Choosing the perfect event venue is one of the most challenging and costly decisions an event creator has to make.
Whether you choose a venue to evoke emotion, to entertain, to make a brand statement, or to communicate your message, your venue sets the scene for your entire event and has the power to drastically influence the attendee experience.
While most event creators understand that establishing a stand out setting is critical to the event’s success, measuring that success isn’t always easy. Your gut feeling might tell you that it all went swimmingly, but how can you really be sure that it delivered the ‘wow’ factor to keep your attendees wanting more?
It can be tempting to kick back and relax once it’s all over, but taking the time to evaluate the impact of your venue choice is a key step to developing repeatable and reliable processes as an event creator. And to tell if it was worth all that time, energy, and money you put into it!
It’s also an extremely valuable step to impress your sponsors (if you have them) and to potentially look at establishing a more long-term partnership with the venue owner in question.
So, how can you tell if your choice of space truly captured the magic of your event? Here are some simple checks to measure your event venue success.
- Social Media check-ins and location tags
Social media check-ins and location tags are an effective way to determine if your attendees want to be ‘seen’ at the venue in question. Comparing the number of social check-ins to the number of attendees also helps to determine the impact of the venue on your attendee’s perception of the event. This is an easy and quantitative way to measure the impact of your venue via social media.
Of course, you need to take into account how social media savvy your audience are before you take this metric too seriously!
- Event hashtags
Never underestimate the power of the hashtag. An effective event hashtag should be four things to make it shareable:
Once you’ve come up with the perfect event hashtag, the next step is to make sure your attendees use it so you can monitor conversations during and after the event. Include your hashtag in all your messaging in the run-up to the event, your email signature, invitations, event flyers if you have them, and display it as much as possible during your event. Ask everyone else involved in the event to use it too – speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, media partners, and of course, your attendees.
Hashtags are an easy way to search and scan social media engagement during and after your event. Don’t forget to see if your attendees are hashtagging your venue too – bonus points!
- Sentiment analysis
While topline data on check-ins and engagement is useful to gauge your event success, gaining insight into the context of these conversations will help you to take your analysis to the next level. Sentiment analysis allows you to uncover the feelings and emotions towards your event. Are the posts praising your venue? Are there any complaints?
It’s also an interesting way to see if your venue helped you to fulfil your event goals. Think about your objectives when it came to choosing your venue. Did you choose a particularly ‘Instagrammable’ space to help spread brand awareness? Did you use the space to communicate an important message about a particular cause? Check out the content of the posts where attendees used your handle, location, or event hashtag to determine if the images and captions are in line with your goals.
How did the space look in the photos? Are your attendees helping to spread your message? Make a note of what attendees found to be Instagram-worthy photo ops.
There are plenty of tools to assist with sentiment analysis when it comes to larger events. Social listening tools like Hootsuite or BrandWatch are particularly useful to get a sense of the overall mood or sentiment towards your brand.
- Post-event survey
The most immediate way to find out if your attendees were wowed by your venue is to go directly to the source!
Simply asking event participants how they felt about your event is not only a powerful way to generate feedback, but it shows you value their opinion too. Post-event surveys are an effective way to gather this feedback.
Remember, timing is everything here. Make sure you send the survey out within 24 hours while your event is still fresh in your attendees’ minds. And keep your survey short, but personal – too many complicated questions will deter participation.
Eventbrite offers a built-in extension to Survey Monkey allowing you to send out customised surveys and garner quality feedback you need to make your next event a sure-fire success!
- Sponsor feedback
Did you enlist sponsorship for your event? Then talk to your sponsors too!
Your event’s success will largely determine the chances of future partnership with your sponsors, so it’s important to schedule in that post-event debrief. Asking for feedback is not only a useful indicator but also shows you’re truly committed to the partnership and open to opportunities for collective improvement.
To keep sponsors coming back each year, you need to show that you’re genuinely interested in their success, as well as your own! For bonus points, have an event wrap-up report with your own findings at the ready. Proving and presenting ROI is one of the most effective ways to hold onto your most valuable event sponsors.
Figuring out if your venue truly captured the magic of your event is essential information to inform future events and partnerships. When it comes to choosing a venue, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a space that delivers that ‘wow’ factor and sets an unforgettable scene for your event.
Need some advice when it comes to choosing the perfect venue? We’ve got you covered with The Complete Guide to Finding the Right Venue for Your Event.