Meetings, Metrics and More in 2014...

How will you measure and justify your events this year?  Are there new tools, technologies and offerings that you should be considering?   CMOs and marketing executives are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to event justification and ROI.  Events are being compared to online ads and marketing automation campaigns which have quantifiable data on ROI.

The above questions are key points you should be thinking about when determining the value of the meetings, events and trade shows you will be producing in 2014.

As you develop your strategy this year, be sure to consider these three things:

1. Implementation of measurement goals and objectives.

What defines success for your event?  What are your stakeholders looking for?  Many times the type of event you are hosting determines the measurement goals.  For example, sale training event objectives are significantly different than user group conferences.  Some examples:

Trade Show participation

  • Is it about the number of qualified leads you will obtain from the trade shows you participate in?  Client meetings?  NPS score?  Branding perception?                 
  • Are you looking for event-to-event metrics? 
  • What percent of the target audience are you reaching?
  • Cost per lead?
  • Net new opportunities ratio to $ spent?

Conferences

  • Is the event well attended by the target audience?
  • Are your events received with high attendee satisfaction?
  • Which topics are most attended and interesting to your attendees?
  • Are your session speakers & topics highly rated?
  • Do your attendees plan to attend again next year?
  • How much revenue potential are you generating with your attendees?
  • Do you understand the attendee journey of your key demographic?

2.  Determine the right tools and technology necessary to successfully meet and measure your goals. Here again determining the right tools often depends on the type of event and your objectives. For example:

Tradeshows

  • To meet the goal of event-to-event metrics, a single consistent lead solution should be used across events.  
  • To be the goal of a qualified lead, the solution should offer the ability to have a qualification survey.

Conferences

  • To meet the goal of “which topics are most attended & interesting to your attendees,” use an attendance tracking solution to measure participation.
  • To meet the goal of “are your session speakers & topics highly rated,” your solution should include session surveys.
  • To meet the goal of “understanding the attendee journey of key demographics,” utilize RFID as part of your technology solution.

Match your goals and objectives to the selection of technology you utilize for your events.

3.  Seek solution providers that can give you the data and analytics that will support your measurement goals and "wow" your stakeholders!

Having the ability to quantify the effectiveness and ROI of your event initiatives gives you the data needed for event justification and future planning.