Three Modern Insights on Virtual B2B Event Measurement
August 26, 2021 | Events
While it can seem challenging, measuring the ROI of virtual B2B events is essential to understanding if and how an online program has resonated with attendees. It can also help to inform future event strategies and establish confidence/earn buy-in from key stakeholders. But in today’s experiential landscape, the methods for determining the impact of a brand experience may go beyond the traditional post-event survey.
As more and more experiential marketers produce virtual experiences, a markedly different approach to measurement is emerging. Here, we review three tips and perspectives on virtual B2B event measurement to consider applying to your own strategy.
Consider Leveraging an Integrated Marketing Management System
If one thing is certain when it comes to events and trade shows, it’s that the root of any experience should be delivering value to attendees, regardless of the format. And when we think about B2B events and programs in particular, it’s important to consider that according to a 2019 Forrester survey, “events consistently take the largest slice of the annual B2B marketing budget pie, averaging 12% of program spend in our latest survey.” That’s a significant amount!
In the traditional event landscape, we can think of several ways to measure the success of a program, from session polling, to post-event surveys, on-site observation, and more. Fast-forward to today’s evolving event marketing landscape, which is now widely dominated by virtual experiences, and it can feel a little trickier.
Some good places to start when it comes to virtual B2B event measurement? It’s key to establish KPIs (key performance indicators), which can include such components as attendee duration, audience engagement, lead generation, and more.
And to aid in data collection, a critical part of measuring virtual ROI, event marketers may want to think about leveraging multiple platforms to develop a coordinated marketing management system that can organize all of that information. This kind of integrated setup can help marketers in their virtual B2B event measurement to transfer data quickly and ensure that all of their virtual event insights are tracked efficiently.
It’s important to remember, though, that raw digital data alone doesn’t tell the full story. Regardless of platform, virtual event data should be reviewed with context. Does a session with low page views mean it wasn’t a good session? Not necessarily. If the session wasn’t scheduled into the agenda, or played outside of standard working hours of target audiences, that might explain limited traffic numbers. Content has a better chance of visibility when scheduled into the event program.
Virtual B2B Event Measurement Strategies Should Differ from In-Person
While it might be tempting to utilize in-person event measurement strategies for virtual B2B events, it’s important to keep in mind that different mediums call for different measurement tactics.
One way to determine the success of a virtual event is to track how many attendees visited the host brand’s website as a result of the event. If your event is successful, you should see an uptick in your site’s direct and search traffic. This indicates that the event left a positive impression on the audience, and that they want to learn more about your business and offerings. One way to leverage this metric? Tracking your website traffic.
Another virtual B2B event measurement solution is going with the right virtual event platform and virtual event management service that can fuel a strong digital strategy and provide analysis like data and lead capture, audience surveys, overall program measurement, and more.
Even as in-person events and conferences make a comeback, many brands say virtual B2B events are here to stay, whether as standalone experiences or part of a hybrid approach. And that makes honing virtual-specific measurement tactics all the more important. Just remember that whatever measurement tools and tactics you implement, they should illuminate how you can, and will, prioritize human connection and show attendees the value in your program.
Posted by Lisette Sheehan | Request as a Speaker
Strong believer in the power of data to drive smart decision-making. Enjoys making new friends. Lives for family. Avid beachgoer. It's 5 o'clock somewhere.