Measure to Manage: Identifying the Right Measurables in Event PM

Mark Romanelli is a full-time lecturer in the Sports, Culture and Events Management program at the University of Applied Science Kufstein Tirol (FH Kufstien Tirol) in Kufstein, Austria. His curriculum includes courses in Project Management and Strategic Project Development. He is a member of the Project Management Institute and a Certified Associate in Project Management.

Peter Drucker put it best: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” This saying holds true for project management. Measuring results allows project managers to set target goals for achievement and to evaluate the success or failure of project outcomes. Event projects provide a wealth of data output to pour over before, during and after an event. One of the biggest challenges in such data-rich environments is deciding what to measure on any given event project.

This article takes a look at project measurables in general—and some of the measurables uniquely important for event projects. It will also provide some advice for event PMs to use in deciding what to measure on individual event projects.

In an increasingly data-driven world, potential measurables go beyond the obvious items of scope, time, cost and quality. These items are, of course, central to managing most projects. Risk and resources also round out the standard list of constraint items that can be measured and managed in most projects.

Event projects bring additional items into the mix, both standard and non-standard. Audience numbers can be measured in a variety of different ways: overall attendance, percent capacity, sell-out time and change in attendance are just a few of the most obvious ways. When considering the various potential stakeholders of an event, the list grows …

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