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Published in Demand Generation category on (09/30/2016)

Event Marketing Metrics You Should Review For Successful Events

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What KPIs and Metrics You Should Be Using For A Complete Event Marketing Picture

Event Marketing Metrics You Should Review For Successful Events is a two-part series for event marketers, demand generation specialists, and CMOs to learn which metrics they should be using and the best platforms to help them define, review, and analyze Event ROI. This first part of the series is focused on essential event marketing KPIs. Take it away Mike Earley!

As a Product Manager at Certain, I realize the importance of marketing metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and how to measure successful events. In high-performing marketing teams, success is not measured by lead volume, but by lead quality. So marketers are not only tasked with crafting quality content, but in honing in on their unique persona-set, capturing data that provides marketers with the information that they need to send out personalized follow-up campaigns, and then ensuring that this data is tracked, leveraged, and most importantly, delivers results.  

While there are hundreds of KPIs and metrics that you can track, not all are created equal. According to Optimize Smart, the attributes of a valuable KPI are determined by whether it’s: available and measurable, impacts the bottom line, is relevant, instantly useful, and timely. And, to properly track event success and analyze your results through event and marketing automation best practices, you need to have a detailed understanding of the strategy behind what you’re tracking and why.

This way, your marketing and sales teams can gain valuable insights from rich attendee data, improve future events, and drive event ROI. With that in mind, here are the types of metrics you need to track, how, and why.  

What to Track

Email Marketing Campaigns

A fundamental part of event marketing is email marketing. From email invites to event follow-ups, email marketing provides marketers with a framework to create multi-touch campaigns that accelerate the buyer’s journey.

Effective email marketing relies on: a targeted recipient list, strong value propositions, detailed event descriptions, concise event details, social proof, and an incentivizing call to action. Additionally, when you integrate marketing automation into your email marketing campaigns by defining and creating separate nurture tracks, creating naming conventions for all campaigns, addressing deliverability issues, and integrating your campaigns into your CRM to hand qualified leads to sales, you have processes and best practices in place to run a successful email marketing program. From there how can you analyze your results? Here are some important KPIs to track:

  • Email Open Rate
  • Email Click Through Rate
  • Email Registrations- click to registration conversions
  • Click To Open Rate
  • Delivery Rate
  • Forward/Shares

Event Landing Page Conversions

As we’ve mentioned before, across industries, the top twenty-five percent of conversion rates are at 5.31% or higher. Knowing this, it becomes clear that having an effective landing page is important in generating leads and obtaining valuable data from website visits.  

When discussing landing pages, it’s important to focus on Conversion Rate Optimization. CRO is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers. In order to increase CRO, your event landing page needs to have short form fields, use media, like video or photography, creatively and have a clear and inviting CTA. But beyond the strategy behind high-converting landing pages, here are some metrics you should review in order to optimize your page.

  • Landing Page Visits
  • Landing Page Registrations
  • Page Abandons

Pre, During, and Post-Event Lead Generation

Lead generation for events has many working parts and your lead generation strategy involves many channels. Oftentimes, when it comes to source attribution, demand generation is focused on measuring conversion rates of online channels, which does not take into account lead generation from offline events. However, events make up 28% of the average marketing spend, so it’s important to analyze how events contribute to your company’s pipeline.

Additionally, demand generation efforts are largely focused on pre-event campaigns, when effective lead nurturing can also be leveraged during and post-event. When reviewing KPIs for events, it’s important to review the following:

  • Lead generation from email
  • Lead generation from paid advertising
  • Lead generation from social media
  • Lead generation from booth attendees
  • Lead conversion rate based on behaviors/actions

Cost Per Lead

When factoring your cost per lead, you need to have a high level understanding of all of the costs associated with your events. At the very least, when it comes to event spend, there are costs for booth, ads, printing, agency, staffing, and advertising to consider. Once you’ve added up all of your event marketing spend, you must divide that total by the total leads that you acquired from your event, which then leads to your cost per lead. After establishing your cost per lead, you can establish attribution models that will inform your future event spending decisions.

Booth Visits, Attendee Engagement, and MQL and SQL Percentage

Through event and marketing automation, there is a wealth of data that you can capture and measure from events. This data can give you more granular knowledge about attendee behavior, improve your lead scoring, and help marketers accelerate the buyer’s journey. With that in mind, here are KPIs that you want to measure regarding booth visits and attendee engagement:

  • How many leads registered for an event versus how many attended the event?
  • How many leads who visited the booth became qualified?
  • What was the percentage of booth visitors that booked an appointment?
  • What was your booth visit to MQL to SQL conversion ratio?

Session Attendance

At your events, sessions provide marketers with valuable opportunities to capture attendee data. This data can help inform your event planning and programming decisions in the future, and discover which sessions are most important to your prospects. Below are KPIs that are essential to review in order to measure attendee engagement at your events:  

  • Which sessions were best or poorly attended?
  • How many sessions did your attendee attend, and regarding what industry and for what products?
  • Did your attendee ask questions, take live polls, or answer event surveys?
  • Did your attendee download an asset, book an appointment, or schedule a demo because of session attendance?

Party/Dinner Attendance

When you are planning an event, it is helpful to have your demand generation and sales team work together to isolate which of your attendees are your most qualified prospects at the event. From there, your sales team can schedule one on one meetings, client dinners, or invite prospects to parties associated with the event. To see if your dinner or parties are an effective way to use your event spend, you should review the following:

  • How many prospects were invited to the dinner/party?
  • How many prospects attended the dinner/party?
  • Of the prospects who attended the dinner/party, how many converted SQLs?
  • Of the prospects who attended the dinner/party, how many converted into customers?

Event ROI

Measuring Event ROI is the culmination of measuring many of the other KPIs that we listed above. While your event’s direct contribution to your company’s pipeline is very significant, there are many contributing factors that define event success. So, before your event, it is essential to define and establish how you will determine event success so that you can analyze your Event ROI. Below are key metrics to help you define Event ROI.

  • How many leads were generated?
  • How many MQLs and SQLs did your event deliver?
  • Did your event increase your social media following?
  • Did your event increase your brand awareness?
  • As a result of your event, how many leads booked meetings, demos, or appointments?
  • How much revenue was closed on the sales floor?
  • Were new partnerships strengthened or derived from your event?
  • Did new marketing or sales opportunities derive from your event?

Establishing these marketing KPIs enable your marketing, events, and sales team to focus their efforts during events. By establishing what data you are tracking, how, and why, you will also be able to capture attendee data at events that is most useful to your business for future marketing and sales opportunities. To learn more about event marketing KPIs and what platforms can help you best track them, tune in for my next installment!

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