I recently attended the B2BMX (Business to Business Marketing Exchange) conference in Scottsdale, AZ. As I stepped off the plane, my phone buzzed immediately with a flood of text messages. They were from Splash’s CEO Ben Hindman:
“Hey Kathy - How was the conference?”
“Did you bring home a ton of leads?”
“Would you do this event next year? Should we sponsor? I’m thinking maybe a speaking spot!”
“What’s our ROI? I’m jazzed about this one!”
I knew it wouldn’t be the best move to answer all of these questions right away. I had some anecdotal feedback I could provide, but it would take some time before I could completely understand our true ROI and make a thoughtful recommendation on our investment for the next year.
I also knew I shouldn’t wait too long before getting back to him.
As the head of Demand Gen, my role on the marketing team forces me to understand the direct business impact of every event and campaign we do. Unfortunately, understanding ROI is not as simple as calculating revenue minus spend divided by spend. And, there are many different measurements to consider when trying to understand if your event was a success, and there are also different time frames that make the most sense for these measurements.
Below, I’ve put together a plan I use, as a B2B marketer, to help me to validate and communicate post-event success metrics. Looking at event metrics immediately following an event, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days post-event, helps to provide structure and gives me a sense of true ROI after an event.