Half of CEOs question the value of internal events

Almost half (49 per cent) of chief executives (CEOs) see internal events as a cost rather than an investment, according to the directors that work for them, new research has found.

The Insight study by communications agency Involve, which surveyed 100 event managers and 199 directors at FTSE 250 organisations and UK multinationals, found that while internal events are used to influence measures such as employee engagement (84 per cent ) and revenue/profit (81 per cent), that directors believe only half of CEOs (51 per cent) see internal events as an investment compared to almost two thirds of employees (67 per cent).

CEOs in low spend organisations, those that spend between £100,000 to £250,000 a year on internal events, (as defined by respondents) see events as more of an investment than those in high spend organisations (with spend of £250,000 to £1 million a year).

Jeremy Starling, managing director of Involve, commented on the findings: “There is a clear disconnect between the CEO’s view of internal events and the views of the rest of the company. A prime cause of this has to be a lack of proof that internal events are delivering long-term behavioural change or hitting other indicators of success.

“The long-term growth of this industry depends on securing buy-in from CEOs across the board. Using robust measurements to track ROI is vital to determine whether internal events are truly effective and successfully delivering against an organisation’s ‘business critical’ goals.”

The study also found that while the average corporate is spending £370,000 per year on events, they are not consistently measuring whether internal events are achieving goals.

Only 54 per cent of directors claim to measure the ROI extremely or very robustly.

However, event managers claim to measure ROI more with 62 per cent saying they do so extremely or very robustly. Those with larger spend claim to be better at evaluation (61 per cent as opposed to 46 per cent).

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