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Event ROI: Cost per head? No, cost per head per day


For too long, too much emphasis on cost per head in this industry has been undermining the real ROI that events can deliver.

It is a view that I have held for years but one which really came into focus recently in a discussion.

The cost of a one day morale building event came to £36 per head. So it seemed that the newly buoyant mood and positive, go-getting attitude among the staff appeared to cost £36 per head per day; that is not actually true.

In reality, a successful team building and motivational activity should create a halo effect that should boost morale for at least several days, as the team talk about it and who did what, and wasn’t it great etc. ….So, if the talking continues for at least 4 days, then the cost per head per day is now only £9.

Also, through the use of various inexpensive communications techniques such as the distribution of video from the event on intranets and You Tube etc,  the ‘water-cooler’ and Facebook chat – and  the impact of the event  - can be extended for several days more. If so, then the ROI increases and the outlay continues to drop well down to perhaps £3 per head per day; much better – and much nearer the truth.

Good communications and a more holistic view of the event can stretch the reach well beyond the closing speech at the venue.

It’s time to stop talking just about the cost per head of the production and catering. It’s time to start looking at and talking to clients about the potential cost per head per day of the impact - the real ROI and cost benefit analysis of the event.

Nigel Cooper, Managing Director P&MM Events & Communications