As an ex event organiser, the number one challenge faced in my career was trying to prove that organising a lead generation event was more than just about the event logistics and spreadsheets. I’d have numerous conversations with sales managers to help them see beyond the beautiful venues and great speakers to demonstrate the real business impact lead generation events were having on driving sales pipeline but to no avail.
Then one day, after reading an article about the power of data I challenged myself to find ways to use data (and not my own opinions) to demonstrate the value of the lead generation events being organised.
Here are 3 tips on how to calculate and demonstrate the value of your Lead Generation event:
Tip 1: Calculate Potential ££ Value of Your Event
Sales leaders speak in numbers, particularly ££ so change your lingo to speak in their terms. Instead of talking about the number of attendees registered, talk about the potential ££ value in the room.
To do this, start by calculating the total value that your registration or delegate list is worth. For example, if the average value of a prospect is £40 and you have 100 target leads registered, this means that your potential value in the room is £4000.
One thing to note is that you should only calculate the ££ value of genuinely valuable leads on your registration list. For example, if your registration list includes suppliers, speakers, staff or AV you will want to subtract the non ‘sales’ valuable leads (attendees who will not convert into a sales prospect after the event) before doing your calculation.
e.g. If you have a delegate list of 300, however, 50 are non-valuable suppliers, the equation is 300 -50 = 250. Thus 250 x average value of guest = Potential Prospect Value (££) of registration list.
Pro tip: 6 weeks before the event occurs, run a calculation to see what your potential value of the event is (Formula: # sales valuable attendees x average sales value of that attendee = ££ Perceived Prospect Value). If you run the calculation and it’s below the target revenue goal proposed for the event, really focus on accelerating registrations in the short term. You can do this by enlisting the help of sales to promote via their social channels, use Facebook advertising and retargeting, and ask speakers/sponsors to push the event to their networks in exchange for a ‘thank you’ at the event. You want to make sure you get the right people in the room and by leaning on your sales networks you will have a better chance of achieving this.
Tip 2: Manage Expectations, Resources & Costs
If you want to keep running and improving your events, you need to demonstrate that they’re scalable and demonstrate a return on the investment (ROI) you committed. ROI = Returns from Investment – Cost of Investment
Remember, when calculating investment it’s not just about the outgoings spent on venues, catering or speakers; you should also consider time as an investment. Time includes your sales team’s time off the floor, time spent organising the event, resources invested to activate and promote events. While it can be difficult to quantify ‘time’ it is usually the largest hidden cost of any event. Use it wisely.
So when you’re thinking about how to calculate the ‘true’ cost of the event use the following:
Cost of Investment = expenses incurred to organise and run event (££ expense + man hours)
Returns from Investment = The new business generated by the event (££)
Pro tip: If you want to save on traditional ‘big ticket’ costs such as venues and catering, consider marketing your event as a ‘secret location in XX area.’ While it’s important to decide on a specific area/radius so people can plan their travel ahead of time, you can still market the event without specifically naming the venues. e.g secret location, 5 mins from Liverpool street.
Booking venues last minute will allow you to take advantage of discounts. Other cost saving tips include asking suppliers and partners to provide collateral for free as an additional branding opportunity for them or obtain a ‘drink’ sponsor to cut down the cost of alcohol.
Tip 3: Always Communicate A Wrap Up of Your Event
Demonstrate to your sales team and wider organisation that you are focused on generating business from your events and ensuring ROI by sending a post event wrap up (either via email or in a debrief meeting).
The secret to organising a successful lead generation event is finding the balance of driving new sales but in a ‘non-sales’ face-to-face environment. While it’s important to showcase the experiential value and the brand exposure gained from the event, also include details that sales teams can relate to, e.g. how many new leads were created, how much new business was influenced etc.
Your post wrap up email or debrief meeting should include the following details:
- Total Potential Value Attended ££ + # of attendees
- Highlight Key Companies in Attendance (you can include a hyperlink to a full company list)
- Total Registered + Total Value Registered
- Event Highlights (include photos etc)
- Thank You’s & Shout Out’s (it’s important to demonstrate gratitude)
- SLAs – Sales Follow Up Process (this one is important to ensure that leads are followed up in an appropriate manner)
Pro tip: The trick to delivering an ROI generating event is to ensure that appropriate follow up also occurs. If you rely on a sales team to follow up on the leads you’ve generated, ensure you spell out the sales follow up process and what you need the team to do. Delayed follow up can kill any potential new business opportunities and revenue associated with your event so make sure to keep track and follow up in a timely fashion. To make it fun, add an incentive e.g. the first 3 sales team members to convert an opportunity get a bottle of bubbles each.
While the priority of most B2B events is to demonstrate sales ROI, it takes a savvy B2B Event Manager to demonstrate how to balance that with brand marketing and trust building.
As the world continues to become more data driven, empowering yourself with relevant numbers and statistics will educate your sales stakeholders on how your lead generation events contribute to sales pipeline.
Check out our tip sheet below on How to Calculate Value of a Lead Generation Event so you never miss a beat when organising your event.