Event ROI has been a tricky topic. This is because there are many contributing factors to measuring and maximizing it. Broadly, it boils down to the number of sales opportunities generated by effectively managing a limited the budget.
The event budget is an important part of event strategy. When the Vice President of Events evaluates the budget, there are various factors that influence the decision. Primarily, the VP of events has to evaluate if the event is profitable in terms of the number of potential opportunities that sales teams are able to bag. In order to do this, they need to have a substantial budget to manage event proceedings and target as many prospects as possible.
There are numerous elements that come together to form a great event experience. But the experience can only be as effective as the planning that goes into it. Let’s take a look at five ways to maximize event ROI with the budget you have.
A well-designed booth
The booth is the first touch point your brand has with prospects at the event. Event attendees take anywhere between three to five seconds to consider if they want to approach your booth. This gives you a very short time frame to work with. To tackle receding attention spans, it becomes important to design your booth effectively. Everything from the registration desk, to the placement of elements within the booth have an effect on the number of walk-ins you encounter on the exhibitor’s floor. Here are a few factors that need to be considered while setting up your booth.
⇀ Simplify the registration process so that attendees do not spend their time standing in queues.
⇀ Carefully plan the placement of every physical element within the booth (furniture, displays, meeting spaces, presentation areas) to encourage a natural progression.
⇀ Plan the booth layout so that meeting areas are placed in quieter corners of the booth to encourage effective business discussions.
⇀ Accommodate areas like an executive lounge or hang-out zones that facilitate casual networking interactions.
A recent study shows that companies spend an approximate $500 on a meeting over a three-day event. This is a significant amount considering the resources at hand. This makes it all the more important to make them as effective as possible.
In our previous blog, we elaborated on the impact meetings have on the sales pipeline. A great meeting is action-oriented. But creating the context and leading a sales conversation takes careful planning. Everything between sketching out a timeline to collecting crucial feedback plays an integral role in helping a prospect make a sales decision. Here are a few ways to plan effective sales meetings:
⇀ Create a meeting timeline and stick to it. Account for spillovers.
⇀ Specify the right meeting type to help attendees prioritize their time and schedules.
⇀ Plan the meeting agenda to accommodate every actionable objective.
⇀ Utilize a format that leads prospects towards a sales proposition.
⇀ Set up an effective post-meeting feedback process.
⇀ The sales pipeline should be a sufficient measure of meeting ROI.
The right people
Including the right people can go a long way in making meetings effective. A meeting is only as effective as the people attending it. In our previous eBook titled ‘Designing your booth for better sales advancement’, we stated that event attendees prefer meaningful conversations with people with authority over superficial ones. This means that they would rather have a sit down meeting with someone with authority than someone who would just engage them.
72% of the deals that are put on hold is the result of the right people not being present. This clearly emphasizes the need to have the right decision makers present in order to drive deals to closure. But how do you ensure that the right people are present? Here are a few ways you can do just that:
⇀ Pre-schedule meetings and make sure to include senior management for pipeline discussion.
⇀ Include SMEs to technical discussions. This will help you address technical queries.
⇀ Reel in account representatives that you think will best fit the meeting. Use parameters such as conversion rate and average time taken to close a deal to decide who you want present.
⇀ Do not forget walk-in meetings. Plan your calendar to ensure that one decision-maker is present to accommodate unplanned meetings.
⇀ You can equate the pipeline built against the presence of each person in the meeting. This will give you a clearer picture of how much revenue was brought in by members of your sales team.
Sufficient meeting rooms
Events are a particularly great way to meet customers and prospects. And meeting rooms accommodate these interactions and help in indirectly growing the sales pipeline at events. On an average, a meeting room costs $3,500 per day. Such a large investment demands efficient utilization.
Meeting rooms become nothing more than an item on the event checklist as marketers fail to realize that a lot of money is being lost on meeting rooms. Misplanning can cause you to either have a reduced inventory of meeting space which can cause customers to walk away, or too many meeting rooms which can cost you a lot of money. Here are a few tips to help you plan meeting spaces:
⇀ Pre-scheduling meetings can help you plan meetings spaces to a great extent.
⇀Always ensure that you have accounted for walk-ins.
⇀ Analyze metrics that can help you equate the pipeline built against the cost of each meeting room. This will give you a good idea of the ROI from meeting rooms.
A meeting management software
Organizing an event can be a difficult task. There are too many elements to manage and a lot of running around to do. Needless to say, mismanagement can tend to be costly in the event industry. Gone are the days when meeting planners carried large folders and exchanged business cards. This is where technology steps in. And with the rate at which it is evolving, even Excel sheets have become obsolescent.
A comprehensive meeting management app can prove very useful to help you structure the planning process. Right from pre-scheduling meetings, managing executive calendars, planning meeting spaces and building insightful reports, a meeting management software like Jifflenow can help you plan every aspect of the event and maximize returns.
Related: 5 ways a meeting management software boosts event ROI.
Here are a few ways to make the best use out of a meeting management app:
⇀ Choose the right B2B meeting scheduling software. It should be easy to use and help you create the right type of event experience.
⇀ Train your events team on how to use it well in advance.
⇀ Encourage your attendees to download the app at least 2 weeks before your event.
Attributing investments with results is one of the most challenging notions of measuring event ROI. Accurately measuring returns and showing good results at events can not only make your VP of events see the value of investing in trade shows but can also help you convince them to allocate bigger event budgets for subsequent events. Let us know what you think about these tips in the comments section below.