In our last 2 blogs Successful Event Marketing and Event Recruitment and Successful Event Marketing and Event Recruitment, Part 2- Messaging and Promotion, we discussed how to develop the target audience, and create a messaging and promotion strategy. This blog will focus on event ROI measurement.
Part 3 – Measuring Event ROI
When a business spends money, it is important to quantify the benefit derived from that spend, otherwise known as the Return on Investment. For manufacturing equipment, measuring ROI is relatively simple. But for many marketing activities, it is not so easy. The key question is:
What do I need to measure to be able to show the return on the money spent?
We know that the ultimate goal is to drive revenue. Sales and revenue generation is directly or indirectly is the primary objective of any sales event.
Event ROI therefore equals Event Sales Revenue divided by Total Event Expense.
Event ROI = Event Sales Revenue
Total Event Expense
If you try to measure the immediate, direct ROI, you are not going to meet expectations. Does that mean your marketing dollars got wasted? Is revenue the only objective of any event? How do you justify the revenue generated in future by events which played a crucial part in creating awareness?
The problem is, you rarely close deals at an event. A better way to measure the return is to assess the number of contacts that converted to prospects, the prospects that converted to leads, and so on. Down the line, your sales team will convert some of those contacts into deals.
- What is the best way to get a metric for ROI calculation?
OK, this is what you should consider. What you want to do when thinking about an event is to lay down event objectives and how those objectives can be measured. Let’s take a look at some metrics that can be tied to your event’s objectives.
As discussed in last blog, before you start working on event-specific messaging, be clear about your event objectives.
- New product introduction
- Lead generation
- Customer support
Every event objective must be associated with a metric. If the event’s objective is branding and awareness then the relevant metrics might be ‘the number of event attendees (with the correct target profile)’, or ‘attendee post event awareness‘.
When the objective is ‘New Product Introduction’, associated metrics might be the number of attendees, number of service trial/product demo/product sample requests, number of leads generated and number of RFPs requests.
It is vital that you work with your Sales team when planning events, to ensure alignment between Marketing and Sales. Always get Sales buy-in. When planning your event, jointly decide the goals as well as the metrics for what constitutes goal achievement. As an example, for an event whose objective is ‘New Product Introduction’, you might establish the following metrics for success: 100 attendees for the event, 50 demo requests, 20 qualified leads and 5 RFPs requests.
Post event compare the actual numbers with the desired numbers to calculate the actual ROI with forecasted ROI. Going forward you will be in an excellent position to decide to attend the event , invest more into the event, or cut back – with good justification for your decision.
Bottom line: you should have your objectives and associated performance metrics clearly defined before you run or participate in events.
Our next blog will be about Virtual Event Marketing and Promotion.