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RO..Why? The vexed question of event measurement

by Nicola Macdonald

Ahead of International Confex tomorrow, Christine Martin, marketing director at GES EMEA, looks at the real value of live events. 

For two days this week (yes its Confex!), I get to walk in my customers’ shoes.

I can attest to the heady mix of excitement and nerves. Every ‘face-to-face’ marketer experiences the day before the opening of a live event – if we build it, will they come?

Maybe it’s a measure of my paranoia that GES is sponsoring the bar this year. This is the event industry after all, so I’m pretty damn sure they (you) will come. But post-event there’s the vexed question of measurement. How did we do? How do we know how we did? Can I justify the spend?

In the age of micro-measurement offered by digital channels it would be naïve to expect live events to escape scrutiny. As anyone who has had to pitch a marketing budget to their board – proven outcomes are your best friend in winning sign-off from your executive team. Any channel without credible measurement is at risk.

As a business, GES is heavily invested in helping our clients – organisers, exhibitors, sponsors – measure their face-to-face marketing activity, and has acquired game changing tech products like Visit and Poken to both drive and measure lead capture and engagement.

However, the conversation about event measurement is fraught – three letter acronyms abound from ROO to ROI to ROE to ROC. So how do you tackle this most vexing of questions?

At GES we’ve launched a new measurement matrix – borne from our experience working with thousands of exhibitors, brands and organisers large and small. It recognises lead capture as a vital metric – but not the only one. Face-to-face marketing is complex and multi-faceted and our customers told us they wanted a measurement platform that recognised a more sophisticated range of objectives and potential outcomes.

Events are so much more than just selling opportunities. Yes, they can impact a sales pipeline, but they should also drive brand affinity and strengthen customer loyalty – all significant contributors to a business’s success.

Our model focuses on key metrics that are tied to business outcomes and include insights and actionable recommendations, rather than just data. Our four key pillars are:

Anticipated Pipeline Impact – Assesses expected buying behavior impacted by the event and reports on anticipated revenue.

Brand Impact – Measures changes in brand perception affected by the event.

Customer Retention – Evaluates the impact of the event on anticipated customer loyalty.

Quality of Experience – Assesses the perceived value of the event to inform continuous improvement efforts.

This approach provides the information marketers need to understand and demonstrate the value of their event, activation or exhibition stand. Sound interesting?

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you create memorable and measurable events – or just want share your thoughts on the measurement conversation – we’ll be at the Confex bar.

And yes, we’ll still be scanning your badge.

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