Virtual Events

Measuring Virtual Event ROI: Formula to Success

Rachel Meyrowitz

You use webinars and other virtual events to boost brand awareness and turn prospects into leads. But to determine if the gains justify the event costs, you need to measure your webinar ROI. Beyond establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you should also profit monetarily from your webinars. 

We’ll walk you through ROI calculation using your event data so you achieve the highest ROI from your future events. 

The Importance of Measuring Virtual Event ROI

Calculating virtual event ROI gives you concrete knowledge of how well your live, automated, and on-demand content performs. It also shows you where you can improve to secure greater profits. Further, measuring ROI is simple if you lay a strong foundation. Here’s what the process entails. 

Set Clear and Measurable Goals

Start by defining clear and measurable goals for your event that align with your overall business objectives. Use the SMART framework to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

Define Your Goals & Set Targets

Is your goal to increase lead generation? Convince more registrants to attend? Boost audience engagement? Establish concrete goals so you know what targets to set to achieve them. Those could be a desired number of leads to gain or a closer attendee-to-registrant ratio. These targets will help you stay on track with your goals. 

Calculate Revenue ROI for Virtual Events

Here are two formulas you can use to calculate revenue ROI for your virtual events. 

Select Revenue-Based ROI Formula 

(Total Revenue – Total Cost)/Total Cost x 100

The result of this formula is a percentage that represents your event’s ROI. Its variables are defined as follows: 

  • Total Cost: All the expenses associated with your event, including studio rental (if applicable), marketing, and promotional costs, staff wages, technology, and other expenses
  • Total Revenue: The combined event-generated revenue (e.g., ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandise sales) and business-derived revenue (leads, conversions, sales)

This formula has two possible outcomes:  

  • Negative Event ROI: This indicates your planning and hosting costs surpassed the event’s profits. 
  • Positive Event ROI: This means you generated more revenue than the total cost incurred 

Incremental ROI Formula

(Event Income – Event Expenses)/Event Expenses x 100

This calculation  evaluates your event’s current and future profits to ensure you’re on the right track. It comes in handy for measuring ROI when your initial investment remains constant but marketing techniques vary.

Both options are excellent for measuring your event’s ROI, but the revenue-based formula is best if you want to measure the specific return on your investments rather than quantify the results of adding marketing strategies to your plan. 

Create a Webinar Funnel

A webinar funnel helps structure your virtual events to guide them toward success. From registration to post-webinar connections, a robust funnel makes sure none of your prospects fall through the cracks so you gain more sales in the end. 

Assess Your Budget 

A major determinant of your virtual event ROI is how much you spend on creating content. Assess your budget to calculate how much you need to invest and where you can save money. 

Common Cost Considerations

Common costs associated with virtual events include webinar platform subscriptions, marketing costs, and equipment. 

Budget Planning

Set a budget based on your expected virtual event attendance and ROI. You can use your webinar and virtual events analytics tools to review previous events and decide where funds should go. This will tell you how much of your budget to allocate for marketing to secure stronger audience attendance, and how much to spend on quality speakers. 

Webinar Success Metrics to Consider

The following metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) measure the level of engagement and interaction from event attendees. 

Attendance Rate 

This is the number of attendees who show up compared to the number of registrants. The higher the attendance rate, the greater ROI you can expect. 

Average Participation Time

Calculate the average duration attendees spent actively participating in your virtual event or webinar to learn their engagement and interest in the event content. A longer average time suggests attendees found the sessions valuable. A shorter time, meanwhile, may indicate a need to refine content or session delivery to increase engagement. Having the right software solution for virtual events, such as Demio, will automatically provide you the focus time of your attendees. 

Interactivity Rate

Assess webinar and virtual event engagement through chat interactions, live polls, Q&A sessions, and other activities. This measures the frequency and depth of attendee participation in interactive elements. A higher interactivity rate indicated active engagement, meaningful connections, and a positive attendee experience. 

Attendee Intent

You can also learn your attendees’ interest in deepening their relationship with your brand. Monitor attendees’ in response to your event’s call to action or the distribution of handouts and resources. This metric helps you gauge the effectiveness of your event in driving desired outcomes, such as lead generation product adoption, or post-event engagement. 

Feedback Scores

Gather feedback from attendees through surveys or post-event evaluations to assess their satisfaction and overall experience. Feedback scores provide insights into attendee sentiment, areas for improvement, and positive aspects of your virtual event or webinar. Once you’ve identified these strengths and weaknesses, you can then adjust and enhance future events based on attendee preferences. 

Business Opportunities 

In this category, metrics assess the potential business opportunities and outcomes that your virtual event or webinar generates. They determine the event’s impact on lead generation, sales, community nurturing, and other similar goals. 

Impressions and Mentions

Measure the reach and visibility of your virtual event or webinar through impressions and mentions on social media or other online platforms. This metric quantifies the extent to which your event is being discussed and shared, providing insights into its overall exposure and brand awareness. A high number of impressions and mentions translates into increased visibility, expanded audience reach, and potential business opportunities.  

Qualified Leads

The number of leads generated as a result of your virtual event who met predefined quality and relevance criteria indicates potential customers who've shown a genuine interest in your products, services, or industry. The quantity and quality of these leads indicates how well the event attracted potential customers and nurtured business relationships. 

Closed Deals

The number and value of business deals or sales directly attributed to your virtual event calculates the conversions or revenue it earned. Closed deals indicate the event's effectiveness in driving business outcomes and monetizing your investment, in turn assessing its direct impact on business growth.

Cross-sells and Upsells

Evaluate the rate at which your attendees convert into customers for additional products or services (cross-sells) or upgrade to higher-priced offerings (upsells). This metric determines how well the event created opportunities for expanded sales and increased customer value.

Tracking the metrics from these three categories will help you understand your event’s value, audience engagement, lead generation and impact. The insights gained enable data-driven decision-making, strategic improvements, and resource allocation, allowing you to optimize future virtual events and webinars for even greater success.

Choose the Right Virtual Event Platform 

The right virtual event platform makes hosting and analyzing online sessions a breeze. Demio, for example, is a versatile solution that allows you to create live and automated content for high ROI from each event without investing more money in marketing and creation. Additionally, its engagement tools and customizable features help make your virtual events stand out to your consumers, which builds brand trust and commitment. 

To assist your platform search, here are some key factors to consider. 

Features to Look for 

Quality virtual event platforms are user-friendly (both for hosts and audience members) and are designed around attendee engagement so events stand out. Customer service and tech support are also important considerations so that, if a session has any issues, help is just a click or call away. 

Demio enables virtual hosts to grow their brand and interact with audiences in real time via live chat, polls, and surveys, pre- and post-webinar email engagement strategies, and more. Your virtual event platform is one of the most important investments you’ll make, so be thorough in your search before making a selection. 

Factors Impacting Your Virtual Event ROI

Understanding the key factors that impact your virtual event ROI is essential for optimizing outcomes and maximizing the value of your efforts. Let’s explore each one to hone in on their influence. 


Virtual events and webinars can take multiple formats depending on your goals, from short, educational webinars to immersive panel discussions and virtual conferences. Each type will affect event ROI differently. 

For example, webinars facilitate direct audience engagement through Q&A sessions and polls, which foster a sense of community and uncover valuable insights to apply in your future online events. Meanwhile, virtual panel discussions create opportunities for networking and collaboration that build meaningful connections and potential business partnerships. 


Logistics involve planning and coordinating various virtual event elements, such as scheduling speakers, managing tech and equipment, and ensuring a smooth execution on the launch day.

Attention to detail here helps prevent technical issues, delays, and other problems that may negatively impact the participants’ experience and, in turn, your event ROI. 


By leveraging different event marketing strategies and channels — such as promoting the expertise of your speakers, sharing sneak peaks of the upcoming session, and leveraging influencer partnerships — you’ll more precisely target relevant attendees whose participation will help you achieve your goals. It also serves to position your brand as a trusted industry authority and source of valuable insights. 

You can collect valuable attendee data by integrating lead capture mechanisms like registration forms, surveys, and interactive elements into your virtual event. Then, leverage the data gathered through targeted follow-up campaigns, personalized communications, and lead-nurturing strategies to encourage event participants to convert into qualified leads or customers.

Utilizing post-event strategies like event recaps, highlight reels, blog posts, and social media engagement allows you to amplify the event’s impact and reach a broader audience. You can generate further interest in your brand and future virtual events by showcasing success stories, key takeaways, and participant testimonials.


Your team’s coordination and execution is instrumental to satisfactory virtual event performance and reaching your desired ROI. They must pay attention to detail and expertly oversee the event logistics, technical requirements, speaker coordination, and participant support.

Best Practices to Secure a Positive Virtual Event ROI

To ensure a great event performance and achieve a positive ROI, you need to implement best practices. We’ve broken down the driving actions you should take to earn lucrative results from your virtual events and webinars and bolster your growth.

Become an Expert on Your Target Audience

Before diving into event planning, thoroughly research and analyze your target audience to gather valuable insights, including their preferences and market trends in your industry. Analyze your competition as well to identify gaps; these are powerful opportunities to showcase how your company makes up for that lack and enhance your event’s appeal. 

If you host recurring virtual events and webinars, evaluate their past ROI and see where you can optimize your events. That data will inform your event strategy and boost your future ROI for a net positive outcome. 

Allocate Your Budget Strategically 

Prioritize budget allocation according to the elements that affect ROI the most. 

For instance, reserve a significant portion of your budget for marketing efforts that drive attendee registration and engagement. Consider cost-saving strategies like negotiating with vendors, purchasing supplies in bulk, and seeking sponsorship to stretch your monetary spend.

Plan and Execute Flawlessly 

Effective planning and execution entail several critical steps: 

  • Develop an engaging event agenda that balances educational sessions, interactive activities, and networking opportunities. Structure your session to maximize attendee participation and value.
  • Construct a seamless, user-friendly registration process. Provide clear instructions and resources to help attendees navigate your virtual event platform or webinar interface.
  • Establish effective communication channels to keep registrants informed about event updates, session schedules, and any necessary technical requirements. This builds anticipation and prepares viewers for the session.
  • Maintain a dedicated support team that’s ready to address any technical issues viewers encounter during the event. Promptly resolving technical difficulties contributes to a positive attendee experience and their overall satisfaction.

Follow up With Attendees and Stakeholders 

The goal of post-event follow-up is to ensure attendee satisfaction and generate future opportunities. For example, you could send out surveys or feedback forms to gather audience insights and suggestions. This will deepen your understanding of the attendee experience and identify areas for improvement.

It’s also a chance to express your gratitude for their participation and support. Personalized thank you notes or emails leave a positive impression and continue brand engagement after the event ends.

Evaluate Your Virtual Event ROI for Stronger Results

To maximize the results of your digital sessions, you need to measure virtual event ROI and pinpoint what elements contribute to your overarching goals and which are hindering your efforts. Establish specific, actionable goals, research your target audience, and adopt a robust webinar platform to craft quality content and host events that produce impressive results each time. 

Demio helps you hit the conversion rates you aspire to. When you need a live webinar solution to help you take your webinars and other virtual events to the next level, Demio has you covered. From interactive features that keep your audience engaged to customizable marketing tools, this platform makes hosting virtual events a breeze. Book a demo to try it for yourself or get started for free and give your online events a boost in performance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Virtual Event ROI

What is virtual event ROI? 

Virtual event ROI, or return on investment, is a metric that helps marketing professionals the impact of their virtual events and webinars. Organizers focus on quantitatively assessing the value generated from planning and hosting an event. Event ROI goes beyond surface-level metrics, pinpointing the yield gained from invested time, resources, and effort. 

Tracking event ROI enables you and your team to uncover valuable insights on the effectiveness of your virtual events and webinars. You also learn whether your event successfully met its intended goals, determine its overall value as an investment, and identify specific areas where you can improve your events (and thus boost your ROI).

How do you measure the success of virtual events? 

Measuring the success of virtual events involves assessing various metrics to determine if the event achieved its goals and provided value to participants and stakeholders. 

What are common virtual event ROI metrics? 

Here are several common virtual event ROI metrics:

1. Attendance: Measure the number of registrations and actual attendees to gauge interest and participation levels.

2. Engagement: Evaluate attendee engagement during the event through interactions such as questions asked, polls answered, chat activity, and session attendance duration.

3. Feedback and Satisfaction: Collect feedback from attendees through surveys or polls to assess satisfaction levels, overall experience, and areas for improvement.

4. Content Consumption: Analyze which sessions or content tracks received the most views or engagement to identify popular topics and areas of interest.

6. Lead Generation: Measure the number of leads generated through the event, such as inquiries, demo requests, or downloads of resources shared during sessions.

7. Revenue and ROI: Evaluate the event's financial performance, including revenue generated from ticket sales, sponsorships, and partnerships, compared to the event's costs.

What is a typical ROI for events? 

The return on investment (ROI) for events can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of event, industry, target audience, objectives, and the effectiveness of the event strategy. Therefore, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes a "typical" ROI for events. 

It's important for event organizers to define clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) before the event to effectively measure ROI. Additionally, ROI calculation should consider both the direct financial returns and the indirect benefits such as brand equity, customer relationships, and long-term business growth.

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