Using only return on investment (ROI) can be a misleading metric for evaluating event performance. It's difficult to attribute a converted sale to merely an event. Converted sales require many touch points to contribute to a closed deal. In the article by Dax Callner, Chief Strategy Officer at GES Events, Four Key Metrics for Evaluating Event Marketing Performance, he explains how they have developed event metrics that are measurable and recognize most B2B events are way more than just selling opportunities.
According to GES, essential contributors to a business's success are events that build brand affinity and strengthen customer loyalty. Here are their metrics for an alternative way to measure:
1. Pipeline Contributor
Rather than evaluating an event by converted sales, you should determine the impact on a prospect's likelihood to purchase, and the potential revenue the event is driving. The result is an honest look at the role of events as pipeline contributors.
2. Positive Brand Impact
Marketing industry research demonstrates favorable brand perceptions influence purchasing decisions. This metric focuses on one-on-one exposure to the brand products and services and looks at changes in perception.
3. Current Customer Retention
Many events and exhibits attract current customers. These individuals may not always represent immediate sales or cross-selling opportunities, but treating existing customers well is still relevant to your brand and future sales. Losing customers can be costly; so events should have an impact on a customer's loyalty to the company. This metric evaluates the effects of the event on customer retention rates.
4. Perceived Quality Of The Experience
Though this metric is not directly correlated to business outcomes, providing a high-value experience for attendees is a worthwhile goal. This metric looks at essential attributes of an event, such as staff interactions, educational content, and determines whether attendees perceive them as being of high value.
The combination of these metrics would provide an accurate and comprehensive framework for event measurement in addition to looking for an ROI. Our job is to search what is happening and seek emerging or robust opportunities and target markets, so your marketing produces a higher return on investment.