While virtual corporate events and meetings kept many businesses afloat during the pandemic, the ensuing virtual fatigue has proved that nothing can fully replace face-to-face engagement.
A 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast by Amex GBT confirms this. The majority of 580 meetings and events (M&E) professionals and industry leaders in 23 countries express that in-person M&E activity is their main focus for 2023.
In addition, 65% of businesses are increasing their meetings and events spend this year. This forecast reflects a renewed understanding of the value of corporate events and the critical role they play in driving business.
Today, more than ever before, businesses must continue adapting their strategies, technologies, and offerings to remain competitive. These five strategies will help you become a leader in the new era of corporate events and supercharge your ROI.
1. Establish Clear Event Goals
Establishing event goals is essential for two reasons. First, it allows you to formulate a strategy that maximizes ROI. It also allows you to determine what works to improve future events.
Your objectives may differ from event to event and can include driving leads, reducing customer churn, generating revenue, or enlarging your customer base. But whatever the goal is, it needs a clearly defined, measurable key result.
Setting quarterly or annual Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is common practice for businesses; failing to do so for corporate events is a significant missed opportunity to optimize results. Setting and tracking these OKRs over time enables strategy implementation to improve quarter-on-quarter outcomes.
2. Book and Manage High-Quality Meetings During Corporate Events
Although held for various reasons, in-person corporate events share one characteristic—they are an effective vehicle for networking. As such, event meetings can be instrumental in accelerating your sales pipeline.
The lead indicator of revenue is your pipeline—and the lead indicator of your pipeline is meetings. When you book a high number of high-quality meetings during your corporate event, it’s an indication that big things are happening in the pipeline.
To boost event ROI, focus on meeting management, tracking, and analysis. You can transform intervals and networking breaks into purposeful, high-value meetings by providing in-event appointment opportunities.
In-person conversations are key to making lasting connections—and this rarely happens during purely virtual events.
Allowing attendees to pre-book appointments at and during corporate events is essential to optimize opportunities while candidates are highly engaged and concepts are fresh. It also minimizes attendees and sales reps having to fight for the attention of those they want to interact with during the limited time available.
Quality meetings with the right strategic attendees can significantly impact successful OKR achievements and, ultimately, business growth.
3. Ditch the Calendar—Consider Automated Scheduling Solutions
To optimize ROI for your sales reps and help them maximize their time on the floor, provide them with the tools to manage meetings at in corporate events seamlessly.
Manual appointment scheduling, emails, spreadsheets, and regular business scheduling platforms only offer one-dimensional booking functionality. They leave you prone to errors like double booking and don’t offer meeting insights and reports. They are also not conducive to mass-scale appointment management.
Using a tool specifically designed to facilitate large-scale event meeting scheduling, tracking, and reporting, you can automate bookings (as well as confirmation and reminder notifications) for every participant. The right scheduling tool will also enable attendees to request appointments via mobile, web, or Salesforce app.
With a record of all corporate events and meetings in a central hub, you gain real-time insight into how your staff spend their time.
You can identify conversations that resulted in new leads or noteworthy partnerships; this allows you to prove your return on the event with data-based insights.
Automated scheduling solutions also offer a few more benefits worth considering, such as:
- Direct connectivity between sales reps and high-value attendees at pre-determined times
- An end to schedule conflicts, since selected times are automatically marked as unavailable in the appointment scheduler
- Mobile appointment management
- Automatic calendar and email notifications when a rep or attendee creates or modifies an appointment
- Real-time ROI visibility for event meetings with automated reporting capabilities
4. Attract Attendees During Corporate Events
With the right event software, you can engage audiences at multiple touchpoints to suit their individual needs and interests—even when conducting global-scale events.
Offering a wide range of touchpoints over the course of your corporate events—such as demonstrations, booth tours, workshops, PR meetings, training forums, executive sessions, and role-specific group meetings—lets you meet attendees where they are and maximize engagement.
Of course, trying to manage this diverse yet individualized scheduling can quickly get overwhelming without the right scheduling software. The right tool will simplify the process, automating everything from grouping the right experts with the appropriate audience to designating available size-specific meeting rooms.
In addition, you can use built-in attendee surveys, polls, trivia questions, and giveaways to drive participation at every touchpoint—and improve the overall experience with real-time feedback.
5. Know What Worked and What Didn’t With Post-event KPIs
Data-based event insights and metrics let you formulate strategies for more strategic event planning and increased ROI in future events while guiding post-event follow-ups.
You want to better understand how your meetings directly impact your sales pipeline. Modern enterprise event technology provides powerful engagement dashboards for reporting, tracking, and integrations. This allows you to connect the total number of actions across all users, including clicks to various sessions, social posts, product document views, polls, quizzes, and more.
Consider the following KPIs when determining what worked and what needs attention in your corporate events:
Look into event registration patterns to determine effective event marketing strategies. Spikes in sign-ups may indicate marketing tactics and pre-event outreach that motivated attendees to register. Take note of registrations by promotion and ticket types such as early bird specials and VIP access.
Compare sign-ups and check-ins not only for the event but also for various touchpoints and event sessions. Did attendees arrive for every day of the event, or did the attendance dwindle? Which days or sessions proved most and least popular?
Measuring the amount and time of engagement will give you insight into whether networking opportunities, event sessions, and other activities resonate with attendees and impact your pipeline.
The Importance of Automated Scheduling Solutions for Corporate Events
Coordinating multiple touchpoints with hundreds of delegates at in-person corporate events is only possible with the right automated scheduling software.
The right tools help replace tedious and error-prone manual processes with detailed, efficient, and accurate scheduling. They enable in-person, online, and off-site meeting bookings while offering transparency and data insights into sales activities.
When choosing an automated scheduling solution, ensure that it can measure event ROI in real-time and access event, scheduling, sales, and customer engagement reports on-demand. It should be secure and compatible with your existing tech stack.
The right solution ultimately empowers your team to lead prospects on an effective-yet-personalized journey through the sales funnel for maximized event ROI.