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4 Key Performance Indicators for Calculating ROI

Outlining an event’s key performance indicators (KPIs) in an essential step in calculating return on investment (ROI) of your event marketing activity. (See basic calculation example)

In this article, we outline 4 KPIs to get you started with your calculation.


The most obvious KPI used to calculate ROI on an event is attendance. Whether your event is an outdoor festival, traditional style indoor event or modern experiential event, you will want to calculate ROI first by tracking attendance. Sophisticated event evaluation methods

also involve knowing more about those that attended. It is important to implement strategies such as contests or surveys that gather appropriate demographics. Demographics on attendees’ ages, locations, income levels, professions, likes and dislikes are essentials to determining if the event has been targeted correctly.

Leads/Database Growth

Generally, for social events weddings, corporate functions, awards galas etc. attendance is far more important than most other KPIs, while event marketing focuses on generating leads, increasing a database, and ultimately sales. Focus is generally placed on quality over quantity until budgets permit.

Successful event marketing activity uses strategies to engage consumers and move them through a sales cycle. Often, signing up consumers to a database is the best first step of the cycle. Putting solid event marketing strategies into place for signing up clients to a database is key. There are many ways to do this. The cheapest and easiest is to ask! Attendees have already shown interest in the brand and are more inclined to signup on the spot.

Other highly effective tactics include contests and activities that prompt action. Contests and activities facilitate stronger engagement with a brand, builds trust, and generates online activity.


Converting new attendees into sales is a smooth and natural process if an event is designed well. People buy from brands they like and trust.  Events that are staffed with the most knowledgeable employees that can provide excellent service with yield the largest results.

Sales can be calculated on the spot until roughly six months or a year after the event. The time frame will depend on the products or services the brand provides. Put measures in place to easily track future sales from event attendees.

There are several methods which can help you do this:

  • making notes in the client’s file
  • providing a voucher code
  • coding them in a CRM system
  • or signing them up to a segmented database to name a few.

Brand Growth/Awareness

Brand awareness and growth can be measured through social media channels and database signups.

Social media and events go hand in hand. Social Media is usually the fastest and most efficient way to get information out regarding an event.  Social media is also a great way to generate excitement around the event before it has taken place and after the event has concluded. Conversely, content generated from an event, photographs and video for example, can be used on social media pages to grow the brand long after the event has taken place.

Engaging attendees with social media at an event increases a brand’s chances of growth dramatically; however, not every event will call for attendees to engage with social media at the event. For example, professional networking events may engage attendees to follow and like pages, but these attendees will be less likely to engage beyond this point without inspiration.

On another hand, millennials value experiential marketing and engaging with a brand, its message, and personality. The method used to engage attendees at the event will depend on the target audience and overall marketing strategy.


The above four KPIs will help get you started with calculating ROI on event marketing activity once you have defined the purpose and goals of the event.

For more information on event marketing and best practices tailored to your brand, contact us at info@merchanteventz.ca. Consultations are free.

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