How do you measure success?

22 Oct



How do you measure the success of your walkathon?

This article in CIT magazine made me start to thinking about how we measure the success of our events.

Traditionally, most walks measure their success on the numbers:

– Number of walkers

– Number of teams

– Number of donated dollars


As an event manager, I see success measured by different elements:

– Setup and breakdown without incident

– The number of complaint emails I receive after the event

– The amount of eye-contact I receive from senior management the day-after

– The number walker incidents I need to follow-up on

– Rental vehicles making it back without an insurance claim

– The speed at which I can evict the guerilla-marketers from the event site

– Expenses under 20%


You may have some staff colleagues that measure success differently.

Communications staff may measure success with the number of mentions on Twitter, or likes on the event Facebook page, or news outlets that show up at the event.

Mission staff may measure success with the number of volunteers they have recruited.  Measuring awareness of a mission is a hard one, but I would think that any new walker or donor to the walk would be counted.

Advocacy staff may measure the number of signatures they receive for a petition.

Finance may measure the size of the deposit or the time it takes to close-out the event.

HR may measure the number of complaints they get from staff for having to work on a weekend.


Here is how Bill and Melinda Gates measure success.

This article at CNN Money, mentions to measure success by relationships, not money.  I like this because you need to bring these relationships into your organization and move them up your development pyramid.

The more I read on this – the more I see that everyone has their opinion on what a successful event really is, and how they like to measure it.


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