Creating credible metrics can be tricky, but it is essential.
process for designing and measuring meeting resultswithinSMMP. More than 20 years ago, Kerns developed a
method for measuring the psychological and behavioralimpacts of meetings on attendees and sponsors:ROE.“We incorporated theROI Insti- tute’s well-accepted method of measuring the financial impacts of meetings into our online sys- tem about six years ago ... to assure [that] our approachtoresultsmeasurement addressed the full spectrum of meeting dimensions,” Kerns said. Simply put, ROE is the movement between a
pre-andpost-meeting measurement ofanattendee’s rating for a specific meeting dimension. Kerns said: “I suggest that planners view return on event as an umbrella concept that includes the financial measurement of ROI; then they can track all
Kerns recommends adopting a pre- and post-
measurement process on keymeeting benchmark questions used in both surveys for results-tracking purposes, so planners can calculate and compare attendees’ pre- and post-meeting survey levels (see below). “If you only have post-meeting meas- urements,” he said, “it is impossible tobenchmark improved perceptions, attitudes, knowledge/skills, behaviors, and impacts.” The value of being able to produce accurate,
measured results using theROEprocess can ben- efit both corporate and association planners, as it is a method not only for maximizing meeting value, but also for demonstrating that value with accurate, clear information that is easily commu- nicated to the C-suite. Creating credible metrics can be tricky, but it is
The ROE Process for Defining a Meeting’s Value Pre-Meeting: Needs Analysis
Taking a Rational Approach There has been much debate on the issue of measuring the ROI in meetings and events. Some people characterize any ROI measurement as seri- ously flawed. Others passionately charac- terize ROI as the answer to their accountability woes. The truth probably lies somewhere in between these two extreme viewpoints. The important point is to understand the drivers for the ROI process and the inherent weaknesses and advantages of measuring ROI. Then it is possible to take a rational approach to the issue and imple- ment an appropriate mix of evaluation strategies. —Professional Meeting
Management, Fifth Edition
aspects of meeting-management outcomes.” During a meeting’s life cycle, there are key
points atwhich specialized surveys can be used to provide information toenablemeeting planners to design relevant content and agenda structures, and to accurately measure results. The flowchart on p. 42 illustrates this.
Measure Twice “It is important to understand that there is a spectrumof well-defined, specific types of meeting impacts to bemeasured,” Kerns said, “that includes people’s views and feelings, behaviors, business impacts, and financial results.”
essential.Yes,weall want to squeeze more dollars fromthe bottomline—but if plannersdonot have a complete meeting-value analysis, includingROE, then their value equation is compromised. “Meeting value” will of course have different
meanings to different people within your organi- zation. The good news is that planning and pro- curement teams cannowcreate and communicate a multitude of critical meeting benefits and strate- gic outcomes.Remember, stakeholder management is a big part of a meeting planner’s job description, and delivering a combination of powerfulROIand ROE outcomes will have a big impact on your organization—and your career.
JenniferW. Brown, CMP, is president of Meeting Sites Resource, a global specialist in meeting- site research and hotel- contract negotiations. The company also offers professional meeting support services, SMMP consulting, and advanced technology solutions. Fora complimentary copy of Brown’s “ROI/ROE Checklist,” contact herat email@example.com.