Here at Paine Publishing we sometimes feel like the PolitiFact of measurement. We often get asked to review reports provided to clients or sponsors by event organizers or agencies. These reports claim that the event was a raging success and the results were entirely spectacular (which is why people call us in to dissect them and figure out what’s real and not real).

The most frequent error, of course, is that the reported results do not match the stated goals. Generally, event goals and objectives revolve around building the marketable universe, generating sales leads, or increasing revenue. Yet, invariably, the results are presented in terms of impressions, Ad Value Equivalency, or number of likes.

So, when it comes to event measurement (which is our theme for this month’s issues of The Measurement Advisor), I have no shortage of contenders for Measurement Menaces of the Month.

But the report in particular that is hands down the biggest pile of BS ever to cross my desk is from Dick Clark Productions. (I won’t mention the particular event because I don’t want to cause my client any additional agita over the fiasco.)

The goal of sponsoring this particular event was to increase foot traffic as well as shopping and dining revenue for the location. But, instead of metrics related to these objectives, Dick Clark Productions reported the following:

  • $5.2 million in AVEs. By the way, most of coverage did not mention the sponsor…
  • A “constant” presence of the sponsor on air during the entire telecast. When we actually measured it, it turned out to be 7.86 total minutes on air.
  • A “unique visitor” reach of 7.8 billion. There are only 7.3 billion humans on the planet, so clearly the “visitors” were not unique. Or probably even real.
  • Potential viewership of 26.6 trillion. This number is ridiculous. It’s outrageously large and impossible. It implies that every single human on the planet had 3.6 thousand opportunities to see the show. However, much of the world:
    1. Doesn’t have a television set,
    2. Doesn’t have electricity, and
    3. Doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the event.

Worst of all were the web traffic results. One of the sponsor’s key measures of success was the degree to which publicity drove traffic to its website, and, specifically, increases in requests for the online visitor guides.

Unfortunately, Google Analytics showed that, during the time-frame of the event, unique visitors to the website actually declined 75% compared to the same period in 2014. And unique visitors to the specific URL to which the sponsor wanted to drive traffic declined by 84% compared to the prior period.

And speaking of traffic, restaurants and shops near the venue reported almost zero foot traffic from event attendees. Probably because they were being wined and dined within the venue.

So please join us in welcoming Dick Clark Productions as our Measurement Menace of the Month. I trust you’ll agree that Dick Clark Productions should be nominated to our Hall of Fame for Event Measurement Menaces.  ∞

Note: This piece originally appeared as a free article in the late August 2016 edition of The Measurement Advisor newsletter. For complete access to all articles, click here for a free 30-day trial.

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