Post authored by Victor Kippes, CEO of Validar. To learn more about him, click here.
I always ask this question of prospects and customers, knowing in the back of my mind that the answer is nebulous and difficult to answer. By nebulous and difficult I mean: the key performance metrics of their answer is strife with holes regarding economic value. I was in a meeting today and asked a Fortune 100 customer this very question regarding a series of B2B lead generation events they were producing. Here is the response I received:
1) Deviation of attendance level from previous year
2) Decrease or increase of registered attendees versus attended
3) Lead volumes of exhibiting sponsors
4) Exit surveys gauging value of session topics and overall event performance.
Now, imagine if you have P&L responsibility for the investment and faced with budget restrictions due to economic times. You are looking for the largest return on investment and this response, even if positive doesn’t raise a high level of confidence regarding “bang for your buck”.
There are articles everywhere bashing events as a marketing investment and I believe the main reason why is the failure to articulate revenue contribution. (The 10 Dumbest Things Businesses Buy) I also believe marketers are not receiving credit for their revenue contribution and companies devalue these investments. It is very difficult for marketers to generate the leads they do, so when they do it, it’s an incredible feat. Some companies put a lot of money into their marketing team because they understand how important they are to their business. If you are a new company it is just as important to know what to do when it comes to raising cash for your business so you can finance the marketing part of your business since it is such an important part of your company.
What should you do?
I have noticed some companies today focusing on identifying opportunities at events and building a lead management foundation that empowers them to track these opportunities through their lifecycle.
What is an opportunity?
If the purpose of your event is to introduce new products and services to an audience of customers, prospects and partners and to drive post-event sales, an opportunity is:
“Who left that event with a renewed interest and propensity to buy based upon the experience they had?”
You need to identify these opportunities at the event, document the size of them and track them until they close.
Imagine if your response to the question above was:
1) We identified 110 opportunities at this event with a sales pipeline value of $35 million dollars.
2) We have already closed $2.5 million of these opportunities and expect another $4 million this quarter.
What are the chances of your event budget being cut or constrained with this response?
How do you measure your event performance?
To learn how to maximize your lead conversion, read Validar’s white paper “Drive Higher Sales Conversions: Ask the Right Questions During Lead Capture” and discover how ExpoCard Connect can help capture and qualify leads. Click the link below.