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Evaluating a Meetings Management Program for Future Planning

With the recent decline in meetings and events, now is a good time to take a pause and evaluate your meetings management programme on all levels. Results from our recent Maturity Index show that a potential development area across a wide range of industries is insight into ‘engagement and measurement’ strategies.

Two meeting planners at laptop evaluating Meetings Management ROI and Metrics | Global agency, BCD Meetings & Events

Engagement and measurement strategies: Here’s what to look at

For many companies, an events calendar is cyclical in nature and large portions of their meetings/conferences can be mapped out based on what happened in the previous calendar year.

But how many times are those events reviewed and scrutinised to make sure they are still delivering on their objectives? The ROI/ROO conversation has been raging in the events world for a long time and there are multiple different calculations used to measure it. An advantage of a company putting a stop on live, in-person events in 2020 is the ability to use this time to truly evaluate their events calendar. It’s not often we are offered a new start of this nature so we should make the most of it.

4 questions to focus on:

For these annual events that are a staple of your event calendar, now is the time to ask questions such as:

  1. Why are we hosting this event?
  2. Have the goals of this event shifted?
  3. Has our target audience profile changed over the years and are we adapting our approach to mirror this?
  4. Are our stakeholders still getting what they want from this?

Asian centric woman presenting to team

Related article: As the world changes, is your meeting program evolving?


Virtual meeting metrics

The inevitable rise of online events this year and the relatively low cost to market entry price means there is a real case of ‘virtual fatigue’ that needs to be addressed. There are companies who are using the number of attendees in a virtual environment as a measurement of success, but today it’s even easier to be distracted or lose focus and miss the key messages.

More sophisticated measurements are available to track online engagement: viewing time of virtual delegates, primary screen viewing (to allow you to see if your content is keeping the attendee’s focus) or the level of reaction to key parts of the presentation. Any or all of these can be added to the more traditional methods of engagement like live polling and Q&A. Ultimately, we need to use as many of these methods as possible, combined with more bespoke measurements, to ensure our events are fit for purpose.

The rise of hybrid events now and in the future will introduce a new dynamic for making decisions on who to invite to attend in-person vs attendance via a virtual platform. The cost of adding in virtual attendees will be marginal compared to those of live attendees. Therefore, should these discussions be centred around the forecasted ROI of each attendee type?

With the forecasted pressure on budgets in 2021 and beyond is now the time to go back to basics, take a macro look at the engagement of our attendees and ensure we are getting the most for our money.


Originally published Aug 31, 2020 1:08:23 PM
Last updated on Apr 6, 2023 4:46:19 PM

Ben Hoeksma profile picture

Written by Ben Hoeksma

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