A large-scale study, from Associations Now magazine, revealed some interesting insights from meeting planners. The study sought to gather information regarding event planning’s best practices through direct insights from leading event professionals themselves. The survey gathered information related to planners and divided them into four metrics: marketing their events, using technology in meetings, measuring event success, and their biggest challenges.

While some results won’t come as a surprise, other data may give you something to consider as you plan an upcoming meeting or event. Here is a closer look at the areas the survey highlighted. See if your meeting-planning process aligns (or not!) with the survey results.

Metric Part I: Marketing

According to 85% of respondents, the single most popular way to promote events was email marketing. More than 45% said email marketing has the biggest impact on actually increasing event registrations. This was followed by social media (82%), word of mouth (69%), content marketing (44%), and snail mail (32%).

Diving deeper into the second-most common way to promote an event, social media. Respondents turn to Facebook and Twitter most, with 81% and 76% using them, respectively.

However the survey also showed two social tools that are underutilized: Snapchat (3%) and Pinterest (7%). suggests that the explosive growth and use of the latter two tools could make them prime marketing vehicles for event planners.

“Data identified that event organizers understand the importance of event marketing,” said Associations Now editor, Kristin Clarke. “The data also illuminates that event planners are starting to choose ways to maximize their event marketing potential, specifically through email and through social media, indicating a trend toward automation and deeper segmentation over traditional outreach marketing campaigns.”

Metric Part II: Technology

New and evolving event technology like planning software, mobile apps and audience response systems are becoming very popular trends. With all that talk, you might think that most planners are taking advantage of it, but the survey reveals that’s not the case.

In fact, the survey showed that 58% of event planners spend less than 10% of their budget on event software. Another 15% surveyed do not even invest (!) in software solutions for their event at all.

Yet, the survey also revealed that various technology tools are among the biggest trends in event planning. Close to 90% of respondents said audience engagement solutions are the biggest trend in maximizing the event experience. So what is an effective audience engagement? Messaging through event apps or maximizing networking through LinkedIn integrations.

Audience engagement was followed by wearable devices (35%), augmented reality (23%), iBeacons (19%), and drones, yes, drones (12%).

Metric Part III: Overall Success

So what determines whether an event is successful: smiles on attendees’ faces or the number of registered attendees?

Attendee satisfaction leads the way as the determinate of event success, rather than revenue or ticket sales- by a vast difference of 28 percent,” specified Clarke. “This statistic explains other data from this survey, notably how the majority of respondents chose audience engagement solutions as the biggest trend in maximizing the event experience.”

An overwhelming amount of respondents (over 80%) choose attendee satisfaction as their measure of event success. That was followed by revenue (56%), media coverage (16%), and team building (12%).

Metric Part IV: Challenges

The industry magazine survey also revealed event professionals’ biggest challenges. Close to 40% of survey respondents said their toughest event-planning challenge was promoting the event and hitting registration goals. 16% chose finding sponsors, 14% chose measuring ROI, and 12% chose differentiating between similar events as their biggest challenges.

Toward the bottom of the list was managing and monitoring registrations (10%) and sourcing and managing vendors and suppliers (7%). Striking was that 46% of survey respondents believed the time-consuming nature of their profession as a major challenge.