2014 – Clearer in the Rearview Mirror

In January, I wrote a blog titled, “Meetings, Metrics and More in 2014,” full of suggestions on how to better integrate measurement, ROI, and justification into your event marketing strategy. Now that 2014 has all but sped away, I’d like to review some of those thoughts and ask if you’ve incorporated any into your program.

I said that developing solid measurement goals and objectives are critical, because it’s difficult to improve on something that hasn’t been measured. It certainly takes time, but it is well worth the effort. If you completed this process early in 2014, I’m confident that it greatly enhanced and also simplified your strategy and tactical execution throughout the year.

Goals and objectives come from the top. It’s important to know your company’s broad umbrella objectives and messages. Once you understand the top-tier marketing objectives, it becomes much easier to define event marketing goals, plus measurement can be integrated with marketing communications initiatives, and that elevates justification.

Since the calendar year is coming to a close for many companies, your marketing justification is getting a lot of mind-share right now. If in January you solidified your event-specific goals and objectives, and took some steps forward in measurement, then you now should have the data you need to justify your event marketing program and budget. The key to success is analyzing the data so that you have the critical information to obtain the necessary ROI. Even if you could only measure some of what I suggested, you have more data than you did a year ago, so you are heading in the right direction.

As a quick recap, some of the key measurement criteria from the January blog included: For trade shows - qualified leads, cost per qualified lead, client meetings, NPS scores, branding perceptions, event comparisons, target audience reached, and net new opportunities/spending ratios. For those of you involved in conference planning, some suggested measurement ideas were attendance by target audience, attendee satisfaction, session attendance, ratings of speakers and topics, repeat attendees, and revenue potential.

Measurement, ROI and justification remain top-of-mind for CMOs as they determine their spend across marketing disciplines. As an event marketer, ciphering through myriad new tools and technologies is always a challenge. Yet a decision as simple as choosing one consistent lead solution for use across events may have made a big difference in understanding your lead quality and providing trade show justification. Did you adopt any new tools, technologies and offerings that helped in your quest for better measurement and justification in 2014? I hope you will reply to this blog and share your experience with all of us.

This can be a challenging time of year for many of us, because holiday demands are loaded on top of our year-end work commitments. Sometimes it’s not easy to keep that festive spirit going when there is so much to do. That’s why I’m hoping you will take just a few moments to sit back and reflect on all of the improvements you’ve made to your event marketing program, and think about how your own contributions have affected your company’s success. I suspect there are many, so celebrate them, and share them with your management. Happy Holidays!