Steps to Prove Event ROI for CMOs

In today’s marketing environment, dominated by digital advertising, social media and mobile apps, most CMOs prize events as a critical tool in their arsenal and know that events and face-to-face communications are integral to accelerating sales and driving revenue growth. Yet despite the role of events in the marketing mix, providing CMOs with the data to prove event ROI and the success of their event programs has been a challenge.

From Event Planner to Event Marketer

Given this challenge, it’s an ideal time for event professionals to transform themselves from meeting planners to true ROI marketers. Event planners know how to run successful programs that deliver informative content, engage attendees, and provide opportunities for peer interaction. They are well positioned to raise the bar to demonstrate how events deliver financial impact.

Proving Event ROI

There are several steps event planners can take to prove the business impact of event programs and show the bottom-line value that CMOs desire.

  1. Establish appropriate event goals– Set and document goals for success for each event ahead of time to establish a framework for capturing the right data to analyze against stated objectives.
  2. Set marketing and sales plans –Involve the sales team early on to help in recruiting attendees, engaging at events, and following-up with attendees to generate sales.
  3. Keep the event meaningful for targets – Provide event participants with stellar content, peer interaction, and opportunities for real-time feedback in order to shape content on the fly, meet attendee needs, and create an optimal event experience.
  4. Optimize lead management – Sync attendee data with the right marketing and CRM tools so sales can tailor its follow-up to what prospects want and close more deals. This approach ensures that leads generated at an event receive the ongoing nurturing and follow-up they deserve.
  5. Mine data to improve event experience – Work with CMOs to develop reporting dashboards that encompass the event experience (e.g. attendance, satisfaction, speaker ratings), as well as ROI information (e.g. linking event activity to sales results). Analytical data culled from an event can improve the event experience and ultimately boost revenue.

For more information on the value that CMOs place on event marketing, read the Cvent and The CMO Club’s industry study here.


Julie Haddix

Written by Julie Haddix

Julie Haddix is the Director, Enterprise Marketing for Cvent, Inc. She has worked for Cvent for 11 years helping to build the company’s Enterprise sales and marketing divisions, including its approach to Strategic Meetings Management. Julie has also been a part of the planning team for Cvent CONNECT, Cvent’s annual user conference, which has grown from 150 to 3,000 people in 5 years, leading the event marketing and content development efforts. Outside of work, Julie is learning a new role, Mom, to Christopher, and enjoying the daily challenges that job brings.