How NYC Event Planners Strategize Event ROI

February 9, 2019 Megan Stoeckel

For event planning firms, event ROI is an elusive goal as they look for ways to design campaigns that are aligned with their client’s financial realities. Creating quantifiable customer demand from their programs and refining ROI calculations have shifted from a “nice to have” to a “must have” metric. Even though corporate decision makers want marketers to become more ROI-driven, demonstrating results can be a confusing challenge.

So, what’s the greatest way for NYC Event Planners to raise their ROI game? For starters, following the guidelines we outlined below will help you improve the top and bottom-line results for your events.

Start Small

Pick one event. Begin your strategic planning with the official budget for the event and utilize your existing process for capturing the actual expenses. You want to know what you’re actually spending, and not just what was allotted for the budget. So, the first step is to gather the data you need for the ROI calculation process.

Rinse and Repeat

If your budget experiment didn’t work, try it again for your next event and make sure you follow the same process. Reconciling your event budget is a routine you must get into. Depending on how your event planning firms are structured, you can utilize this approach with a category of events rather than just one.

Checklist of Benefits

Each event has a broad range of benefits, both tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits include:

  • Direct revenue
  • Attributed revenue
  • Attributed sales pipeline
  • Sale of products

All NYC Event Planners must know how these concrete dollar amounts are impacted by events.

Intangible benefits are a bit more challenging to quantify but still important for a complete ROI calculation. These benefits are comprised of customer loyalty, brand equity, knowledge exchange, and training. If you can insert revenue impact on these intangibles, you’re positioning yourself for a full ROI calculation.

Range of Costs

Like benefits, event costs fall into several buckets. Direct costs would cover line items like travel, venue, hotel, and entertainment. Indirect costs get a bit more complicated and would include expenses like overhead, staff salaries, and shared services contracts. Opportunity costs are even more complex. An example is staff time and resource spent on an activity versus how this work would be handled otherwise. 

ROI is a Process 

The ability to adopt an ROI mindset and integrate measurement into an event program is a process that takes time. Even for event planning firms like The Event Planner Expo, it has taken many years for us to get to a place where we have a complete understanding of the costs and benefits of events.  Again, it does help to start small and build from there to build an ROI strategy.

For more information on how to get started with the process of capturing event ROI, join us at The Event Planner Expo where we will have keynote speakers and workshops to help.

 

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