measurable and have easily obtainable data that is reliable and accurate. Mostly importantly, they should be actionable, allowing you to make changes to your event, marketing, member offerings, and operations based on the actual needs and behaviors of your audience.
Be realistic when choosing your KPIs. If it’s expensive or difficult to monitor a KPI, then you likely won’t be able to track it over the long term. If your KPI is not clearly defined, you also won’t be able to extract meaningful data. If you can’t act on the information, there is little point in tracking it.
KPIs for Events
Effective KPIs for your event marketing and your event itself might include member acquisition and attendance numbers, social media traffic, or the number of people who requested follow-up information. The most insightful KPIs are dynamic. They consider multiple metrics within the context of your larger brand ecosystem. For example, you already measure event attendance. However, comparing the number of people who registered to the number of people who actually attended might identify a gap in your marketing. Looking at when all these individuals registered could lead to additional insights. (We’ll cover 12 common KPIs for event marketers in our next blog post.)
Track Your KPIs
Once you’ve established your goals and corresponding KPIs, you will need a way to track these with a real-time reporting tool. A software platform can help you manage KPIs from a simple dashboard. It can also help you track campaign performance, create reports, and make adjustments to your marketing to ensure your reach your goals. Plan to review KPIs with stakeholders on a weekly basis. Stay nimble, and be prepared to make changes based on what you learn.
Without established KPIs you can only guess at the effectiveness of your marketing and overall organizational strategy. With KPIs you can know definitively what’s working and what’s not based on quantifiable data. You’ll know exactly where to invest in your event and your organization to ensure long-term sustainability.
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