Huge news hit the meeting industry today. And how do I know this? Because I wrote the press release
In all seriousness, I would like to introduce an extremely intelligent MPI staff member, Marj Atkinson. Marj is our resident statistics expert. Marj, MPI’s Manager of Research, is instrumental in developing all of MPI’s research studies (hence the title). Why is it important that MPI undertook this study?
The most recent MPI report, with 48% of respondents being planners, tells us that WEC attendees benefited from a 300+% return on investment. I sat down with her recently to discuss what this major performance measurement announcement really means…
The Business Value of Meetings is now more important than ever. To actually prove a positive ROI as a result of attending an educational conference like WEC (or any meeting) is tremendous. It shows the purpose of holding a conference and educating attendees is all worth the effort. What do the results mean to you? Are you surprised?
The 300+% return on investment indicates overwhelmingly that the experience attendees take from WEC is positive. Attendees measured cost savings and revenue generation and included intangibles along with the measurements such as the value of networking and learning from peers. I am not surprised that there was a positive ROI from attending WEC, but I was a bit surprised and very pleased at the incredibly large ROI average.
Did you receive any personal feedback from respondents?
Yes, I got very positive feedback from a number of people that were glad we were doing this and that they couldn’t wait to see the results. One independent planner told me they got an immediate positive ROI by connecting with someone at WEC that brought them business.
Some other responses were:
“2010 was my first WEC. While I have attended other large national meeting industry conferences, I was truly impressed by the energy at the entire conference. I attended ASAE in August and really felt it didn't compare to WEC.”
“Honestly, the networking is the best part. Meeting vendors and having the opportunity to meet face-to-face with them and fellow planners is great.”
“The hosted buyer was a great way to network and gather leads. This was the most beneficial aspect of the conference for me.”
“I used what I learned from sessions to plan various events this year that have been successful.”
Do you have any ideas on how to improve the study?
Yes. We enlisted the help of about ten MPI members to be a part of a feedback group. They provided great insight on how to improve the email communications related to the MyROI program, the timing of the survey, the questions on the survey and how to handle those that couldn’t answer the entire survey (not everyone could calculate cost savings or revenue generation just yet as they hadn’t planned another conference since WEC). We also learned to notify attendees ahead of time that the MyROI program will be available and to plan ahead for it as they’re picking their sessions at the next WEC.
WEC 2011 – here we come!
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