Recent headlines are not encouraging. Companies are announcing job cuts, and during periods of retrenchment, event planners are vulnerable.
Economic indicators and announcements are a wake-up call for corporate event planners to set up and propose new strategies. If efforts weren't previously made to communicate the value of business events and measure corporate events R.O.I. in the aftermath of the last recession, it is time for immediate action. Cvent Blog has previously discussed the importance of measuring corporate events R.O.I. and suggested some measures to tie specific events to the bottom line. But there is another approach that is often overlooked. It's using corporate performance indicators and issues to shape the corporate events strategy. Here is how it works.
Data Analysis to Identify Corporate Event Priorities
There is rich data outside the events department that provides clues to corporate events that can have an impact the bottom line. Here are just a few examples.
Employee Related Data. Turnover, short-term disability due to stress, and absenteeism rates all have measurable bottom line impact. High figures in these areas may indicate issues with leadership style, work overload, or opportunities for process improvements. An analysis of qualitative data from employee attitude surveys and exit interviews may also uncover opportunities for improvement that events can impact. Task forces, internal conferences, team building retreats, employee recognition events, or health and wellness events may be in order.
Financial Data. Data from operating budgets may indicate the need to cut costs. Employee events that provide an opportunity for employees to brainstorm and identify cost-cutting or revenue generating strategies can be useful. 3M has effectively used ideas from employees and clients to identify new ways of using Post-it notes to generate additional streams of revenue.
Sales Data. A decline in sales may indicate the need for special sales, marketing or promotional events. Also, brainstorming at business meetings or team building may be appropriate to design new sales strategies or uncover untapped markets. Training, sales rallies, incentive travel, and events to inspire the sales team may also be appropriate.
Client Care Data. Analyzing churn, client retention figures and the number of client complaints may uncover the need for client events that include focus groups, surveys and other opportunities to suggest client care improvements. Client appreciation events for top tier clients provide an opportunity to interact with senior executives. They can be of tremendous value.
Assessing Contribution of Corporate Events to the Bottom Line
As a dollar amount may be attached to the value of some of this data, there is an opportunity to:
- Identify corporate performance indicators.
- Conduct baseline measures and calculate associated dollar values.
- Pinpoint the implications of these measures for corporate events.
- Design and deliver appropriate event in conjunction with other relevant organizational changes and improvements.
- Conduct post event measures to identify improvements.
- Assign dollar values to the improvement s
- Compare the pre and post-event data and financial impact to assess R.O.I.
Events are not a cure-all. It is unlikely that by themselves events will lead to a miraculous improvement in any of these figures. There will likely be a need for changes in policies and procedures, workload adjustments and even improvements in technology. Events can be used to collect the information from employees and clients to identify areas for improvement.
By analyzing the right data and using to shape corporate events, it is possible to zero in on the areas in which corporate events have made a positive contribution to the bottom line.
Photo Credit: European Parliament
For more strategies to assess the R.O.I. of corporate events, also consult Event Planning: Proving Your Value to Senior Management.