Event marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) provide the best way to measure and understand event performance. Tracking event success against predetermined KPIs gives you insightful data to help improve future events and arms you with tangible sponsor data to prove ROI.

Over the past few years, event technology has become more and more sophisticated, providing more measurable data and analytics than ever before. But navigating the metrics tab of your event platform can be a challenge if you’re not sure what to track. 

Let’s take a look at how to determine which KPIs you should track, along with some of the top event marketing KPIs to inspire your list. 

Choosing event marketing KPIs to track

Analytics dashboard showing spiked line graph

If you’re thinking about which event marketing KPIs you should track for your next conference, trade show, or event, start by outlining your event goals (grow sponsorships, increase registrations, etc.) so you’ll know which KPIs correlate to each goal.

For example, say your goal is to attract 1,000 attendees. You’ll want to track event registrations regularly to ensure enough attendees sign up in advance and adjust marketing efforts if registration numbers fall short. Additionally, you also want to track event check-ins to determine the true number of event attendees.

Your event marketing KPIs will also depend on the format of your event. For instance, if you want to track session engagement for an in-person event, you’d need to poll attendees during the session or send out a post-event survey to collect responses.

With a virtual event, your event management platform could show how many attendees tuned in to a specific session, engagement metrics for chat and Q&A, and prompt users to comment and rate the session. 

As you think about your own event KPIs, take a look at our list below to give you ideas and inform your next event.

11 top event marketing KPIs

1. Registrations

Tracking registrations enables you to see if you’re on course to reach your attendance goals, even before the event kicks off. A lag in registrations quickly spotlights whether you need to amplify marketing efforts to attract more registrants.  

As you monitor event registrations, look for spikes in sign-ups and replicate the marketing strategies that motivated attendees to hit the “register now” button. Also pay attention to registrations by ticket type, as well as event promotions like early bird pricing, so you can optimize future event registration campaigns and attract even more attendees.

2. Check-ins

Measuring event check-ins helps you understand your true attendance rate by comparing the number of attendees who actually show up to the event — both in-person and virtual — versus the total number of registrants.

Tracking check-ins offers a key way to identify and address any issues with registrants not converting to attendees. You may realize you need to ramp up promotions as the event approaches to ensure it remains top-of-mind. 

And this doesn’t only apply to in-person events. It’s common for event planners to see anywhere from 30-50% attrition on virtual events. Tracking virtual attendance is just as important as tracking in-person check-ins.

3. Social mentions

Tracking social media mentions provides a great KPI to see how people talk about your event out in the wild. Social media management platforms like Hootsuite allow you to monitor social mentions across all social channels, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Make sure to design and promote a simple hashtag for the event. Also, check your event platform’s social metrics, as some users prefer to engage more intimately with other attendees and event sponsors.

4. Event surveys

Collecting event data isn’t limited to after your event is over. Surveys provide a crucial tool to gauge how attendees feel during all stages of your event. 

Pre-event: Send pre-event surveys to find out which speakers and sessions your attendees are most excited to see. You can also survey attendees for suggestions on the types of food and drink to serve, or on options for entertainment and activities.

At the event: Use surveys during your event to unlock real-time information on what’s working and what needs improvement, so you can quickly make changes on the fly. 

Post-event: Send out a post-event survey to gauge how your attendees felt about the event overall and ask for suggestions to make future events better than ever. We suggest sending different surveys to attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors since they each have their own needs and metrics for success.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS serves as the premier KPI of customer experience metrics. Based on a single question that asks, “How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague?” millions of organizations depend on NPS to measure how their customers perceive their business.

Put simply, respondents score the question on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). NPS segments responders into three buckets to determine the score: detractors, passive, and promoters. A high NPS correlates to strong customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

If your event generates a low NPS, consult your event surveys to look for opportunities for improvement.

6. Total engagements 

Measuring the engagement of your in-person and virtual attendees offers a key KPI to see if event sessions, networking opportunities, and other activities resonate with your event guests. And the good news is you can monitor these engagements directly through your event management platform. 

The best event technology — mobile app for in-person, event platform for virtual — comes fully equipped with powerful engagement dashboards so you can track the total number of actions across all users, including clicks to agenda sessions, sponsor banners, or landing pages, as well as the number of chats, connections made, social posts, and more.

7. User contributions (virtual) 

Similar to total engagement, tracking user contributions to your event management platform helps you understand attendee engagement by providing metrics on social media shares, likes, comments, posts; individual and group messages; and even data on attendee chats, polls, and Q&A sessions.

View of dashboard displaying KPIs for event platform social activity

8. Challenge metrics

Gamification provides one of the most effective (and super fun) engagement tools for all event formats. If your event management platform includes a gamification feature, you should be able to see detailed game metrics, including the total number of completed challenges, completed challenges per attendee, points earned, and more. 

View of dashboard displaying event KPIs for gamification challenges

Dive deeper into event gamification: See how RFMS uses gamification to boost attendee engagement at events.

9. Most popular platform features

Whether in-person, virtual or hybrid, knowing the platform features your attendees use most frequently (or not at all) provides valuable intel to level up your future events.  

For instance, did your gamification challenges lack meaningful engagement? If so, maybe the prizes didn’t entice attendees to participate, or you forgot to promote the challenges during the event. On the flip side, if you discover a specific feature really resonates with attendees, you can be sure to include it prominently in your next conference or event.

Ideally, an event management platform should include a features comparison dashboard so you can simultaneously compare real-time utilization across all platform features.

10. Sponsorship satisfaction 

Sponsors play a key role in funding all types of events, and in return, they gain valuable leads and grow brand awareness and revenues. But to keep sponsors coming back year after year, you need to provide tangible proof that sponsoring your event is worthy of their investment.

Event technology enables you to track event metrics like clicks to a sponsor banner, landing page, or CTA button, as well as the number of scheduled meetings and requested follow-ups. 

Paired with lead retrieval software, sponsors can capture and qualify valuable lead data from their mobile event app.

11. Sales-qualified leads (SQLs) 

If your event goals involve finding prospects for your sales team, then you’ll want to track this KPI. SQLs are leads your sales team has already qualified as potential customers. Make sure to work closely with sales to identify the criteria for SQLs before categorizing your attendees and handing them off for follow-up.

Don’t overlook this event marketing KPI, as it could generate a ton of new sales for your business.

Understanding the data behind your events

As mentioned previously, event marketing KPIs are the best way to measure and understand event performance. Once you know which KPIs you’d like to track, you can begin to dive into the data they provide on a deeper level. 

The more places data is stored, the more difficult it becomes to make it actionable. For example, if your total engagements and gamification metrics are stored in your event platform, but your check-in and registration data is stored in another app altogether, it makes it harder to view all of that data holistically. 

If you’re using different tools to track different KPIs and anything changes across tools, things will need to be reconnected and your team has to spend time fixing integrations instead of providing a memorable event experience.

Instead of helping you, your event metrics suddenly become your biggest challenge. 

When your event management platform provides you with analytics throughout your event lifecycle, it’s easier to see how each aspect affects the attendee experience. You’re able to step back, take a look at the big picture, and determine where there is room to improve. 

Webex Events and event marketing KPIs, a perfect match

Gain real-time event insights and powerful metrics with Webex Events (formerly Socio). Our mobile event app, registration, and check-in system, and top-rated virtual event platform help event organizers track their most important KPIs, including:

  • Attendee engagement and networking metrics for session attendance, chat, polling, and Q&A.
  • Live stream and video analytics, including engagement and drop-off levels.
  • Real-time gamification results for the number of challenges, active participants, total points, and average points per user.
  • Sponsor insights and ROI showing every attendee touchpoint across your event lifecycle.

With these features, you’ll not only be able to improve the future of your events, but you’ll be able to improve your events in real-time!

Dashboard showing event marketing KPIs

Try polling your attendees during a session to see if they like the session format. If the answer is no and your event includes other sessions in the same format, make a last-minute switch to keep your attendee engagement up. 

Gamification can be a great tool for attendee engagement, but if you’re seeing fewer active participants than you’d like, try using polls and surveys to find out why.

The possibilities are endless! Schedule a free demo to see how Webex Events end-to-end event management technology helps you measure the event marketing KPIs that matter the most.

Nolan Ether
Nolan Ether

Nolan is a Content Marketing leader at Webex Events (formerly Socio). He’s passionate about helping brands connect with their customers through engaging storytelling and immersive experiences.