Understanding your Race ROI

What is Event ROI?

In order to maximize the impact of your event, it’s necessary to set the right goals and understand your event ROI, so that you can run it as a business and not just a model that relies on volunteer networks and goodwill to make the wheels go round. ROI can seem like a daunting term to get your head around, but it's useful in defining and measuring event success, which is just as important as the race itself. 

On the surface ROI might seem as simple as: money in, money out. However, theres a bit more to it. The more complicated the ROI picture gets, the more accurate event attribution becomes. In this guide we will take a look at the many different forms of determining, measuring and analyzing event ROI.

Event ROI is a flexible term that indicates the net value an event organiser gets from an event for the net cost that goes into producing it. Note that Value is a much broader term than event revenue.

Value VS Cost 

While value could be revenue generated from registrations, it could also include sponsorships and partnerships, leads added to the sales pipeline (if you sell merchandise or tickets to other events that benefit for example), the number of people who attended the event, the satisfaction of attendees and more.

Similarly, the cost of an event could be considered the financial price of producing an event, but it could also indicate the time and resources that go into an event, and the opportunity cost of staging an event, and so on. While event profit is expressed as net value minus net cost, event ROI is expressed as net value divided by net cost. The result is the event ROI percentage. Here are some of the items we are trying to give a value to, to produce such a figure! 




  • Event revenue 

  • Press mentions

  • Lead generations 

  • Partnerships

  • Sponsorships

  • Attendees

  • Pipeline value

  • Swag (T-shirts/Medals/bags etc)

  • Stewarding and staffing 

  • Production time/Organiser cost

  • Paid advertising and marketing

  • Materials

  • Event Signage/Traffic management 

  • Equipment: Cups, tables, chairs, generators, toilets 

  • Licenses, permits, venue hire



This is the simplest version of calculating your event ROI.

Event ROI Goals

As with any campaign or initiative, the first step in producing an event is identifying the goals that you are aiming to achieve. These goals will vary depending on the type of race you are holding, the target audience, and the sponsors and stakeholders you’re working with.

From a marketing perspective, the best way to determine whether you’re getting the value per cost desired (ROI) is by setting goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely (S.M.A.R.T.). Here are some event goals to focus on, and some accompanying event metrics. Some of these might seem like no-brainers. Others require a bit more brain.

Company Goals

Race Goals

ROI Metrics

ROI Tools


Build Brand Awareness

Increase Event Registrations

# of Registrations

Eventrac race entry system

Increase Social Media Presence

# of Social Media Impressions

Analysis of Social Media Platform

Increase Media Coverage

# of Media Placements

Manual analysis, Attribution Software

Increase Website Traffic

# of Website Visits

# of Website Visits from Event Page

Web Analytics Platform eg Google Analytics


Drive Sales Revenue

Generate Leads

# of Prospects Added to Database: Eg Email Marketing database 

Mailchimp, Sendgrid, other email marketing platforms.. 

Generate Value for other events in portfolio

£ Value of Pipeline Created

Eventrac Race Entry Platform

Opportunities Created

# of Opportunities Created

Manual Analysis


Delight race participants

Deliver great race experience 

# participants who showed vs total ticket buyers

# of sponsors involved directly

Supply services and ‘mementos’ that add to experience

Feedback forms, Online Reviews, Event Staff Reporting

Increase Satisfaction of Customers

Pre-Event Survey

Post-event Survey

Feedback forms, email marketing 

Increase Participant Retention

# of clubs signed up to event, group entires, early bird entries, discount codes used

Event Staff Reporting, Eventrac platform


Event Engagement

Increase Engagement

# of visits to food stalls or merchandise stalls

# of hours spent at event

Event Staff Reporting

Increase Social Media Engagement

# of Company Mentions

# of Event Hashtag Mentions

Analysis of Social Media Platform


Educate and Delight Partners

Increase Partner Engagement

# of Visits to Sponsorship Stalls

# Views on social posts featuring sponsors 

# Opens on email campaigns featuring sponsor

Event Staff and Self-reporting, EMS

Analysis of Social Media Platform

Analysis of Email Marketing Platform

Increase Satisfaction of Partners

Pre-Event Survey

Post-event Survey 

Self Reporting

This table gives some insight into the different company goals you can look at when analyzing your race, which will help you identify what tools you have available for each goal and how to use them accordingly. Our eventrac platform has lots of helpful metrics to analyse your participants geographies, where they heard about your race and has feedback features for after your race is over. And the team is always here to help if you want to find out more about them or get a deeper insight into these. 




On Hand To Help

The team at Eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of Eventrac. We are here to help.

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