Recently we sat down with the vibrant InnoCos Events founder, Irina Kremin, to talk shop. During our chat Irina gave us some great tips for maximizing ROI for events, both for event managers and attendees. As a bonus, we also discussed event technology and how event planners should think about trends.
Love of events
Irina Kremin is a passionate event specialist with over ten years of experience organizing events for top-managers and Fortune 500 companies all over the world. She fell in love and has stayed with the events industry because, as she says: “events allow me and others to connect with interesting people – interesting, ambitious, and successful personalities.”
“Satisfaction comes from connecting people.”
The Skinny on Event ROI—KPIs and Common Mistakes
Many people get truly wrapped up in measuring ROI with sexy KPIs. During our chat, Ms. Kremin emphasized the importance of measuring the basics, those KPIs that really tell you something about the success of an event to meet yours and your attendees’ needs.
As a rule, Irina Kremin recommends that attendees and vendors should always measure:
- How many actionable pieces of information (versus simply inspiration) they received from the event (e.g. how to create more effective social promotion campaigns or how to set up appropriate web analytics);
- How many contacts and leads they made that will be usable for their businesses;
- How many partners and companies you met that you can benchmark your work against.
Event managers should measure:
- How many delegates will come back and will recommend the event to others (customer satisfaction);
- How many return sponsors the event has;
- How many new sponsors does the event attract;
- How many business connections were made in total (this can be measured with social apps or a post-event survey).
The most common mistake that events make, according to Ms. Kremin, is investing in too much fancy technology without thoroughly checking that the technology can advance or is advancing the KPIs set out.
“Once I attended a corporate event that had a special and I can tell – very expensive custom app. It was interesting and cool looking, but when I tried to connect, I could barely reach anybody through this app. The tech looked great, but the app didn’t do anything to help me advance my goals for the event which is connect with people, we have only received push notifications about a lunch and breaks. Imagine, all this investments just for that? Make it simple,” Irina Kremin shared.
“Make it simple.”
Event Technology and Trends
According to Ms. Kremin (and we can’t help but agree!) technology is crucial for connecting people nowadays, and the role of technology is growing. It is enabling better connections.
“Apps with social profiles, for example, can help find the right people in the crowd and can be a big help in finding the right person as well as navigating and connecting in the ocean of delegates,” Ms. Kremin explained.
There is a plethora of event technology, but one of the most popular and most useful is the event mobile app. Having used many different event apps as an attendee, Irina Kremin shared, “I have a lot of perspective to reflect on when I began looking for an app for my own events.” Attendify is her app of choice, but she recommends the following tips when considering an event app.
A good app should:
- create an exclusive environment where people can connect before and during the event (be sure you can introduce the app at least one month ahead of the event to get optimum engagement);
- be easy-to-use;
- be a great value for the money.
Solutions like Attendify work perfect and meets all my requirements, but we should remember not only to rely on technology and make some efforts such as proactive with promoting the app to attendees and do spend some time to educate them.
With the rise of technology and social media as well as the rise of mobile, now is the best and easiest time to connect with people,” Ms. Kremin explained.
In addition to mobile app technology, Irina Kremin stated that she also loved the utility of new registration technology, webcasting, and virtual/online events. But, techy trends aren’t the bread and butter of events.
“Though there are numerous tech news and trends in event technology, staying ahead of top trends in your own industry is critical. No one wants to go to events to hear what we already know. People go to events to learn what’s new. They want innovation,” Irina Kremin said.
“No one wants to go to events to hear what we already know. People go to events to learn what’s new. They want innovation.”
Tools to try
Event professionals are always looking for the best new tools to use. Be careful though.
“There is a lot of technology out there, and more is not always better. People [managers need to] find what works for them and their event needs,” Ms. Kremin shared.
Here are some of her current favorites:
2. Hotelsforevent is a great example of how technology is really making life easier. If a hotel is sold out or too expensive for attendees, you used to have to look all over for different prices, call and negotiate. Now you simply choose the venue and hotelsforevent gives you a widget to embed in your websites. This is great for planners and attendees. What took a day before now takes only five minutes. It saves me a lots of time, and this is what technology should do!
To summarize, there are so many technologies available out there and the most important is to make sure that when you choose for that, you get ROI from the investment by choosing the right partner and understanding how you can make it work for your organization.
Thank you, Irina for the insightful talk. We’ll keep posting more articles and interviews with #eventpros in the nearest future. If you’re an eventpro and would like to talk with us about eventtech, be sure to reach out to us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn.