While B2B event costs continue to rise, organizations are asking marketers to do more with less. And, because budgets aren’t stretching as far as they used to, it’s more crucial than ever to ensure event expenses are tied to key business objectives.
So, it begs the question: What are your objectives?
Do you merely want to scan badges to capture leads? Or, do you want to grow your business? If the latter is your answer, it may be time to revisit your event costs.
As you evaluate your B2B event budget, it’s important to prioritize what actually drives revenue over the expenses that don’t. Let’s explore how costs are changing and what you can do to spend less and get more at your next B2B event.
Event costs on the rise
According to a report from CWT Meetings & Events, event costs were 25% higher in 2022 than they were in 2019. Worse yet, they’re expected to rise a further 7% this year. Other estimates say that B2B events may be up to 83% more expensive in 2023 compared to 2022.
Why? In truth, a number of factors are at play. First of all, organizations are up against decades-high inflation rates. With reduced purchasing power, marketers are struggling to stretch budgets and maximize event ROI. Meanwhile, in-person events are rebounding from the pandemic, with demand approaching pre-2020 levels. Venues and production companies are charging more for their spaces or services once again.
“Demand is unlikely to abate,” Beau Ballin, CWT’s global head of market development, told Skift Meetings. “To get the best value from long-awaited meetings and events and mitigate against rising costs, corporations will need to plan further in advance, budget carefully, and adopt a disciplined approach to managing meetings and events across the organization.”
How to generate higher returns from B2B events
So, B2B marketers will have to get creative when budgeting their future events. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Here are four key steps that can help maximize your return on investment:
1. Evaluate your average budget
Consider the average event budget and where you’re spending your money. Here’s a breakdown of your typical costs in order of budget percentage:
|6%||Meeting Scheduling Software|
|2.9%||Demo Equipment & Network|
Ideally, expenses should be tied to business objectives. That way, you know each line item is worth the investment because it’s actually contributing to your marketing goals.
2. Identify revenue-driving expenses
Events are a great opportunity to meet directly with prospects and grow your business, which is why “driving pipeline” is the top metric marketers use to measure event success.
Determine which costs contribute to pipeline and revenue and those that don’t. For instance, many organizations are trending away from large booth space in favor of meeting environments where they can engage 1:1 with attendees and close more deals.
3. Optimize expenses to reach primary goals
Cut back on items that don’t aid your core objectives. Do you really need an extra large exhibit stand? You can cut that cost and invest a lot less for hotel meeting suites for executive meetings. Likewise, evaluate and cut events that don’t allow you to schedule B2B meetings with prospects, as they’re less essential to your primary business outcomes.
4. Maximize efficiency through automation
An automated platform can help you host an increased number of high-quality meetings, uplift meeting space utilization, improve attendance and make your marketing and sales teams more productive by eliminating manual processes.
Most importantly, meeting scheduling automation allows you to book more engagements with fewer resources. In other words, you can generate a greater return for less cost.
Meeting Scheduling Automation
Without a robust scheduling platform, you risk leaving money on the table. Despite being just 3-6% of your event budget, meeting scheduling automation can produce the biggest impact.
Not only can a solution like Jifflenow help you optimize spend while advancing pipeline, influencing key decision makers and cutting back on other costs, but it can also improve your staff’s productivity. Without manual workflows or time-consuming processes, they’re able to work faster and more efficiently with core business objectives in mind.
Ready to do more with less? Get started by scheduling a demo today.