Almost half of CEOs see internal events as a cost rather than an investment, according to the directors that work for them. That’s one of the key findings of new research amongst event managers and directors at FTSE 250 organisations and UK multinationals.
Research from INVOLVE, the communications agency, finds that internal events are used to influence ‘business critical’ measures, such as employee engagement (84 percent) and revenue/profit (81 percent). However, directors believe that only half of CEOs (51 percent) see internal events as an investment compared to almost two thirds of employees (67 percent). CEO’s in low spend organisations (those that spend between £100,000 to £250,000 a year on internal events, as defined by respondents) see events as more of an investment than those in high spend organisations (with spend of £250,000 to £1 million a year.)
Although events are used to influence ‘business critical’ measures, corporates are not consistently measuring whether they are achieving goals. Only 54 percent of directors claim to measure the ROI extremely or very robustly. However, event managers claim to measure ROI more with 62 percent saying they do so extremely or very robustly. Not surprisingly perhaps, those with larger spend claim to be better at evaluation (61 percent as opposed to 46 percent). Most companies opt for conventional evaluation methods, often focused on collating feedback. 73 percent of companies use post-event delegate surveys; 46 percent use direct feedback and 31 percent use ‘happy sheets’ on the day. Event managers collect much more direct feedback than their bosses, 61 percent compared to 46 percent.
Jeremy Starling, Managing Director of INVOLVE, says: “There is a clear disconnect between the CEO’s view of internal events and the views of the rest of the company. A prime cause of this has to be a lack of proof that internal events are delivering long-term behavioural change or hitting other indicators of success. The long-term growth of this industry depends on securing buy-in from CEOs across the board. Using robust measurements to track ROI is vital to determine whether internal events are truly effective and successfully delivering against an organisation’s ‘business critical’ goals.”