Business events and trade shows are back! But for countless marketers, it is a delicate balancing act in a post-pandemic environment. Indeed, defining the return on investment for events can be tricky, as these can sometimes be described as expensive and ineffective. According to brand experience experts, the most significant marketing mistake a business can make when planning an event is failing to define clear objectives. These objectives will ensure you can easily tell whether attending the event was worth the investment.
But there’s a lot more the marketing team can do to bring visitors to the venue and create a successful strategy. Indeed, nothing is costlier than lack of preparation.
Let everyone know
Don’t assume that the event lasts only for two or three days. Activities must be divided into different categories to tackle interests and needs before, during, and after the event.
Raising awareness about the next trade show dates must be your number one priority in the months and weeks before the event. Promoting your presence among your audience group is a no-brainer. Therefore, the marketing activities are designed to build a buzz and prepare people for the countdown:
- Reach out to your customers via email
- Spread the word on social media, using the event hashtags and username
- Advertise on relevant digital and offline platforms, such as business magazines, professional podcasts, etc.
Track post-event activities
Is a business likely to sell during a trade show or a professional workshop? The answer is no. It takes, on average, 5 to 8 touches for a marketing lead to convert. However, the event can be part of the conversion journey, helping build an initial connection. Using tools such as WhatConverts can be instrumental in defining valuable activities that bring leads further into the conversion journey.
For example, creating a unique phone number or form for the event can help measure the event’s influence on your lead conversion journey.
Comparing event costs to lead revenues
Is every event that generates leads successful?
There is no clear answer to the question. That is why marketers must make sure to measure the ROI of the event. According to Marketing Charts, the ROI of events ranges between 25% and 34%. In other words, for every $100 spent on an event, the business gets up to $34 back.
There are also further benefits to organizing an event, such as protecting brand awareness against competitors, capturing the market trends in real time, and engaging with the current sector. These benefits can contribute to improving business strategy, brand reputation, and positioning.
So at which point can a business safely say an event is worth the money?
- The event speeds up the lead generation process
- The event captures more leads than would have been captured with other marketing activities during the same time period
- More leads convert after face-to-face interaction at the event
- The cost of individual lead is recovered in the long term
Post-pandemic events may need to develop hybrid features, as many professionals are reluctant to travel long distances when most business activities can occur online. Therefore, events may also need to provide digital recordings of conferences and other interactions to their visitors.
Yet, even if trade shows develop their presence across multiple platforms, participating will still come at a high cost that needs to be considered as part of the event marketing strategy. Making a worthwhile event means driving visitors and tracking engagement activities.