According to Bizzabo’s report on The Event Success Formula, live events are the single most effective channel for most over performing organizations. It’s true that with consumers looking for specific products and services, with an overabundance of options, it can be difficult to find a match for their needs.
The beauty of events lies in the face-to-face discussions businesses can have with their consumers and how those conversations can build personal relationships between a brand and consumer that is not possible by digital means. Events are also a great opportunity for companies to roll out new products and service or build brand recognition. Whether you’re increasing your budget or refining your list and cutting the fat, here are 5 questions to answer in order to maximize your events budget.
1. What Are Your Goals?
Before you revisit your budget you need to decide what you want to achieve through your events for the year. Planning your event budget is about more than just keeping your spending in check. This is your opportunity to allocate funds to certain events and event elements that can bring you the most value in return based on your goals. If your company sells a digital tool that improves data organization and collaboration between Sales and Marketing teams, you may want to showcase at an event focused on the impact of aligning sales and marketing efforts for better results finding your target marketing that’s ready to demo and buy soon.
2. What Does the Previous Year's Event Performance Data Tell You?
Ideally, you've executed an event marketing strategy before and you can utilize previous data gathered from your past events, and the marketing efforts put into those events. An event lead management solution that lets you compare year-over-year event performance can be a huge help here. Looking at this data will help you make informed decisions on which events yield the right return for your goals. You may see a lack of quality leads or decline in leads generated from certain events, making it far easier to determine which events to stick to and what events to cut from the list. Additionally, this information can save you time figuring out specific event costs, as well as event-specific expenses to allocate to the budget plan.
3. What Events Do Your Targeted Accounts Attend?
Take full advantage of your ABM strategy and look at your data from past events to see which events saw the most traffic from your targeted accounts. Talk to your customers and figure out which specific events or type of events they will be attending and are considering for the year. One great way to do this is by email through a survey with a small incentive like a chance at winning a gift card. By simply asking your current customers about what kind of events interest them the most, you'll be able to figure out which events can put you in front of similar potential customers and clients. A bonus question and something to take note of, could be why they are attending that specific event or what they hope to find. This could lend additional insight into your event planning that would help in making the most of your budget.
4. Can You Find Similar Events for Less Money?
You may find the best way of cutting costs is to "shop around" for the most cost-effective events. If you break down your needs based on the goals you've established, it's likely you find similar events that cost less to attend or save you money in onsite expenses. Instead of choosing the most expensive national events, you may find smaller regional trade shows and meet-ups that are more cost-effective and will have the same target demographic in attendance. Be sure to get multiple quotes from venues, even if you're leaning toward a particular one because some vendors are open to negotiation if they know you could book elsewhere for less money. Have the bargain shopper mindset, never accept a price at face value and always be willing to negotiate.
5. Can You Lighten the Load on Your Team & Budget with New Tech?
Technology, when used correctly, makes the lives of working professionals easier so why not use it? There are apps and other tools that help automate event lead capture, workflows, and customer management and nurture. They can also give you more accurate metrics when connected to one another. For example, using atEvent for your event lead capture saves time by scanning leads directly from any smartphone or tablet device, and it makes lead management easier by attributing content from conversations to each lead. Now is the perfect time to review your event technology and evaluate whether it’s working up to the standards you need or not.
Speaking of tools, in order to make sure you're fully automating your event lead management, check out our recent blog post, How to Use Automation to Get the Most Out of Your Events.