How do you know if your event marketing campaign was successful? The answer depends on your goals, of course, but even then evaluating event marketing isn’t easy. According to a study by EventTrack, 22 percent of businesses don’t have any system in place to measure the success of their events. I can assume if that’s the case then businesses also don’t have a way to evaluate their marketing efforts either.
Evaluating event marketing must go beyond how much money you spent versus how much money you made to measure the true impact of an event. Everyone can figure that out, but are you really seeing if you’re successful just be measuring registrations? Things like brand awareness, customer retention, and attendee engagement are all as important as measuring straight ROI. Below are five key areas to look at when evaluating your event marketing efforts, as well as a metric for each to incorporate in your next event.
1. Filling Your Pipeline
The main objective of any marketing campaign is to get more qualified leads into the pipeline. It is hard to measure the effect an event has in moving attendees through the pipeline unless you have items for sale directly.
Lead capturing techniques are used here for measuring your event’s influence. If you are the host of the event, have an email capture form as part of the attendee reservation process. At a trade show, make sure you close each attendee interaction by asking for their email. You can measure the total number of emails captured against the total number of people seen to measure the effectiveness of your lead capturing strategies.
2. Conducting Customer Meetings
How is your event helping you increase the frequency and productivity of customer meetings? As effective as digital marketing is with today’s customer, there is nothing more effective than a face-to-face meeting. These meetings give you a chance to personalize your sales pitch by reading the customer’s body language.
You need to switch things up in real-time if your customer seems bored. Have meaningful conversations with your customer to discover what need drew them to your business. If they showed enough interest to agree to a meeting, then you can reel them back in by addressing their needs directly.
Measuring the effectiveness of customer meetings should go beyond sales. A customer doesn’t have to buy after the first meeting for it to be successful. If you aren’t selling a product at your event, a good metric for customer meetings is the number of follow-up meetings scheduled compared to the total number of meetings conducted.
3. Generating Media Attention
Positive media buzz is valuable to any business regardless of industry. When a company puts on an event, generating media attention should always be an objective. Most of the action happens before the event so use that media attention to drive up the attendance numbers. This usually involves sending press releases to all the newspapers and media outlets in your area. You can also send press releases to local bloggers in your niche. When you’re evaluating event marketing, check the effectiveness of your press release by measuring the number of interviews granted or stories written compared to the total number of press releases sent.
Media attention also plays a role the day of and after your event. You want media members to attend your event so they can write an accurate review for their audience. Offer media members press passes to give them free entry and special access to event staff. Keep track of the number of press passes accepted versus the total amount offered.
4. Growing Social Media Presence
Today’s customer wants to feel connected to a brand before they make a purchase. If you’re not using social media to build customer loyalty, you’re doing something wrong. If you build a loyal community around your brand, they will amplify your content without being asked. Events provide a vehicle for strengthening your community through in-person interaction.
You can take advantage of the rising popularity of social video by live streaming your event to your social media audiences. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn all have native live video. The platform you use depends on where your target audience spends most of their digital time. Good metrics to track for live streaming are total number of unique views and average view length.
5. Providing a High-Value Experience
Every attendee of your event should feel like they’re a VIP. There are little things you can do that all add up to a high-value experience. Having a free mobile app for your event is a great way to provide attendees with important information, such as:
Make sure your event staff is well-trained. Providing a high-value experience comes down to the front line employees interacting with attendees. This training extends to third-party vendors as well. Address all factors that could hinder the attendee experience during the planning stage.
Post-attendance surveys are the best way to measure the value of your experience. Having a feedback portal in your event app allows attendees to rate their experience easily. Make this information quantifiable by providing a 1-10 rating scale for answering each question.
Evaluating event marketing with the right metrics is the best way to improve your strategy on a consistent basis. Use these five metrics and possibly more as a guide for your next few events to optimize your event experience.