How to measure event success

See which metrics matter most (and which is overrated)

Yo! I’m writing this while listening to my new favorite “focus music” artist, DJ Grumble. If you even catch me bobbin’ my head at my desk, he’s why. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up on my Top 5 artists when I get my Spotify Wrapped playlist.

Anyways, Clari’s event, Charge, was on Tuesday (more on that below), then I took the rest of the week off to recharge (pun intended?). Perfect timing as we near the halfway mark of 2023.

I didn’t go anywhere, just a much-needed staycation to rest, reflect, get QT with my girls, and exercise. That’s what fills my proverbial cup these days. I still have the weekend ahead of me and I’m already feeling refreshed. Make sure to take time to recharge this summer, you earned it.

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This week we hosted Clari’s virtual event, Charge: The Revenue Summit. 

Putting it together took dozens of people, months of work, and thousands of meetings. (Okay maybe not literally thousands, but damn close).

Now that the event is done, it’s time to measure success — which brings us to the topic of today’s episode. I decided to share this now because (1) most marketing teams host events but don’t fully understand their impact and (2) event season is comin’ up quick.

Knowing how to measure the success of your event is an important skill because it helps you set expectations internally when planning and, most importantly, convey your impact on the business afterwards.

But before I reveal what you should measure, it’s worth mentioning…

The biggest mistake I see time and time again

Most marketers (and execs) place WAY too much emphasis on event registration volume.

I get it. It sounds cool to say you got X thousands of people to sign up.

But… that’s not really why marketers host events. The goal is to drive pipeline, not RSVPs.

That’s not to say reg is a worthless vanity metric. Not at all. It is a great signal for how relevant and compelling your offer is. And if you’re doing your job well, that number should grow as you host more of the same type of events.

But what would you rather have?

A: 600 registrants and $2M in pipeline
B: 3,000 registrants and $300k in pipeline

(If you’re a CMO reading this, you prob said, Both! :)

Second, related mistake: most reg goals are usually created from equal parts randomness and ego (instead of, you know, historical data.)

For example — and true story — I know many SaaS marketing leaders who got stuck with a crazy reg goal of 6,000 from their CEO, despite it being their first ever event (!). Why? Because they heard Gong did it one time in 2021 and now their CEO wants the same results.

But Gong and these companies were completely different. That’s also why there’s no (reliable) industry benchmark for this metric because there are too many variables to consider, like

-company maturity
-audience demo
-audience size
-brand recognition
-event maturity (1st time vs 10 years straight)

So yea, reg number is worth keeping, but it’s one piece of the puzzle. Which I suppose is the perfect segue to how I measure success of events:


When the event is over and the non-body-shaming-sized lady sings, here’s what I look at:

A bit more on attendance rate

I host events because I want people to actually show up, so we can engage, educate, and hopefully, convert.

Plus your Sales team would MUCH rather follow up with a lead that was at the event vs signed up two weeks ago and didn’t bother showing up. Creating qualified leads builds internal credibility. Creating lots of “meh” leads builds resentment.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that attendance rate is the most important metric for brand health. It’s incredibly hard to get someone to dedicate 30+ minutes away from their day job and spend it with your company. This means they put YOUR brand over THEIR to-do list. That’s how you know you’ve got a solid brand.


Call ‘em, lagging indicators if you want. I call ‘em money metrics because these are what really drive your business forward and gets your CEO and Sales team excited. You know you nailed these when you start hearing, “So when can we host another event?!”

You can set up a cadence to report and share these numbers. I typically do

-1 week after
-2 weeks after
-4 weeks after

There’s no right or wrong way, but you wanna give your sales team time to reach out, book calls, then hold meetings for the pipeline to show up in your CRM dashboard.

Behind the curtains of Clari’s Charge event

Here’s a little context behind the event to give context to the numbers:

-Thought leadership content because we wanted to shift market perception & grow category awareness

-Reg goal was 60/40 split between customers and prospects because we wanted to explicitly focus on retention and expansion opportunities, not just new business.

-No famous keynote speakers because, while budget is an obvious reason, honestly I’m not sold that getting someone famous to boost reg numbers is what’s best for revenue. As I said in our planning meeting, we want people to show up who can buy our software, not just see Steph Curry speak for 30 minutes. (No offense to the Splash Bro).

The numbers:

2,300+ registrants. This established our new baseline for our new flagship event.
30% attendance rate. I legit shouted F-k yea! When I saw it on our dashboard.
50% were leadership. Many were Director+ which I (and our sellers) LOVE to see.
Opening keynote was the most watched session with 550+ viewers. I love that too because it’s where we educate on positioning and product the most)

Big event and great numbers. Couldn’t be more proud of my and the overall marketing team. It was a hustle, but the best ones always are.

Aight y’all, that’s a wrap for today. A tad longer than usual, but hope your eyebrows danced a bit reading it.

Holler at you next week,

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