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Best Practices

Best Practices

Five Tips to Better Understanding What Drives Event ROI

18 Apr 2019 | Heather Pryor | 5 minutes

Now that you’ve finally managed to pull off your largest event of the year, it’s time to analyze just how successful your efforts were.

While most event directors will sit and stew over the number of registered attendees that came to their event, RainFocus offers an alternative solution to help event directors, like yourself, better understand what drives the value of events. You will be able to effectively level-up your ROI for the coming year by using the RainFocus Unified Event Marketing Model™.

What is the Unified Event Marketing Model?

Think of the UEM model like you would climbing a mountain, the higher you climb, the greater your view becomes. The model consists of five different levels for evaluating your event, each more profitable than the previous. The more you learn about and implement the valuation at each of these different levels, the clearer your visibility of success will be.

Tactical: Focused on driving overall attendance numbers

The first level is the tactical level. Most companies are situated here; this is the start of the climb.

Event directors that evaluate their events at the tactical level are happy if…

  • Their attendance increased.
  • All event logistics performed well.
  • Sponsorship operations went smoothly.

While an increase in attendance numbers may look impressive on a report, there is much more to be observed.

Tip #1: Ask yourself, “What is driving attendance for my event?”

Emerging: Focused on driving attendance by segment

The next level is what we call the emerging level. In a mountain climb, this is like rising just above the tree level, you’re beginning to see some progress in the climb. At this point, event directors have built confidence in their baseline metrics (logistics, registration, session attendance, etc.) and they begin to recognize the importance of who went where within the event.

Event directors at the emerging level are happy if…

  • Their attendee expectations were met.
  • They were able to provide their sponsors with their leads relatively fast.
  • The overall sentiment of the event was positive.

At the emerging level event directors use customer behavior to determine success.

Tip #2: Ask yourself, “What segments are driving attendance for my event and how are they changing each event?”

Aligned: Focused on driving value by segment

At the third level of evaluation, event directors have a good sense of how liked their conference is and are now beginning to seek understanding of the overall experience of those who are a part of their conference.

Event directors at the aligned level are happy if…

  • The event expanded attendee’s view of the company brand.
  • Attendees had positive experiences with sponsor’s brands.
  • Attendee experiences can be attributed to ROI.

At this point in the climb, you are halfway to the top of your mountain, your efforts are beginning to really pay off and you’re seeing a greater ROI. This is a really good point to be at if you are only hosting one event.

Tip #3: Align business value for how each segment engages at the event (this could be which sessions relate to sales activity or training to customer satisfaction/usage). The intent is to connect business metrics with activities at the event, then map those to segments.

Coordinated: Focused on driving value across an event series

The fourth level of evaluation is where event directors look at their success with one event and determine how to have that same success with all of their events, big or small. At this level, event directors use software (i.e. the RainFocus platform) to track attendees experiences year over year, so they can tailor the event for their most important attendees.

Event directors at the coordinated level are happy if…

  • Customer’s views of the company brand have been transformed.
  • Sponsors are able to build relationships with attendees across a series of events.
  • All events show a significant ROI which can be attributed to attendees positive experiences.

Tip #4: Establish a common set of data fields (registration, content and surveys) that can be reused across events. This simplifies event management and allows for cross-event reporting.

Unified: Focused on driving value by business lifecycle stages across an event portfolio

The final and most effective way of evaluating your event is a completely unified way of understanding events. This is the peak of your mountain. The visibility of your success is not limited to one side of the mountain, it reaches to all sides, all events.
The difference between the coordinated and unified levels is sound knowledge that your events will provide a high ROI.

Event directors at the unified level are happy if…

  • The have formed working relationships with attendees across a series of events.
  • Their sponsors can leverage events to drive positive outcomes.
  • Events and the activities within them drive actionable lifetime ROI.

Tip #5: Think of events and the activities within them as an accelerant in the customer lifecycle. Using the customer journey as guide, event activities can be designed, recommended and optimized within each event to improve the customer lifecycle.