Event measurement, ROI and related concerns- Ashish Pherwani, EY, and Vinit Karnik, Group M


Ashish Pherwani, Advisory Partner at Ernst & Young, and, Vinit Karnik‎, National Director - Entertainment, Sports & Live Events at GroupM, addressed the gathering of event organizers at the recently concluded EEMAGINE 2014 and exemplified the role of ROI in the Indian events space. Built on the surveys, discussions and estimates conducted by EY, Ashish conducted an elaborate discussion focused at the subject of ROI in the event space that Vinit supplemented with his insights.

Demonstration of ROI by the event industry

Having a creative edge over others may all be about the theme and concept but the business side should pertain to the parameters concerning ROI. Ashish began by explaining that 80% brands agreed to the fact that in case of better Return on Investment they would spend more on BTL. Moving further he showed that only 10% of the brands feel that their agencies adequately demonstrate ROI, whereas much larger than that, 30% felt that it does not at all. On the whole 60% perceived a weak approach towards ROI from their agency’s end.

“TAM helped the industry much more than RAM”, said Ashish Pherwani.  To back his judgment he further explained that one can measure and keep a track of each second and every move that takes place in a television. It thus provides a much larger perspective and deep understanding of ROI.

Events ROI and related concerns

Some considerations pertaining to the nature of events was then thrown light upon. A TV spot is same everywhere whereas an event happening across two locations can be entirely different.  An event is based on the theme and the objective of the event agency. Thus to obtain a standard measure or even get an appropriate fixed rating is impossible in this case.

He proceeded to explain that the event objective may vary as per the choice of the advertisers. One may look out for awareness whereas other may aim at high sales.

The third case is when there are no advertisers. Such happens in the case of weddings and parties.

Measurement framework

On the basis of research by EY, in order to have fair measurement there should be a common platform incurring no added cost. This platform should be standard for each event objective.

This measurement framework should meet specific requirement of every event sponsor making it optional, standard or customizable.

The third idea that he stressed on was Validation. Ashish Pherwani said “If you need your event to be validated, your customer doesn’t trust you”. Validation should only be done when it is required.

The hypothesis was substantiated with a close look into the functioning of B2C events. Summing up the research he explained the protocol of the B2C events space.

Ashish concluded with the following suggestions mentioning the three key factors for the event agencies to keep in mind to attain better ROI in a span of one year.

Vinit Karnik ‎ carried the discussion further throwing light on the evolution of sponsorship keeping in consideration a global perspective and the importance of measurement and evaluation in the event space.

Categorizing the evolution of sponsorship, he explained-

1960-1970s: Brands aimed at establishing a logo as an identity.

1970-1990s: The age of multi sponsorship event model.

1990-2010s: The era of multi-sensory model with global sponsorship strategy. It was when a brand owned a space globally, for example Coca Cola owns FIFA, P&G owns CSR as a space worldwide.

2010- till date: The period of social era sponsorship.

With changing times and scenario, brands are now looking at more ground-level activations and promotion through the digital medium to reach out to and engage their audience. Vinit Karnik comments that “We Indians are still happy being in the 1960’s to 70’s age of establishing logos. We would love to see a ROO driven industry. Adding to this he said, ‘We go wrong because we start from content and then go to our objectives’.”

Objectives should always come before Investments, he added. All event sponsorships should put in mind the following attributes:

Analyse < Strategic < Recommend < Negotiate < Activate < Evaluate

Stressing on the evaluation metric he explained:



Quantitative study

Impact of Activation

Media Value

Media Value delivered

Price Benchmarking

PR value delivered

Entitlement Benchmarking

Consumer Study


Change in brand scores

Brand recall

Brand awareness

Brand affinity

 Cost of reaching per viewer basically covers the engagement initiatives and social media scores attained by an event agency.

Based on the objectives discussed with the clients, we should aim at obtaining where our clients spend keeping into consideration whether they are active or passive spends.

Activation Indexes include Engagement, Experience, and Education as the three things that help or end up in the purchasing habit of the consumer or sales of a store

Brands these days are evolving in terms of their approach towards sponsorships and spend. A brand needs to own a platform to compete in the present market space. A few examples to cite are Rolex sponsored Wimbledon. It owns the space of tennis. Similarly Cadbury owns ‘Celebration’ as a platform and so does Pepsi, the space of cricket in India. Concluding his talk Vinit said “It is imperative to link the objective with the investment.”

Tags assigned to this article:
evaluation events ey roi ROO sponsorship

Around The World

Our Publications