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What Important KPIs Are You Missing?

by MYB, on December 10, 2019


Every data-driven association understands the importance of key performance indicators---the metrics you use to better understand how people are responding to your association’s work. And when it comes to meetings, there are a number of familiar KPIs that associations measure. Take a look at the conversation between MYB’s Jordan Sannito and Stephen Gabourel to learn more about those.

But there are also some less-asked but still revealing KPIs that are worth exploring. Let’s take a look at five of them.

“Is this your primary meeting for education in your field?” Associations often pride themselves on being the singular leader in their industry. In truth, associations are in a competitive market like everyone else. Many professionals are members of more than one association, and they may feel that a rival association has better educational offerings. Knowing which groups choose your conference first---and which don’t---can be an effective tool for thinking about your content mix. 

Networking satisfaction. Associations reflexively want to know what conference attendees thought of the educational offerings, the tradeshow, and the overall value of the event. But a substantial proportion of your attendees are there to make connections: They want to meet potential employers/employees and colleagues. And they’ll judge your conference on the opportunities you provide for them to do that. Networking was cited as the second most important reason to attend the conference of one association we’ve worked with. In that case, making sure you there were both formal and informal networking opportunities was critical. 

Session and keynote attendance. Knowing the number of paid registrations at your conference is important, of course. So is knowing what those attendees do once they arrive on-site. The keynote speakers may not be as much of a draw as you think they are. The new schedule format you introduced for education sessions may not resonate. RFID and Beacon technologies can help you answer these questions by tracking behaviors of all your educational sessions and provide rich insights into which sessions are valuable and which are not.

Sponsor recognition. You probably do plenty to make sure your lead sponsors get attention at your conference. You put up banners, place ads in the conference brochures, give them prime spots on the tradeshow floor. Putting some hard numbers behind those efforts can bolster your relationship with those sponsors, and serve as a selling point for others who might want to do business with you. Ask attendees about the sponsors they saw at the conference, and how they learned about them.

Social media. Your conference’s hashtag can build a sense of community around your event and help attendees find one another. It can also be a great way to better grasp attendee engagement. Look at the number of followers you’ve gained across platforms during the conference, the platforms they prefer, and the events they most madly tweeted about. All of that will give you valuable information to help you plan next year’s successful event.