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Event Measurement and Metrics — What’s It Worth?

Event Measurement and Metrics — What’s It Worth?

By Allison Saget

Advertising and PR do a great job of metrics. It’s easy for most people, from the CEO to the college intern, to understand advertising terms, such as “frequency” and “reach,” and PR’s “column inch” for word space. These buzzwords provide consistency and measurement for the advertising industry, which lives and dies by the numbers, and PR, which hangs onto every word and measures every placement. It’s tangible. There’s also the fact that you have independent audit bureaus supplying the information.

Events do not enjoy the same ease in which metrics and ROI information is communicated since there are really set metrics for event marketing. However, event measurement in some shape or form has to be done.

The typical definition for ROI is a measurement of the return against the investment made. The investment might be money, but for your company it might be time or resources that could be leveraged elsewhere. For metrics, ROI, and measurement, event marketers are forced to provide market data, such as “number of leads” acquired at an event. For me, this term alone is confusing because there are “qualified leads” or “inquiries.” It’s important to understand that the process begins in lead capture and pulls through to an event measurement program.

Here’s a list of buzzwords that I use as the basis for how my event programs should be measured. You can use all, some or none; it all depends on how you define it and what you want accomplish.

  • ROI (Return on Investment) — Assesses long-term financial benefits and ties to the sales process.
  • ROO (Return on Opportunity or Return on Objective) — Summarizes short-term goals, such as did the target audience learn about your product.
  • ROE (Return on Experience) — Focuses on the immediate reaction to what has just been learned or communicated.
  • ROR #1 (Return on Relationships) — Centers on customer loyalty and is measured with an account-based marketing approach.
  • ROR #2 (Return on Return) — Ongoing and endless justification of why you are doing an event program.
  • ROS (Return on Smiles) — In-the-moment measurement, gives you a feeling, a buzz, or an energy.
  • LOL (Laugh Out Loud) — Releases stress while you are working on your event measurement initiatives.

Allison Saget is an event marketing consultant and the author of “The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics & Planning.” Her website is She can be emailed at


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