When it comes to B2B event marketing, most organizations use a variety of metrics to gauge event success. From attendee satisfaction and engagement to ticket sales and attendance, all are important event KPIs. However, event marketers care most about one thing: their return on investment (ROI).
Unfortunately, tracking ROI isn’t that simple. In fact, only 23% of marketers say they can measure event ROI at all. Why? Because too many companies haven’t optimized their event tech stack (more on that soon). If you want an accurate ROI metric, you need to account for the other factors that directly influence revenue, such as B2B meetings and sessions.
In this blog, we’ll explain B2B event marketing’s value and why meetings and sessions are key to event success. Then, we’ll explore what event managers can do to automate scheduling at future events, optimize event marketing ROI and drive long-term business growth.
Why invest in a B2B event?
Organizations have much to gain from a well-crafted B2B event strategy, such as:
- More brand awareness: By participating in a trade show or industry event, event marketers can increase their brand’s visibility among potential and existing customers or partners.
- Effective lead generation: B2B events offer a unique opportunity to connect with event attendees and generate opportunities for your sales team.
- Face-to-face interaction: At a physical event, organizations gain the advantage of interacting with attendees in person. With more visual context, it’s easier for the sales team to engage each attendee, connect with prospects and develop strategic partnerships.
- Positive ROI: Events professionals are always worried about their event budget. Luckily, event marketing consistently boosts revenue. According to Markletic, the average ROI for B2B organizations is 5:1. Better yet, 52% of business leaders say that event marketing drives more ROI than any other channel.
Today’s marketers know there are more ways to reach existing customers and nurture prospects down the sales funnel than ever before. So, why should you invest in B2B event marketing?
It’s simple: There’s no better way for your marketers or your sales team to interact with prospects. Events allow you to schedule face-to-face meetings with attendees, where you can engage, educate and convert potential customers at a key point in their buyer’s journey.
The secret to event ROI
The true secret to generating event ROI? Scheduling more B2B meetings and sessions.
Consider the fact that 83% of brands agree that event marketing has consistently increased their sales. Simply put, sales drive revenue. But meetings? That’s where deals get made — or, at the very least, it’s where they begin.
Think about it like this: The more prospects your sales team meets with, the bigger your opportunity pipeline. The more opportunities, the greater chance you have of converting prospects into full-blown customers, whether it be at the event or shortly thereafter.
So, increasing event marketing ROI hinges upon your ability to book sales-qualified meetings effectively and efficiently.
Of course, no two meeting types are exactly the same. Whether it’s an executive lunch, product demo or a booth tour, all meetings and sessions serve a slightly different purpose (although all have a direct influence on revenue).
That’s why it’s also important to look back at your event to see which meetings are contributing to event ROI. This allows you to continuously optimize your marketing efforts, improve scheduling processes and book only the meetings that influence the most revenue.
What’s standing in the way of event ROI?
So far, we’ve established that B2B events are well worth the marketing effort, as they consistently produce a positive ROI. We’ve also explained why scheduling more meetings and sessions can have a direct positive correlation with revenue, therefore making them essential to a successful event.
Unfortunately, for most organizations, scheduling more meetings is easier said than done. There are a number of obstacles standing in the way that not only stop event managers from optimizing the scheduling process, but also make it impossible to track ROI in the first place.
Industry-wide, event professionals are battling a significant labor shortage, making it difficult to efficiently schedule meetings. Simultaneously, event professionals expect to spend 83% more on events in 2023, taking a significant toll on ROI. Worse yet, the vast majority of event organizers lack any ability to track meetings and sessions or how they impact event revenue.
These issues are further compounded by error-prone manual processes and outdated technology. Take spreadsheets, for example. According to IBM, 88% of all spreadsheets contain at least one error. If you’re using a spreadsheet to book meetings and sessions by hand, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter double bookings, time-zone errors and other costly mistakes.
To make matters worse, manual scheduling tools are inherently slow and inefficient. They require back-and-forth communication and dozens of emails just to book a single session, which is time better spent engaging with prospects and performing core business tasks.
Another problem most marketers face is an inability to track and optimize meeting management. Without the proper event technology, organizations are blindly scheduling meetings, completely unable to evaluate whether or not they were effective. Worse yet, they’re working with disparate platforms that aren’t integrated, making it difficult to leverage data and generate actionable insights for future improvement.
Increasing event ROI with meeting scheduling automation
Meeting automation is an event marketer’s best friend. Not only does it take the pain out of scheduling, but it also accelerates the entire process. In fact, nearly 80% of business leaders agree that automation increases productivity for all stakeholders involved.
With an automated scheduling solution like Jifflenow, you can bridge the gap between prospects and the sales team. Event managers can set up and manage engagements of all types, view available rooms and map topics to the most relevant internal expert. Plus, with seamless integration to Salesforce, Marketo and other essential platforms, you can collect and analyze data that ties directly back to event ROI, including:
- Number of meetings.
- Room utilization.
- Influenced revenue.
Most importantly, you can overcome the tedious roadblocks that prevent you from booking more meetings at events. By automating inbound and outbound bookings, approvals, notifications, check-ins and more, you have additional time and resources to schedule sessions and engage with prospects.
How does this impact ROI? Here’s an example: Let’s say you book an additional 250 qualified meetings. If your average deal size is $100k, that’s an additional $25 million in opportunities advanced. Even if you close just 20% of those deals, that’s $5 million in event revenue. Assuming your investment totaled $50k, you’re looking at an event ROI of 100x.
With meeting scheduling automation software, you don’t have to worry about data silos, double bookings or manual errors. By streamlining the entire process from start to finish, you can schedule more meetings, generate more pipeline and influence more revenue. The result? A bigger, more positive ROI for your marketing effort.
Want to learn more about Jifflenow’s meeting scheduling automation software? Request a demo today.