Conferences, summits, trade-shows and other in-person events present your marketing team with a stack of opportunities. Events deliver the chance to interact with valuable prospects face-to-face, gain name recognition for your brand, and size up the competition.
However, following each event, marketers are often challenged to determine whether their in-person efforts delivered results. By adopting the right technology and go-to-event strategies, it’s easier than ever for marketers to get credit for their efforts. Here are seven steps to tracking in-person ROI.
Set goals for each event and establish metrics to meet those goals
Marketers should establish clear goals prior to attending or hosting any event (the C-Suite will likely want to weigh in on this subject). As marketers, we are results-driven. As such, before asking “how” to report an event’s ROI, it is vital to ask “why” you are attending an event at all. By establishing clear goals, it will be much easier to answer whether an event was worth participating in.
Is your goal to establish 200 new quality leads? Do you hope to expand your Twitter following by 20%? Do you hope to close $200K in revenue as a result of your efforts? Only after establishing clear goals can you begin to meet them. While at the event you can track a variety of metrics in line with your goals. For example, you can track how many leads watched your demo, visited your booth, signed up for your list, or attended your speaking session. Most importantly, you can track how much revenue you close as a result of your efforts.
Set up a campaign for your event in a CRM
In order to best report the ROI of your in-person events, it’s important to make sure that you are using a CRM tool such as Salesforce.com. By establishing a Salesforce.com campaign for each event, you can track how many leads and opportunities were created as a direct result of event efforts. If your company is engaged in multiple high-profile efforts at an event, you can set up multiple campaigns in your CRM to help track each effort’s impact. By tracking the revenue generated by your events in Salesforce.com, you can make intelligent decisions as to whether your returns offset your investment.
Include call tracking numbers in your event collateral
With a call tracking solution, you can fit your collateral with tracking numbers that can instantly report when a lead calls based on event collateral. You can even go as granular as tracking the ROI of each particular piece of collateral at an event. For example, with RingDNA you can provision a unique phone number for each business card, hand-out and banner you display. You can then group these efforts into a campaign in Salesforce.com to quickly know how much revenue was generated by each effort. This is one of the best ways to concretely report the ROI of an event.
Use social media channels to measure brand engagement
At the end of the day, many CEOs will want to be able to tie your efforts to revenue. Part of quantifying the success of an event should involve reporting the extent to which you were able to expand your brand’s reach. Social media can be a powerful way to accomplish this. It’s vital to conduct a full social audit of all your channels to see how many followers and fans you had on each channel prior to the event. It’s also essential to gauge your business’s normative social engagement patterns. A few social metrics that can be used to help quantify efficacy are:
- Number of followers, fans and likes acquired
- Number of @mentions during the convention (especially during a key moment like a presentation)
- Increase in the use of your brand’s hashtag
- Use Coupons or Promotional Codes
Including coupons or promotional codes in your event collateral is a fantastic way to gain insight into an event’s ROI. Whenever a customer uses their coupon or promotions, it instantly validates your in-person efforts.
Set up a landing page specifically for your event
If you are hosting this event, setting up a unique landing page is a must. However, even if your business is merely speaking at or appearing at an event, it can be helpful to utilize a unique landing page. In advance of an event, you can use your landing page to schedule in-person meetings with leads. At the convention, you can use marketing collateral to direct prospects to this page. You can even include a QR code to help direct mobile users to the desired landing page. On the page, you can include a form to capture additional information about the lead, but the fact that they are even there will enable you to associate them to your in-person efforts. If you include a call tracking number on your event’s landing page, you can also report the ROI of calls generated from the event.
Track all presentations
Is your brand giving product demos or making PowerPoint presentations? If so, you can include a unique call tracking number and email address at the end of each presentation. It’s important to make sure that your speakers are coached to invite participants to contact them. When customers call the phone number, you’ll gain insight into the ROI of all of your presentations.
By implementing these 7 event tracking strategies, you should gain a clear picture of whether or not you were able to meet your goals. It’s important to remember that not all events are going to be lucrative. But event ROI tracking can help you determine which events are worth attending and which aren’t. You can therefore use your budget to target the yearly conferences that offer the best returns.