There’s an old saying attributed to the legendary business expert Peter Drucker that goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” It essentially means that to improve your outcomes in any endeavour, you need to use data to see how well you’re performing.
Event marketing is no different.
Analytics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your event marketing strategy. Having concrete data points to show you what went well (and sometimes more importantly, what didn’t) is a key component of planning, executing, and reviewing an event to determine its success.
But what are the exact ways in which event analytics can help you do that? How can you judge whether your event was a success while at the same time helping you improve your chances for success in the future?
It helps you measure how successful your event was
Your goals may vary depending on the specific requirements from the host organisation and what they hope to gain from hosting it. No matter the goal, viewing your event marketing analytics will help you determine the level of success you’ve achieved.
For example, let’s say your exhibitors have a simple goal of increasing their organisation’s membership by hosting a free panel discussion within their area of subject matter expertise. You won’t be able to gauge the effectiveness of the event or your strategy in marketing the event if you don’t keep track of the number of new members after it has concluded.
The goals that help you define the success of your event are known as key performance indicators (KPI). These are what help you judge the value you or your host organisation have been able to extract from the event.
Increasing membership isn’t the only KPI you can use to judge an event’s success. There are a number of others that can demonstrate its value, including:
- Addresses added to your email list following the event
- Usage of the event’s mobile app
- Inquiries received following the event on membership
- Additions to your organisation’s membership
- Purchases of your organisation’s product or services
Success can mean many things for an event agency depending on what you or the host wants to achieve from the event. What’s important is to make sure you define your KPI prior to planning it. This will help you market the event in a way that maximizes results.
It allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your event’s digital presence
Your event’s website will no doubt be one of your most powerful promotional tools. As with any tool, it helps to have a plan when implementing it as part of your strategy.
One of the digital marketing mechanisms you can use to promote your event is search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is the practice of using targeted keywords, hyperlinks, and other tactics on your website to encourage higher web traffic from internet search engines.
When you set up online registration for your website, you can see how successful your search engine optimisation efforts were following the event. Using analytics, you can:
- Measure how many attendees found your registration site through a search engine
- Determine how many visited your website overall
- Determine how many of these visitors registered for the event
- Tell you which website visitors viewed other pages on your site
This helps you gauge the effectiveness of your online marketing. Using social media marketing to promote the event can also help you determine how much engagement your event generated online. You can measure impressions through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can see how many clicks and registrations for your event registration site were routed through those social media channels.
This doesn’t just help you learn about the success of the event. It also helps you evaluate the success of the host organisation’s social media presence. This can help you determine where adjustments need to be made to increase online engagement.
It provides you with best practices for future events
Marketing analytics does more than just show you how successful your event was.
It also helps tell the story of why your event was successful. What were the actions you took that helped move the needle in terms of your defined KPI? You can look at the totality of your event marketing and see what worked and what didn’t work.
You’ll also be able to examine the event’s weaknesses. Using participant feedback as well as metrics you identify prior to the event, you can see what you could have done better. That information can be used to tweak your processes prior to a future event, leading to better results and more positive outcomes.
It indicates where you should spend your resources
Event marketing analytics will help you increase the value of what you’re doing on a daily basis to promote your events. It helps you optimise value as well by determining the best place to use the resources you have available.
You can use the sum of all your results – your strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures – to inform where you deploy your marketing resources going forward. This can include funding as well as staff considerations. From a digital marketing standpoint, you can examine the social media channels you used to promote the event. By doing this, you can determine which was the most effective in driving engagement.
You can look at the various vectors through which your attendees discovered and registered for the event. Double down on the most effective mechanisms and try to improve or discard the less effective ones.
Summary: event marketing analytics
Throughout the event planning and execution process, using event marketing analytics can help you in four distinct areas:
- Judging the event’s overall success (using whatever KPI you or your host organization have defined prior to the event)
- Judging the effectiveness of the event’s digital marketing tactics
- Determining the best practices and lessons learned to help improve future events
- Provide an overall summary of where resources would be best deployed going forward
For more on how The Event Production Company can help you market your event, contact us today!