Measuring Event ROI
An article we came across recently argues that the surge in virtual events over the past year-plus has made the evaluation of event ROI more important than ever, and it’s critical to ditch the vanity metrics and measure outcome-oriented metrics instead. We couldn’t agree more.
It goes on to list 11 examples of metrics that “have a tangible impact on event ROI, even if they're not all measured in dollars.” While some of these measurements are important for marketers to improve their programs—such as registration-to-attendee attrition rates, or ratio of net-new to existing contacts—their influence on pipeline outcomes is indirect at best.
In fact, we would argue that from a pipeline perspective, there’s only one metric on the list that really matters: number of demos/meetings held at or after the event. Everything else on the list is simply steps in the process to help influence your ability to get those sales engagements.
Is measurement really the problem?
Furthermore, we would argue that while you do want to measure the number, what you really need to focus on is driving it. We know we can’t rely on interested buyers to come to us — we ditched that notion long ago. It’s why we talk about creating pipeline, not collecting it. The necessary first step in building pipeline is to proactively engage with likely buyers and convince them to invest their time in a demo/meeting with you. This is true even if they participated in a virtual event.
If you could follow up quickly with every lead post-event, you would find the likely buyers and get those demos and meetings. In theory. Because the reality is that most organizations can’t do this and so they aren’t truly maximizing the ROI potential of their events.
A successful event will create a big stack of leads to hand over to the sales team for follow up. They have to prioritize outreach and will likely default to basic information, such as whether the company is on the target account list, or the contact has the right title. This kind of prioritization may align your event leads with your ideal customer profile, but it doesn’t align with their likelihood to buy. And if your sales organization is understaffed, as so many are with the current labor shortage, it’s not just which leads are prioritized for follow up first, but which will be followed up on at all. No follow up, no meeting — and no amount of measurement is going to fix this problem.
How to improve - not just measure - the ROI of your events
We said that most organizations can’t follow up quickly with every lead post-event to find the likely buyers and get demos and meetings, but that’s not quite accurate. Most organizations can’t do it on their own. Many, however, are getting it done with BAO’s Lead Qualification service.
In fact, that’s the exact problem this service was designed to address. We call all your contactable event leads as an extension of your team to speak with them live to qualify them based on a questionnaire we work with you to develop. We collect the insights, score and segment the leads, and deliver you detailed records for the completed leads that include specific actions to take.
Your reps can then focus on the leads with qualified sales potential—and they’ll have actionable information about the prospect to improve their ability to secure a meeting. Other leads, such as those with longer-term potential, can be added to your nurture programs. We’ll also provide dashboard analysis of the campaign results to help you assess the ROI of the event. Of course, this isn’t limited just to virtual events — Lead Qualification can be used for any lead generation marketing event, campaign, or program.
We can even take it one step further by handing leads we qualify that meet your specific criteria to our own ISRs for Appointment Setting. Clients who use us in this way tell us the meetings that we set from the leads we qualify are the highest quality of all their sales meetings. With more high-quality meetings that turn into second sales activities (another key ROI metric you should be measuring and one we deliver as part of all our Appointment Setting engagements) you’ll further improve the ROI of your events.
Contact us if you’re ready to not just measure the ROI of your events, but actually improve it.
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