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May 11, 2009

Middle East falls down on ROI

Less than one percent of companies in the Middle East bother to measure the return on investment of their meetings and events, compared to around 50 percent in the US, according to David Kliman, president, The Kliman Group.


In a seminar at the recent Gulf Meetings and Events Conference, Kliman said the idea of evaluating the value and impact of meetings was still an almost alien concept in the Middle East. “The ‘return on investment’ discussion is very new – a lot of people don’t look at this at all,” he said.


Kliman said that measurement of ROI was vital to establish the impact and benefit of a meeting or event, to determine accountability and establish some form of legitimacy for the event. “If you’re spending a fair amount of money, but if you can’t put some justification behind it, then why would you spend any money at all?” asked Kliman.


In terms of measuring ROI Kliman explained that there were a number of different methods ranging from data collected on a simple excel sheet to highly sophisticated technology created specifically for this purpose. He suggested that as a starting point all event planners should be sending out post-event surveys online using free electronic survey tools such as zoomerang.com or surveymonkey.com. Audience response systems such as evaluation forms were also a good way of gathering data at the event. 

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