Everyone knows that nothing beats face to face meetings. Whenever I fly I rarely sit with colleagues, I see them all the time. I make “friends” with the person next to me and that interaction has on more than one occasion has covered the cost of the trip.
Second to a captive audience at 30,000ft is attending an event.
The problem with events is determining the intrinsic value of the event. The cost of customer acquisition (CAC) is the gold standard in determining the intrinsic value of an event. I also look into which lead type generated the greatest percentage of deals as well as where the greatest percentage of revenue came from.
Calculating CAC is easy; revenue generated at the event divided by event spend. The only tricky part here is making sure you can get the total spend on the conference (hint: take your accountant out for lunch every once in a while).
Next I parse the lead types into three different categories.
- New company
Meeting new people, getting greater exposure, for most companies this is THE reason to go to a conference. Also these are the easiest leads to tracks through marketing automation (MA) systems and CRMs since they’ve never show-up in either system before.
- Pipeline company
Pipeline leads are leads that have already in the sales pipeline, however they have not closed.
Expansion leads are by definition leads that have previously closed in the past with an unfulfilled upside.
The term “company” since more often than not the person you meet at the conference is not the key decision maker you will be working with (in the case of “new”) or the person not the same person you’ve been speaking (in the case of “pipeline”).
By looking at which lead type generated the greatest percentage of deals and revenue helps me determine what type of sales reps should attend.
Lots of new deals? Send strong prospectors!
Lots of pipeline revenue to be made? Have reps check their pipeline on who will be attending.
Obviously this quantitative data needs to be balanced with qualitative data; was a significant new company deal pushed to pipeline simple because they were glad-handed or was the meeting a critical for pushing the deal along.
How do you determine event ROI and future event opportunity?