Every marketing decision and campaign, in order to prove profitable for your business, needs to be measurable. If you are to maximize your every marketing and sales investment, then you will need to measure the performance and success of each in order to derive actionable data that will allow you to improve over time, and reach new heights of success. This becomes especially important when you invest in a cumbersome project, such as an event.
Now, it’s not like you can simply skip events altogether and focus on other marketing methods, simply because an event has always been and always will be one of the most powerful marketing tools in the business world. There is plenty to be gained by launching a successful event, so let’s take a look at the five key tips that will help you measure the ROI of your event effectively and allow you to propel your brand forward as a whole.
Define the goals of your event
Every successful event management plan starts with a realistic set of goals. Note, an event shouldn’t have a single goal but a whole array of sales and marketing objectives geared towards brand growth on all fronts. This includes digital marketing and online brand awareness, offline networking and lead generation, and of course, boosting the sales cycle as a whole.
To that end, it’s important that you define SMART goals for your event so that you can measure your success after the event. Keep in mind, though, that you should also define the primary goal of your event, so that you can tailor the project to its exact needs – every other goal will be a supplementary one. Some common event goals include:
- Lead generation
- Improving brand awareness and reputation
- Building an email list
- Networking with potential partners
- Educating the community on important topics
- Raising funds for a charity
- Increasing website traffic
- Better social media engagement
- Attracting top talent for your firm
- Catering to existing clients to boost loyalty
Determine what you need to measure
Now that you have mapped out the primary and secondary goals for your event, it’s time to put things in perspective and outline the exact tactics and steps you will need to take to make these goals a reality. Different goals will have different metrics you will need to track and measure in order to gain actionable insights and improve the next time round. Defining these metrics will also allow you discover the unique requirements of every goal and how to achieve it in an efficient and effective way.
All things being equal, though, one of the primary metrics should be your attendance rate, along with adequate press and social media coverage. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity, but the quality of the attendees as well, as one major influencer could be worth ten press reporters. Keep in mind that the key to measuring intangible goals such as brand perception will be in obtaining constructive feedback, so have your questionnaires at the ready.
Leverage event management software
One of the best ways to measure the overall ROI of your event is to ensure its success from the very beginning, and then simply capitalize afterwards. After all, good preparation and planning will be the keys to an event people and the media will remember. To build a winning event from the ground up, you can use contemporary tools to your advantage.
The primary benefits of comprehensive event management software lie in its ability to create an event structure that includes ticketing and bookings, recurring events and appealing registration forms, and other useful features that will ultimately help you measure attendance and the overall performance of your project.
Make detailed forecasts prior to the event
How many people do you expect to attend? How many reservations do you need to ensure a positive ROI? What is the minimum media coverage requirement for a successful brand-building event? What is the minimum amount of funds you need to raise in order to deem the event a successful one? These are just some of the questions you need to have a projected answer to before the actual event.
Generating these approximations will allow you to compare your forecasts with the actual results of the event, and discover what you could do better the next time around. In turn, you sales and marketing teams will gain powerful insights that will allow them to craft winning event strategies in the future.
Calculate the ROI for each goal
When the event is finally over and you have sent out all of the “thank you” emails to all of your attendees, it’s time to get to work. Your goal right now is to measure the actual performance of your event strategy against the goals you’ve set in the beginning stages. You can start with your primary goal, and the work outward towards the more supplementary objectives.
Note that not all goals can be measured immediately after the event, as it takes longer for certain objectives to become measurable, such as brand awareness, social media engagement, or website traffic. On the other hand, you can measure concrete goals immediately, such as sales increase, lead generation, email subscriptions, funds raised, number of potential partners, etc. Compare the total costs of the event to the results of each goal to determine whether the investment was worth it, and then start planning the next event with these insights in mind.
Events have and always will be one of the most powerful marketing tools in the business world, however, it’s important to note that a successful event doesn’t happen by chance. Use these tips to launch an event people will remember, and measure its success and your ROI in order to capitalize on event marketing in the future.