Event marketing is one of the most important aspects of the marketing budget at many companies, yet the important data still often remains offline, making it harder to better track your event success.
While 51% of B2B marketers feel their event marketing is successful, 14% admit having no standards in place to measure their event success.
If you want to better measure, analyze, and connect your event data to other marketing data and see the bigger picture, it’s time to start a more data-driven approach to your event marketing.
1. Clearly define your goals in advance of an event
Being data-driven always starts with articulating clear goals. You have to know what you want to achieve before you can figure out how to manage it. Before every event you attend, decide what you want to get out of your attendance and establish a game plan based on that.
Do you want to connect with current customers as a way to strengthen those relationships? Or are you hoping to raise awareness of your brand and come home with a lot of new leads?
It’s ok to have multiple goals, but figure out the priority level of each one so you can make sure your efforts at the event are focused on achieving the things you most want to accomplish.
2. Start a conversation before you go
While most of the interactions you have during the event will be offline, you have opportunities before and after to capture some digital data that relates to your conference activity.
Send an email out to attendees with the details of where your booth will be, who you are, and any other relevant information about your conference attendance.
If there are specific accounts you want to make a special point of encountering while you’re there, craft a more personal email or give them a call to try to set up specific plans in advance of the event.
Track everything you can from these interactions in advance of the event, so you have a starting point for your event analytics that you can add to once you get home.
3. Create best practices for collecting event info
The event itself is the hardest part. This is where you’ll need to attempt to collect as much useful information from potential leads as possible for future use.
Create best practices for the type of information you’d like to collect at each event, such as basic contact info, levels of interest, company details, and gaps that your product can fill.
Make sure that every representative attending the event has the list of information categories you hope to collect for leads and know to do their best throughout the event to capture what they can.
We realize that it’s not always possible to collect a lot of information from each person and that sometimes the timing isn’t right to acquire the info. Make sure your team knows that your goals are most important and to use their judgment accordingly.
They should make a point to record the information as often as they can, making it easier to combine the data from the conference with the pre- and post-show digital marketing efforts.
4. Consolidate the info you collected at the event and infuse it into your technology
You should actually start this process before the event so that everyone is ready to make it a top priority when you arrive home. This way, after the event is over your marketing operations team will be ready to load leads and make sure data is sufficient to get into already-built nurtures, telequalification, and sales to follow up. If you want to connect your event measurement to your other analytics for the bigger picture, you need to incorporate the data into your marketing software.
Doing this while the event is still fresh on your mind will make a huge difference. Reflecting on your new and old relationships will help you better tailor your follow-up based on all event data you collected.
With this in mind, you can ensure any new interactions post-conference all fall into the same system so you can easily monitor all interactions with different accounts.By taking the rights steps during preparation, during the event itself, and right afterward, you can make sure that your event measurement doesn’t become a significant gap in your overall marketing measurement. Getting your offline measurement into your online tools enables you to see the full picture of your relationship with a company without any interruptions. That makes your ability to provide a meaningful follow up stronger and thus is likely to lead to higher event ROI.