Event ROI is all about working backwards. Before you start scoping out venues or let your mind get carried away with keynote speaker options, you need to think critically about your event goals and desired business outcomes.
Why does your company want to host an event in the first place? Is this part of a push to increase sales? Do you want to strengthen your brand? Most event goals fall into one of four broad categories: sales, retention, education or company. Deciding which categories you will focus on before you go into planning mode ensures you never lose sight of the real event purpose.
And once you know which category your event falls into you can dive deeper into the specific business outcomes you want to achieve. Let's take a closer look at what those may look like:
It's safe to say most C-suite execs are going to expect leads and incremental revenue to come out of your event. It's critical to ensure your execution supports those overall goals, whether it's getting prospective customers farther along in the pipeline, pitching a new product or closing deals right there on the event floor. To make capturing those leads easier, take advantage of your event app. It is designed to show your employees where customers are in the pipeline and encourage the face-to-face interactions that get you one step closer to closing the deal.
If your company is trying to grow its business (especially in SaaS or service businesses), then you can bet retaining customers and members is a top priority. A study by Bain & Co and the Harvard Business School found that increasing customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profits by up to 25 percent.
The key to running an event that focuses on loyalty? Frequency. Take the focus off of sales by having more frequent and personal events that help form genuine relationships with the customers you already have. Introduce your customers to new product lines, and remove the wall between the customer and your brand. By identifying advocates at events you'll see an organic progression on the retention front.
Events are about letting your customers know what your company is all about, and showing them them how you can help them achieve their own business goals. If your company is trying to position itself as an expert in its field, events are the perfect place to showcase your expertise and gain customer trust. Use your event app to monitor who is most engaged with what content. Then make it a goal to get the right content in front of interested attendees. One way to test audience education is by running surveys post session. Take a look at the feedback to gauge how much knowledge your attendees are obtaining.
For most companies today, customers have more brands to choose from than ever before. This has probably left your company jumping through hoops to distinguish itself from competitors. Make your brand pop by building up internal thought leadership or partnering with inspiring speakers. This will not only get customers and employees excited about your event but will reflect glowingly on your brand and company as a whole.
Internally, a Sales Kick Off meeting is a great example of an event that's ostensibly for one purpose (e.g. learning a skill), but that is really about generating excitement and positive sentiment, helping your sales team buy into the business strategy to surpass their sales goals.
In the end, you may decide that your event's goals fit into more than one category, and that's okay too. Just make sure your event team knows where their focus should be. Now that you have solid event goals rooted in business outcomes, it's time for the fun stuff: Determining exactly what your event should look like to turn those goals into a reality.
Continue discovering more ways to measure your event success with our clear and complete guide to mastering Live Engagement Marketing.