What metrics actually define a successful event? Is it a long list of potential new customers? Or is it the number of individuals you “checked in” at the booth? Either way, most experienced marketers know that less than five percent of all leads acquired at a trade show actually turn into customers. So, event marketers need to turn to metrics outside of “new leads” if they’re looking to impress their CMO.
Executives are looking for meaningful metrics that paint a complete picture of how the event was received by not only potential customers but also current customers, industry analysts, and press. They want to know how to improve the overall event experience to drive better results in the future. But, this isn’t always as simple as it seems. Usually, event marketers don’t even know where to begin.
Why are these metrics so important? According to a recent Forrester report, events make up nearly a quarter of annual budgets. To help Marketing teams secure the budget they need for future events, I compiled three metrics that marketers can leverage with their CMOs to justify event spend:
At the end of the day, most CMOs are tied to sales numbers and new leads. But that doesn’t mean they don’t care about top-of-funnel metrics like brand awareness as well. During your event, make sure to measure things like increased footfall and website visits (as compared to previous events), total pieces of press coverage, social media mentions and all-up share of voice against competitors. Gather a third-party perspective through in-booth surveys during the event and share with your boss if there is a lift in overall brand awareness or perception.
Number of face-to-face meetings
The importance of face-to-face strategic meetings cannot be overstated. When it comes to purchasing products that require a significant investment, face-to-face meetings are a must. Measure the number and quality of F2F engagements, demos, and briefings during your event and compare that number against these metrics:
- Customer retention: High churn has a negative impact on revenue flow and NPS. F2F strategic meetings with existing customers are key to strengthening relationships and initiating relevant conversations.
- Upsells: Since your event will be frequented by customers, use the opportunity to not only grow relationships but also grow business within existing accounts.
- Meetings to close: How many F2F meetings did it take to close a deal? Which executives and subject matter experts did you have involved in the deal? Understanding this number can help you plan, improve and streamline events in the future.
Sales and Marketing teams work hand in hand to impact leads, deals and ultimately, revenue – and events are a huge part of that puzzle. To bring it all the way down to bottom-line impact for your CMO, make sure you are measuring the following revenue-focused metrics:
- The number of new opportunities: Measure how many new opportunities were created as a result of your event. The more opportunities, the better. But, make sure to follow these opportunities all the way through the sales journey to see what percentage actually turn into customers to determine lead quality. New pipeline created: Of the leads generated during your event, what is the total new pipeline potentially created? Does it outweigh the cost of the event itself? The bigger the potential customer you reel in during your event, the fewer customers you will need. So, make sure to invite pre-qualified or high-budget prospects to your event.
- Cost per lead: CPL is a good measure of how cost-effective your event actually is. Ultimately, you want to minimize CPL as much as you can. A low CPL coupled with high quality will help you justify the spend on your next event and reinforce the effectiveness of your efforts.
Each event gives marketers and event planners the chance to adjust and perfect the metrics they measure and report up to executive teams. Since CMOs aren’t easily impressed with “fluffy” numbers that don’t impact the bottom line, it’s important that event marketers review the above metrics on a regular basis. Reviewing trends in reporting will allow event planners to assess their current strategy and sharpen it for future events.