The ROI of your event

What makes an event a success? When would you call it average or good? The last week I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic. The Dutch love to know where they stand. We love to use KPI’s, analytics and targets to measure. Let’s have a look at how to use measure the ROI of your event.



Quantity, quality – or both?
Before you can start to measure anything it is key to know what you find important. Quantity? Or quality? Leads or sales? Emotion or facts? Then it is interesting to know what you want to do with these goals. How would you translate them into measurable goals. Quantity could be the amount of attendees, where as quality could be the amount of attendees that made an appointment or interacted during your event. Of course such targets have everything to do with the sort of event you are organising.

Criteria should be SMART
A good criteria is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related. Without these preconditions you can not really measure, since the criteria were too vague, too broad or not bound to a certain time period.

Measure, reflect and try again
In the chaos of planning the event and the day(s) itself it’s easy to forget about ROI. Therefore it is smart to create forms and surveys beforehand and think about how you are going to receive the information needed for your SMART criteria. A lot of the information needed can probably be digitalised retrieved!

Don’t forget to reflect on these criteria. What went well, what could be better? Use such a reflection for your next event. And don’t forget to have your eyes and ears open when you’re on the event floor. A lot of important information is shared informally!

Sustainable meetings: numbers tell the tale of green

In the last weeks we have explored a lot of options to make meetings and events more sustainable. Every step that you take towards green meetings, is a step in the right direction. But in the end you might want to know what the result of all your efforts looks like: numbers tell the tale. Therefore you will have to measure; even more if you are aiming for the Green Meetings Award. But how can we measure sustainability of an event? In this final post on green meetings I collected some suggestions on how to start with measurement.

Blog Holland Green Meetings Measure baseline

Establish a baseline

Before you start changing anything, you need a baseline to compare your future results against. Do you want to save energy and water? Would you like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by transportation? The baseline serves as a starting point to set goals for future meetings and tells you whether you are making progress and how effective your actions are. Thus, check the green performance of your recent meetings before you get start them.

Blog Holland Green Meetings Measure Travel

Counting kilometers

As I explained in my previous posts, transportation and travel cause CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming. You can reduce these emissions by minimizing the the total travel and transportation distances. Monitor the travel kilometers for your delegates and transportation of your suppliers. You can use the Carbon Footprint Calculator for this. If you are planning to offset your CO2 emissions you can include the compensated kilometers in your measurements.

Blog Holland Green Meetings Measure Catering

Check the food

In my blogpost about green catering I discussed the main aspects of green food. Besides limiting the transportation issue by working with local foods, you can measure the percentage of seasonal products used. How many of the purchased products were labelled Fair Trade, biological or organic? All these numbers indicate how green your catering is.

Blog Holland Green Meetings Measure garbage

The weight of waste

Of course you can simply measure the total amount of waste your meeting produced per delegate. But there are more things to measure. What about the packaging material you purchased together with the supplies? How many items were reusable or recyclable? Including these factors in your measurement will give you more particular insights into your waste management.

Show no show

It is a frustrating issue but you will also have to attend to the no show percentage of your meeting. No show is an important indication for the amount of wasted resources.

Blog Holland Green Meetings Measure olympics

The ISO 14001 Standard

Nobody bars you from establishing you own green parameters. However, using existing, internationally acknowledged standards makes your measurements more transparent and trustworhty. One example is the ISO 14001 standard which was used to achieve the sustainability goals of the Olympics 2012 in London. One of their targets was reducing water consumption by 40% and carbon by 50%. They duly delivered at 58% and 60% respectively. This isn’t just great news for the environment but also reduced costs massively. On the other hand, the measurements indicate where sustainability can be improved. For London they showed that the target for use of renewable energy was missed by 9 percent.

Stop guessing!

In my opinion, measuring is a crucial part of green meetings. What do you think. Do you have any experiences with green measurments? Please share them with me.