Historically event success has been driven by wow factor or pazzaz, but the days of winning by creating the biggest bang have been replaced by driving the biggest bang for your buck. Executives want results – trackable results tied to real business outcomes – and she who shows the most results get the most budget the next year. That’s that.
The rise of this thinking has been a disadvantage to the event marketers. They own what we’ve seen at DoubleDutch to be the most effective marketing channel, but compared to digital ads, email and webinars – those results have historically been the hardest to quantify and show.
Don’t worry! Just because it isn’t obvious doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or even difficult! Time to take events out of the stone age and into the digital era of engagement marketing. Here are three concrete tips for the perfect post event report.
Be proactive – Align with your leadership team on the goals for your event before you sign any checks, just like you would with any other marketing channel. It is essential to know how your success will be measured before you put together your event strategy. If you present a concrete, well thought out viewpoint you can also control the answer. If your boss is used to seeing digital ad reports they may default to similar metrics – but you know best what goals your events really support (and what you can track). Maybe it’s more about closing deals than generating new leads. Or maybe it’s all about customer retention. Set the framework for those results up front.
Be consistent – Once you’ve defined the goal for your events to your manager – create a template. Measure and share event results in the same way every time. This shows credibility and consistency to your leadership team, while getting them used to seeing those event specific metrics. This also allows you to use your initial event as a benchmark and compare success, improving your events over time. Consistency is a win win!
Be resourceful – The Digital Marketers get data handed them on a silver dashboard. You have to rely on your gut. Right? Wrong. Don’t give up if the data to track results isn’t already on your laptop! What makes ads easy to measure is technology – so time to bring technology to the event. Event success – whether you are trying to close deals, build membership or up moral – comes down to engagement. The more energized and inspired your attendees are the more you get your business result – whatever that may be. And lucky for you – event apps like DoubleDutch can track those data points for you in addition to adding to the engagement factor! Engagement is no longer a black box.
Follow these tips and you’ll be armed and dangerous the next time budgeting decisions come around! Gone are the days of being terrified of your boss asking “so how’d it go?”