How to Prove the ROI of Your B2B Events

How to Prove the ROI of Your B2B Events

Chances are you’re still in recovery mode from event season. With the constant travel, long hours on the expo and/or dance floor, you’re ready for a break. However, for B2B marketers, the end of an event can signify the start to arguably the hardest part of our jobs: proving ROI.

In this post, I’ll share how you can prove your events’ success to your entire organization.

Set the Stage for Success: Define KPIs

According to Kapow’s The Field Marketer’s Guide to Events in 2018, only 60% of marketers are satisfied with their event strategies and results. So where in the event planning process are we dropping the ball? I believe it starts at the beginning. If you don’t have your benchmark success metrics defined, how the heck are you going to be able to tell if your event is impacting pipeline and revenue?

No matter what key performance indicators (KPIs) you track, it’s super important to define them and communicate them to your wider team. Here at BrightFunnel, our event KPIs include:

  • # demos sourced
  • # opportunities sourced
  • # opportunities influenced
  • Pipeline influenced
  • Revenue influenced
  • Return on investment

Prior to any event, we hold a kickoff meeting with our sales and marketing teams to share event logistics and review our goals for the event. Having clear cut KPIs makes it easier for you to measure the impact of your event and help marketing and sales stay on the same page.

Now that the sales teams are armed with the information they need, they can begin to engage with their prospects.

Show Value Through Multi-Touch Attribution

Once the dust from your event settles, it’s time to take a look at the numbers.

Historically, marketers have tracked source metrics to prove ROI, but that really doesn’t give you the full picture when it comes to showing marketing’s impact. By leveraging a multi-touch attribution approach, marketers have a more accurate picture of how their events are influencing prospects through the funnel. For example, an event you just held may have only brought in a total of four net-new prospect meetings, but maybe it influenced six opportunities that resulted in a total of $150,000 of closed-won business. Now that’s powerful!

Note below the vast discrepancy between sourced deals and touched deals that multi-touch attribution analysis surfaces.

BrightFunnel marketing analytics and attribution product screenshot

Multi-touch attribution analysis provides marketers with a holistic picture of their influence on the business. With this type of analysis, you can easily justify budgets and programs related to events. It also allows you and your marketing team to get credit for all your hard work.

The Proof Is In the Pudding… Err, Numbers

It’s time to take the offensive when it comes to proving the ROI of your events. Don’t be caught off guard with the inevitable, “Well, what results did we really see from that event?” Set the stage early on by defining and communicating the KPIs you’ll be tracking to your entire team during the event kickoff.

By having a holistic event strategy that tracks marketing’s influence across the entire funnel, you’ll be ready to take on any event! Just in time for Dreamforce…

Brace yourselves...Dreamforce is coming