Attending events and conferences is a huge investment. From flights and hotel rooms to sponsorships and booth swag, the price tag can total in the tens of thousands to even millions depending on the sponsor party you throw. So yes, you had a great weekend, talked to a lot of B2B marketers and attended the best parties, but how many event leads went on to be opportunities and customers? Did you accelerate your deal velocity or upsell any current customers? In other words, was the event spend worth it?
This is why marketing attribution software is absolutely necessary in the B2B events world.
Without accurate ROI numbers, you may be pouring money into events that don’t convert and skipping out on the ones that do.
Below, we outline the ways you can improve your event marketing with B2B attribution.
Deciding Which Events to Attend
There are hundreds of marketing events each year and it can be difficult to decide which ones will provide the most benefit. It’s a bit of trial and error. However, marketing attribution makes that process a little more clear.
If you’ve attended the event in the past, you can use your attribution software to connect each interaction back to revenue, showing you how your event attendance affected the bottom line. For example, if one of the people you talked to during the event went on to become a customer and close for $50,000, a portion of that revenue (depending on the attribution model you use) would be attributed to the interaction at the event. In other words, you could say that the event drove X amount of revenue. If the revenue outweighs the cost of attendance, voila! The event is a success and should be put in the “would attend again” bucket.
Additionally, if the revenue driven from the event is much higher than the cost of attendance, it’s worth looking into sending an additional staff member or boosting your sponsorship level. It’s possible the additional (wo)man power or larger booth space could drive even more revenue.
Try it, track it, then use the data to make informed decisions in the years to come.
Once you’ve decided to attend, it’s time to start booking appointments with the key individuals and companies you want to connect with during the event. Start with your target account list and your A- or B-grade leads. Reach out and see who is attending and work to schedule in-person meetings with any of these key accounts. With attribution data you know where each prospect is in their buying journey, which allows you to easily personalize outreach and improve the in-person conversations you’re able to have. Depending on budget, you can schedule in-person demos, lunch dates, or invite-only parties and dinners.
As individuals visit your booth, scan their badges (if possible), or at least write down their contact info so you can upload it into Salesforce once you’re back in the office. This is especially important because it allows you to account for the interaction at the booth and its part in the sales process. Like I mentioned above, revenue driven from the event is a key factor in determining the event success and whether or not it’s worth it to attend again in the future.
Additionally, sales dinners and parties have multiple benefits. They are a great opportunity to invite current customers that you’re looking to upsell and key accounts that you’re looking to close. The happy customers will help you sell to the key prospects and the informal atmosphere is a nice way to have valuable conversations with current customers about their likes, dislikes and how you can better help them.
Set up different campaigns in Salesforce for individuals who visited the booth, those that booked demos, and those that attended the party or dinner you threw. This ensures even more granular tracking and optimization. For example, say at X event you gave 10 in-person demos and at Y event you gave 12 in-person demos, but none of those leads ever went on to become customers. Why is that? Maybe it’s too noisy and it’s better to schedule demos during the event that occur at a later date. Maybe your sales person needs more training on the demo process. Maybe it’s something else. Attribution allows you to ask and answer the tough questions, all the while improving the process and making you a better marketer.
Do everything you can to set yourself up for success.
Ensuring Post Event Success
Once things have settled down and you’re back in the office, the tracking begins. Upload all of the event leads to Salesforce and rank them based on how qualified they are. At Bizible, we use certain qualifications to give an A, B, C or D ranking based on how likely the company is to need and want our product. These grades guide the type of content we send to each lead, and well as how and when we reach out.
After the leads are in Salesforce and graded, we use omni-channel attribution to track movement post event. For leads that had interacted with your brand before the event, a key metric to keep an eye on would be deal velocity. Did the event interaction push the lead through the funnel faster than similar accounts who you didn’t talk to at an event? In simpler words, do events help you close customers faster?
For leads where the event was a top-of-funnel interaction, did they visit your website after the event, download gated content or book a demo? Attribution data tells you the actual role an event played in closing a customer, which helps you determine if it’s worth it to attend again in the future.
B2B events are about connecting with others, learning new strategies and creating brand awareness, but most importantly they are about driving revenue for your company.
Event ROI shouldn’t be a guessing game. With the implementation of omni-channel attribution software, you can gain insights and data into the customer journey and the actual role the event interaction plays in closing customers. The data will not only improve your post-event outreach, but will optimize how your company pursues events far into the future.