Pre SaaStr, occasions had been at all times the most important line merchandise in my advertising price range. Now, occasions (particularly Annual) are the most important initiatives in my skilled life—not to mention price range. But, let’s return to my VP of Marketing days, once I exhibited at typically 30+ occasions per yr, and discuss occasion ROI.
Tradeshows and subject occasions, whereas typically pricey, at all times had the best ROI of any program in my advertising plan. Sure, your reps at all times submit way-too-high expense stories for T&E, you by no means look ahead to the additional value of sales space electrical energy, that additional scanner, or branding late charges, and your advertising crew at all times will get overzealous when ordering swag…BUT, there’s merely nothing like an in-person occasion. A tradeshow or focused subject occasion strikes the needle in all areas of the funnel, making occasions a really distinctive lever to enhance your backside line.
Since occasions are a big a part of our enterprise right here at SaaStr, we’re always talking to corporations about the advantages of sponsoring and attending our occasion. The most frequent questions we get requested by sponsors are round assessing and monitoring occasion ROI.
The key to measuring the success of an occasion is to transfer past simply lead era and have a look at how occasions impression all of your income producing initiatives. Look at key metrics at each stage of your funnel—top-of-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-funnel (MOFU), bottom-of-funnel (BOFU), and buyer lifecycle.
TOFU ROI: Branding and Thought Leadership
Events are an unbelievable approach to get your model in entrance of the suitable viewers. Between a sales space presence, talking periods, ancillary occasion branding, and extra, an occasion is the right venue to get everybody speaking about your organization. If you do the branding proper, you may virtually personal an occasion—and the excitement from that may actually catapult your organization to the subsequent stage.
The keys listed here are creativity, robust advertising, and impactful messaging. Align a product launch along with your occasion, contemplate internet hosting a themed ancillary get together that everybody is dying to go to, or have your model brand and colours splashed on each floor throughout the venue. Doing this proper works to drive engagement on the very prime of your funnel.
TOFU ROI: Net-New Lead Generation
OK, simply so we get this one out of the best way, probably the most frequent methods to assess ROI from an occasion is to have a look at lead era—the variety of net-new leads that you simply purchase on the occasion. Event leads can enter your funnel by visiting your sales space, attending a talking session, or registering for an ancillary get together.
When taking a look at net-new leads, don’t simply concentrate on the uncooked quantity—have a look at what number of of these leads are a great match for your small business. Did you generate any leads out of your goal accounts? Did you communicate to the suitable titles? What about the suitable industries? Looking on the high quality of your leads and never simply the amount provides you with a extra correct indicator of propensity to purchase.
Pro Tip: Do you’ve got predictive advertising? If so, you may rating the leads you acquired from a selected occasion to shortly decide whether or not or not the viewers is an efficient match.
MOFU ROI: Lead Acceleration and Velocity
In addition to lead era, make sure to have a look at lead acceleration—how briskly a lead flows from one stage to the subsequent in your funnel after partaking along with your firm at an occasion. Because occasions give your organization an unbelievable alternative to construct a face-to-face relationship with a prospect, they’re an awesome alternative to transfer a caught lead.
For occasion, think about a lead has opened your emails various instances, however your SDR nonetheless can’t nail her down for a gathering. Imagine that lead is attending your occasion. She walks previous your sales space and acknowledges your identify. While she by no means responded to your SDR through e mail, she stops by your sales space to schedule a demo with a rep later within the week.
BOFU ROI: Opportunity Creation
Looking into later levels of the gross sales funnel, occasions are implausible for alternative creation. Hopefully you’re attending occasions that cater to your target market, so there’s a likelihood that one (or extra) of your goal accounts or key alternatives will probably be attending. Plus, many determination makers truly put time apart throughout occasions to meet with distributors, companions, prospects, and extra. So you may discover that your prospects are greater than prepared to spend a while with you throughout an occasion.
Make certain to institute assembly targets on your SDRs or gross sales reps to guarantee they’re making the most of your money and time spent attending an occasion. Your reps ought to schedule conferences prior to and through the occasion with new and present alternatives to solidify the deal.
Pro Tip: Make certain your AEs have a gathering location at or close to the occasion venue. The tradeshow flooring might be loopy, so that you need to present a quiet venue away from the present. And in case you have meals obtainable for prospects…even higher!
BOFU ROI: Closed/Won Deals
For comparable causes as these listed above, occasions can actually transfer the needle for prospects who’re already in gross sales cycles. Meeting somebody in particular person typically cements the deal. Reach out to related prospects who could be attending the occasion beforehand and arrange a while to meet in particular person.
For a late stage deal, casual settings are sometimes finest—have your AEs take your prospect out to drinks within the space, or contemplate planning a focused subject dinner at a neighborhood restaurant to get probably the most out of your in-person assembly.
Pro Tip: Executive determination makers who attend an occasion are sometimes invited to various ancillary actions. Send your dinner invites out early and be sure you guide an in-demand restaurant to enhance your probabilities of a “yes” RSVP.
Lifecycle ROI: Customer Retention
Never take into consideration an occasion by way of lead era solely. If your prospects are going to an occasion, your prospects are most likely going as effectively! Events are a perfect time to meet with prospects to construct relationships, present new options, assist them community with different prospects, and extra.
Just like your AEs, set targets on your CS crew to meet with prospects for 1:1 conferences or create particular ancillary occasions for patrons solely. Plan a buyer dinner, schedule a spherical desk dialogue, or contemplate internet hosting a buyer completely happy hour or meetup.
There are some ways to decide ROI out of your occasions. The key to guaranteeing success is to set measurable targets and ensure your gross sales and advertising groups are aligned on why you’re attending an occasion and what you hope to obtain.