Events can be the highest performing channel for any marketing team. And the data backs this up: events are gaining a greater share of budget at a faster rate than almost any other form of advertising, including TV ads, print and direct mail.
Only digital ads are increasing budget share along with events. With digital ads, complex attribution models help marketers assess the impact down to the dollar. However, events are still a ‘black box’ when it comes to measuring ROI.
Event marketers have plenty of anecdotal evidence about the large deals that were sourced from an events. CMOs can also cite the big brand boost from a sponsorship or a prominent speaking gig for the CEO. But that’s not always convincing to your CFO! Even Salesforce campaigns can only present a snapshot of success – and that’s if your sales team inputs and assigns all the leads.
Data Driven Event Based Marketing
As you plan your event marketing calendar for next year, it’s imperative to take a data driven approach to event based marketing. Event marketers control millions of dollars in budget and must place their bets wisely. If you pick the right events to attend or sponsor and can prove the ROI, it will be easier to unlock additional budget for next year. But pick poorly and you will constantly need to justify your budget to your finance team.
To be more data driven, event marketers must start at the beginning. Too often, events are selected based on imprecise inputs like ‘word of mouth’ or worse, just sponsoring the same annual events every year because that’s how it’s been done before.
Event marketers should always be looking for new events that have the greatest odds to impact pipeline. The best way to do this is by building an ROI calculator that determines how many prospects must be in attendance for the event to be worthwhile. In simple math, if your average deal is worth $10,000 and you expect that your sales team will close 10% of your opportunities, then each new opportunity from one event is worth $1,000. If tickets and travel total $3,000 per sales rep, that means each rep needs to produce 3 new opportunities from the event just to break even!
At Vendelux, we recommend only considering events that have the potential for at least 3X ROI. Once you know how much each sales opportunity from an event is worth to your business, you must calculate the costs to attend or sponsor an event. The final input to make a data driven decision should be the number of prospects your sales team can realistically engage at the event. To get an accurate estimate, you need to analyze the speakers, sponsors and attendees from all events under consideration. Finally, determine how many prospects at the event match the accounts that each sales rep is targeting.
As any event or field marketer will tell you, the event discovery and planning process takes a ton of work. But ultimately, it will ensure you are picking the right events to attend or sponsor.
Thankfully, there is now a better way to be more data driven. Event marketers can ditch the spreadsheets and hours of manual work because Vendelux automates this entire process! Let us handle all the event data processing and predictive ROI calculations so you can focus on the strategy and execution.