Return on investment (ROI) is, at best, a misleading metric for evaluating event-marketing performance.

Let’s start with a straightforward definition for ROI: how much money was made, compared with how much was spent.

But determining what an event costs can get really complicated, really fast. Do you include the hard costs of a venue or exhibit space? The fabrication of event elements? Event staff time and TE? What about the investment of time (or agency fees) to develop the design, the content, and other programmatic elements? And how do you factor in the hours spent in countless stakeholder meetings and reviews?

And how much revenue an event drives is no easier to decipher. Unless your company is selling products at a B2B event (which does happen in some industries), it’s difficult, if not impossible, to attribute a converted sale to

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