Measuring Maturity: How Mature is Your Events Program?

Some people say that comparison is the death of joy. Indeed, when it comes to your personal life, that might be true. However, in order to understand how well your organization is doing, comparison is necessary. Benchmarking is a strategic way of matching what your company is doing versus what another is doing and identifying areas of success and improvement. But, it can be difficult to find a good model for comparison. With this in mind, we created a standard scale that will help you determine where your organization falls. We call it the Event Evolution Model. In the Event Evolution Model, there are four levels: Emergent, Elevated, Evolved, and Expert. How mature is your events program?

Level 1—Emergent

Emergent meetings and events programs are in the foundational stage. Here, many meetings and events are ad-hoc. Often, success is defined by the event simply happening. Specifically, emergent meetings and events programs haven’t excelled at all four key Centers of Performance: Event Strategy, Event Execution, Attendee Experience, Measurement, and Optimization.

Good news. For Emergent programs, rapid, large improvements can occur by honing the basics.

Level 2—Elevated

Here, elevated meetings and events programs are beginning to invest in core Centers of Performance.

Elevated meetings and events programs typically have in place a set of professional resources, processes and selective use of technology that enable pockets of excellence, and a limited ability to demonstrate event value. Generally, they fall short of Expert and Evolved meetings and events programs since their existing investments are often unable to prove impact. In particular, they can’t tie results directly back to key metrics, or scale to support additional events.

Level 3—Evolved

Evolved meetings and events programs demonstrate organizational excellence in at least three of the four Centers of Performance: Event Strategy, Event Execution, Attendee Experience, and Measurement & Optimization.

These programs have well-defined and rationalized meetings and events strategy and specialized resources to execute. Data and technology foundations are in place. These organizations leverage them to consistently deliver a limited set of high impact events. Evolved meetings and events programs use data to make decisions and technology to deliver excellence across the planning lifecycle. Technology and data enable them to measure the organizational impact of events.

Level 4—Expert

Finally, expert meetings and events programs demonstrate excellence in all four Centers of Performance: Event Strategy, Event Execution, Attendee Experience, Measurement & Optimization.

What separates Expert meetings and events programs from those at the Evolved level is their ability to leverage resources, data, and technology to enable excellence at scale, across the total meetings and events program. Expert meetings and events programs are vital organizational assets, contributing directly and measurably to the organization’s mission and key metrics.

What’s the next step?

Find out where you fall! See how mature your events program is – take the Event Evolution Model Assesment.


Madison Layman

Written by Madison Layman

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, my passion for writing began before I could read, with a nightly verbal diary dictation transcribed by my obliging parents. Since then, my word count has hit the millions and won't stop growing anytime soon. When I'm not writing or reading, you can find me binge-watching tv shows, baking elaborate desserts, and memorizing pop culture facts.