Business Meetings 411: Measuring Meeting Effectiveness

Judge ScoringWhile measuring meeting and corporate event effectiveness can be a challenge, it is important. We previously discussed the risk of meeting budgets being cut when the value of for the bottom line is not demonstrated. 

Kirkpatrick's 4 Levels of Evaluation

Donald L. Kirkpatrick's model, which has been around since 1959, is normally used to measure the value of training and development. It is not widely used by event planners, but with some adjustment, it can easily be applied to meetings and other corporate events.

The key to using it effectively for meetings is really clearly pinpoint objectives for each meeting both in terms of what you want to see happen during the meeting and desired impact on the business after the meeting.

Kirkpatrick's 4 levels of measurement are:

  • Level 1: The reaction of attendees, measured by feedback forms and surveys. Consider adding the following to your questionnaires:
    • What core messages did you hear clearly?
    • What do you plan to do differently after the meeting (or conference)?
    • What did you find most beneficial about the meeting (or conference)?
    • What is one specific suggestion that you would offer to the meeting planners for improving future meetings?
  • Level 2: Learning or skill acquisition (if applicable).
  • Level 3: Changes in attendee performance or behavior after the meeting: What are attendees doing differently? Have they carried out all assigned action items?
  • Level 4: Specific and measurable business results, in other words, impact on the business. 

By far level 4 is the most important in terms of measuring the impact of meetings and events. For more specific examples, read Corporate Event R.O.I. Measurement: 5 Elements to Consider.

Photo Credit: USDA China

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