Measuring Event Success Part 1

Events and face-to-face meetings are a tried-and-true sales tactic. There’s no denying that the relationship-building aspect of an event is a valuable part of building a solid client base. But because organizations are increasingly making business decisions based on hard data, understanding the direct impact an event has on your business is essential. Though sales attribution, especially for events, can be a difficult thing to nail down, we’ve put together a few guidelines for measuring the success of your event using hard data in this four-part blog series.

Finding the right tools

Step one is determining which tool or tools are best for measuring your event data. Everything from sending the invitation to tracking communication and purchases three months after the event should be tracked in a campaign. Here are a few questions to start with:

  • How are invitations being sent?
  • How is your sales team communicating with clients about the event?
  • Do invitees have a contact and campaign ID in your CRM?

Answering these questions is an essential first step for determining client intrigue and engagement. At Kapow, we use a number of tools to help track this, including Pardot, Salesforce, Salesforce Engage, Datahug and the free Kapow event tools. For more information about how we use these tools to track client engagement, event data and post-event purchasing behavior, check out our round-up of the best event planning and tracking tools.

Setting goals

As you’re setting up your campaign, it’s important to note if a customer is a prospect, a first-time consumer or a repeat purchaser, as your event goals will likely be different for each group. Once the campaign has been created, it’s time to set goals. Best practices call for setting three to five KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, to properly measure the event’s success. Obviously, the overall goal of your event is going to determine what your KPIs should be. For instance, a KPI for a prospecting event might be to capture a certain number of emails or schedule X number of meetings. Whereas closing sales and earning revenue is going to be more important during a product launch event.

To help finalize KPIs, you’ll need to determine what is an economical amount to spend on your event. One framework for this decision is the LTV / CAC model. LTV, or Customer Lifetime Value, represents how much a new customer is worth to your business over that customers’ lifetime. CAC, or Customer Acquisition Cost, represents how much it costs you to acquire a customer (including all Sales & Marketing costs). Learn more about the LTV/ CAC framework and get for tips for setting KPIs here.

Gathering feedback

While it’s important to track invitations, RSVPs, event check-ins and post-event sales, you should also look at event success qualitatively. One great way to do that is through event surveys. Sending a quick post-event survey to attendees can help provide clarity about the effectiveness of an event. If you’re considering this tactic, check back next week for part two of this series, where we’ll cover the best practices for creating an event survey.

Another tactic is to check in with business partners, co-hosts or top clients after the event to gauge satisfaction. Keeping a partner happy is just as important as keeping a client happy. And a strong testimonial from a key client or partner can go a long way, especially if you have permission to use it in your marketing materials moving forward.

Tracking success

Once you have all your information, it’s time to combine data from all sources. Use your Pardot, Salesforce, Datahug and Kapow data to evaluate how close you came to hitting each KPI. Just be sure to continue measuring the event effectiveness for several months after the event. You should also note that an event is just one touchpoint with clients, and can be an influencer as well as a direct driver of sales. This too should show up in your Salesforce reports.

Not only can you use this data to determine how future event should be structured, but you can combine it with feedback from the post-event surveys to make adjustments so events are more effective in the future.


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