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How Do You Measure Event Performance?

July 26, 2017 | By Kate Pierpont

  • Event strategy, planning and execution should support the goals of demand creation and other program families as part of an integrated campaign framework
  • SiriusDecisions benchmark data shows that organizations of all sizes continue to allocate a substantial amount of their demand creation budgets to events
  • SiriusDecisions recommends applying a core group of metrics to understand return on event spend

Event marketers know that there are no two ways about it – when aligned to relevant company goals, events can seed, create, nurture, enable and accelerate demand. SiriusDecisions benchmark data shows that organizations of all sizes continue to allocate a substantial amount of their demand creation budgets to events. 

To understand return on event spend, SiriusDecisions recommends applying a core group of metrics. These metrics depend solely on the goals of the event, which should be clearly communicated to each stakeholder. This ensures that proper expectations are set and will help to shape the overall strategy, event-specific tactics and budget resources to stay in line with the event goals.

There are four integrated campaign program families to which events may be aligned: reputation, demand creation, sales enablement and market intelligence. The following are examples of event metrics to consider within each of these families:

  • Reputation. Reputation pertains to social followup, sentiment change vs. competition, awareness for key concepts, uplift in ideal inquiry rates, media/analyst impact and brand loyalty improvement.
  • Demand creation. With demand creation, suspects are identified, inquiries are generated, ready-to-transition leads are identified, and leads are converted into opportunities.
  • Sales enablement. Event metrics for sales enablement include the amount of demos, number of meetings, opportunities created, pipeline velocity increased and deals closed.
  • Market intelligence. Event metrics in this program family include the total number of participating targets, the number of interviews conducted, the quality and completeness of feedback and messaging effectiveness.

When reporting on event metrics, time is a key consideration. For example, acceleration of late-stage opportunities may be measured within a quarter following an event, but demand creation efforts in the early buying cycle stages may be measured over a period of six to 12 months. Certain metrics may be measured in daily or weekly timeframes (e.g. reputation goals like mentions, referral traffic, analyst or press articles). By selecting metrics within the four program areas and measuring against specific event goals, organizations will find the key to understanding the success of their event strategy.

Kate Pierpont

Kate Pierpont is an editor at SiriusDecisions and has nearly 20 years of editorial experience, the majority of which was in magazine publishing. Follow Kate on Twitter @KatePierpont.

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