Marketers understand the value of events better than anyone else in the business. And yet, proving return on investment (ROI) for events continues to be a challenge. In our recent survey, nearly 70 percent of marketers agreed that tying event spend to revenue generation remains an elusive task. Oftentimes, businesses work backwards when it comes to determining how to measure event results—an event takes place, the company gathers heaps of data and metrics, and suddenly they’re left unsure about what those insights mean. Was the event worth the spend, and did the team align with the business’s overarching goals?
Measuring event success starts with having a strong metrics strategy in place. Here are four steps for marketers to take to determine ROI with confidence every time.
Define success first
Marketers should start by asking themselves, “What is the objective of this event?”. Whether it’s to improve sales, build awareness or strengthen existing partnerships, having a clearly defined goal first––and then determining how to measure if it was met––will align the team on what they’re working towards and, ultimately, what success looks like.
Have a post-show plan in place
Lead follow-up should be quick and efficient after the event. The sooner sales reaches out to prospective customers, the fresher the event and the conversations that took place will be in their minds. Marketing and sales should have a plan in place well before the event begins to follow through on commitments and turn one-time meetings into lasting relationships.
Look beyond instant satisfaction and measure long-term
Measures of success should be both immediate and long-term. Success the day after the event might be determined by brand awareness and how many media hits resulted from the day, or how many leads were generated. But, knowing how to measure a day, a month and six months out from an event will show how shorter-term results are translating into long-term success. Establishing post-show milestones will be key in driving strategy well after the event wraps up.
Track progress regularly
Have a plan in place to track the team’s progress against goals, and keep to it. Weekly meetings will help the team align and course correct where needed. Also, regularly checking in with the executive team and providing a full view of qualitative and quantitative insights will show concretely how the company is tracking against the predetermined objective.
For more on how to build a strong metrics strategy to measure event success, check out The Event Marketing Playbook: Metrics & Data Strategy.