Driving event ROI

Events are a significant source of spending for marketing teams and on average, comprise 24% of the total marketing spend. Yet only 23% of event marketers are calculating ROI for their events. Compare this lack of transparency with the precision and accuracy around digital marketing efforts and you have a critical challenge growing more significant every day. So how do you go about answering the ROI question with the ability to impact results for your events?

We at RainFocus developed the Unified Event Marketing Model to provide a strategic framework to guide event marketers on their journey to level up their events. In this article we will explore one of the three pillars to this model and how using this strategy can grow your events. More importantly, we will explain why you should focus your ROI efforts today while crafting a plan to deliver greater ROI for the future.

Overview
The ROI pillar is focused on describing the value received by three audience groups critical to your events. Each audience group has an ever-increasing definition of success that corresponds with KPI’s to measure and drive that value. As enterprises get more sophisticated in their event marketing, the KPI’s evolve to provide additional insight and greater impact for the three critical audiences.

Customers
The first audience we have highlighted, is your customers. We purposely choose the word customer as opposed to attendees. While this group is synonymous, the term “customer” we feel better describes the level of relationship between the business and the individuals. Regardless of them actually being a customer of your products or services, they are there to consume, learn, grow and connect with your brand.

Partners
This audience is comprised of sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. These are the invested partners looking to leverage your customer audience to grow their brand and business. They seek to build off your momentum while attempting to drive a micro experience that personifies their own brand. The more the partners are enabled to understand, personalize and activate at the event, the great the return for their efforts.

Stakeholders
This audience is comprised of sales, marketing and executives of the business operating the event. The previous two audience groups attend or participate in the event while stakeholders benefit from their engagement by it ultimately impacting their roles in the business.

Power of Three
All three audiences are critical to an events success and depend on one and other to achieve value. As teams move from one level to the next, the difficulty to deliver and measure ROI for each audience grows. Teams who are at the Tactical level may have goals to show they have had impact on sales but the systems, sophistication and strategies aren’t in place to recognize that in a meaningful way. Teams would be better off focusing on the tactical side of the event, as these goals are foundational to leveling up and if aren’t properly addressed will prevent you from delivering greater levels of ROI.

Measuring ROI
The table below highlights the KPI’s that can and should be measured and communicated by event marketers. This is not a complete list of KPI’s but is designed to help event marketers focus their efforts and leverage the best of event technology to impact the results.

Tactical
Check-in Speed
Lead Capture
Registration to Attendance

Emerging
Survey sentiment
Qualified Leads
Segment Performance

Aligned
Purchase Intent
Lead Activation
Event Qualified Leads

Collaboration
Where to start?

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