What Are Marketing Events And Why Do Them?

“The power of the face to face connection is where businesses need to be focusing their time and marketing efforts. Events can create killer partnerships. At an event you have an opportunity to create a captive audience, so why not take advantage of participating in or planning an event to generate those opportunities?” Kim Schmitz, CEO/ President, Spin Event Management.

Marketing events are types of events that marketers use to generate leads, engage customers and prospects and build awareness or brand. These typically are tradeshows, conferences, road shows, user conferences, etc. According to Forrester Research, tradeshows and events are the second most effective tactic in the marketing mix, after the company’s website. Forrester also reports that 25% of the average B2B marketing budget is spent on events.

Perception changes after events, with 74% of attendees having a more positive perception of an organization (from EventTrack, Event Marketing Institute). Having a strong follow up process after an event while your organization is top of mind will help accelerate the sales process.

Whether it’s a user conference, roadshow or sales meeting, marketing events create multiple touch points, offer unparalleled face time with your target audience, and fast-track the sales process.

Why Measure ROI?

Now that you’ve got the understanding of what marketing events are and are ready to execute, figuring out what and how to measure the effectiveness of your program is the next big hurdle. Measuring the ROI of marketing programs allows marketing organizations to:

  • Gauge program effectiveness
  • Allocate resources to higher performing programs
  • Compare different marketing channels
  • Make more informed decisions overall

And according to the IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, almost two-thirds of CMOs believe ROI will be the primary measure of their effectiveness.

So, the question becomes, how do you accurately measure event ROI to show leadership the effectiveness of marketing events?

It’s no secret that tracking event expenses and forecasting revenue is a difficult task for most marketers. After all, event initiatives generally include stakeholders from several different departments within an organization. The amount of sales closed as a result of events typically come after long and complex customer buying cycles, making the ROI numbers especially tricky.

However, measuring the effectiveness of marketing programs and events is critical to your organization’s success because if you don’t know what works, you can’t do more of it. And conversely, if you don’t know what isn’t working, you can’t stop doing it. Working and collaborating with stakeholders to determine what are the key objectives and being clear what is to be measured and tracked is the first step.

While measuring event ROI can be challenging, successful marketers have been able to prove the effectiveness of marketing events. According to the Event Marketing Institute’s EventTrack Report, event ROI is improving. Events as an Asset not an Expense Study is a report conducted by Modern Event Marketing Viewing which states that 60% of CMOs say ROI is very important or critical when it comes to allocating budget to their events.

This means smart organizations are implementing strategies that help track ROI and give them a bigger bang for their marketing event buck.

Source: Forrester Research, Inc and Cvent organization.

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