The events industry has faced a lot of criticism since the recession hit. In this age of austerity many events are viewed as ‘just a jolly’ or even useless. Event budgets have undoubtedly been cut since the recession hit but another major issue has been that of peoples perception’s of events, especially corporate hospitality and incentives events.

The problem, and rightly so, is the difficulty and lack of measurement in events. In the modern business world KPI’s and ROI is vital to justifying any expenditure. Directors and managers are accountable for any waste, especially in public limited companies. All experienced event managers will know instinctively whether an event has been successful bit it’s difficult to state this without quantitative data.

Therefore it’s necessary that event organisers introduce some form of measurement for an event’s success, whether it’s a product launch or a day of hospitality. The first step to this is to co-create the right metrics with the right department. For instance if you’re aiming to increase awareness of your companies additional services and drive organic growth amongst existing clients then work with your sales team to put together a set of metrics for this.

Of course events are not just limited to engaging those outside of the company. Studies have shown higher levels of internal engagement can also lead to a happier customer base and so this is another aspect that could be measured. Even if the event is designed for clients, a well thought out and relevant hospitality event can also engage staff.

Lastly, it also helps to take short and long term view when planning corporate hospitality events. For instance it may be beneficial to have a more focused strategy in which higher levels of engagement are achievable and to create an engagement strategy with effective ways to measure this. This can vary depending on sales and marketing’s tactics but by gaining an insight into your audience (i.e. your clients, suppliers, stakeholders etc.) you can better plan how to engage them.