We’ve long held the view that the ROI from any event is one of the most important metrics to measure, because it quantifies the value of attending B2B events. While attending many big ticket events all over the world, we’ve come to understand that the biggest driver that pushes the ROI metric are the sales meetings.
But that gives rise to another question. How do you measure the meetings itself? Just counting the number of meetings would give a very lopsided view of the impact of meetings on the revenue generated at events. Since these meetings are so intricately interlocked with the ROI from event, the method for boosting the ROI hinges on the meeting metrics that can be collected and measured. Because what gets measured, gets improved.
Let’s get started on measuring these meetings then:
CxO / VP Attendance
Sales meetings can help companies move their customers and prospects faster along the sales pipeline if there is a CxO or VP level attendee present. This holds good for both internal and external attendees. High-level internal attendees can convince the prospect and offer insights, which also signals high commitment from the company toward their customers. High level external attendees can better elucidate their need for the product or service, apart from demonstrating their need for the product/service on offer.
So an important metric to measure would be the impact of the CxO/VP level attendee has on moving the deal forward. Finding out the sweet spot for internal/external attendance would help companies move sales deals forward faster in the future.
Meeting Room Utilization
Meeting Room utilization is an important metric to track, because meeting rooms can cost a pretty penny at events. Every dollar spent is going to affect the ROI, so meeting room spends must be optimized. Keeping in mind that meeting rooms are where the sales pipeline is built, it makes sense to always have some extra meeting space available. Based on the number of prescheduled meetings, and expected number of walk-ins, meeting rooms can be planned and booked, to have maximum impact on revenue, and minimum impact on the spend.
Meeting check-ins reveals the attendance rate. Attendance rate has a direct correlation with the meeting’s success, which in turn influences the sales pipeline. If the check-in rates are dipping, meeting managers can look for chinks in the armor, and investigate why the rates or low. Sometimes it could be because of double-bookings or time-zone errors. Meeting check-ins are a metric that will reveal how effective the meetings management program is, and should be tracked religiously.
The best planned meetings, with favorable outcomes would all be for naught if the proper follow-ups are neglected. If the deal is on the table for too long, it’s probable that the prospect is going to lose interest, or run out of the allocated budget. Proper follow ups are absolutely crucial for the health of the sales pipeline, and to give meaning to all the hard work put in to manage those meetings at the event. This might be a tricky metric to tie into a meeting, because it takes place after the meeting happens, but is still important to ensure continuity of the sales cycle.
Measurement leads to improvement, and the metrics described above are a great start to bring more accountability to event teams, and to justify the high costs of attending events.