You’ve had numerous conversations with the sales team. You’ve shown your manager there’s more to your B2B events than beautiful venues and compelling speakers. But still, leadership doesn’t see the real impact your lead generation events have on the sales pipeline.

Sound familiar?

To impress the importance of events on your company’s leadership, you need to use data. Here are three tips on how to calculate and demonstrate the value of your lead generation event.

Tip 1: Calculate the potential dollar value of your event

Sales leaders speak in numbers, particularly dollars, so change your lingo to speak in their terms. Instead of talking about the number of attendees registered, talk about the potential dollar value in the room.

To do this, start by calculating the total value that your attendee list is worth. For example, if the average value of a prospect is \$400 and you have 100 target leads registered, this means that your potential value in the room is \$40,000.

One thing to note is that you should only calculate the dollar value of genuinely valuable leads on your registration list. For example, if your registration list includes suppliers, speakers, staff, or AV, you should subtract attendees who are not sales prospects before doing your calculation.

For instance: If you have an attendee list of 300, however, 50 are non-valuable suppliers, the equation is 300 -50 = 250. Thus 250 x average value of guest = Potential Prospect Value (\$\$) of registration list.

Pro tip: 6 weeks before the event occurs, run a calculation to see what your potential value of the event is (Formula: # sales valuable attendees x average sales value of that attendee = Perceived Prospect Value). If you run the calculation and it’s below the target revenue goal proposed for the event, really focus on accelerating registrations in the short term.

You can do this by enlisting the help of sales to promote via their social channels, use Facebook advertising and retargeting, and ask speakers/sponsors to push the event to their networks in exchange for a ‘thank you’ at the event. You want to make sure you get the right people in the room and by leaning on your sales networks you will have a better chance of achieving this.

Tip 2: Manage expectations, resources, and costs

If you want to keep running and improving your events, you need to demonstrate that they’re scalable and demonstrate a return on the investment (ROI) you committed. (ROI = Returns from Investment – Cost of Investment.)

Remember, when calculating investment it’s not just about the spend on venues, catering, or speakers; you should also consider time as an investment. Time includes your sales team’s time off the floor, time spent organizing the event, and resources invested to activate and promote the events. While it can be difficult to quantify ‘time’ it is usually the largest hidden cost of any event.

When you’re thinking about how to calculate the ‘true’ cost of the event use the following:

Cost of Investment = expenses incurred to organize and run event (\$\$ expense + hours spent)
Returns from Investment  = The new business generated by the event (\$\$)

Pro tip: If you want to save on traditional ‘big ticket’ costs such as venues and catering, consider marketing your event as a ‘secret location in XX area.’ While it’s important to decide on a specific area/radius so people can plan their travel ahead of time, you can still market the event without specifically naming the venues. e.g secret location, 5 mins from Liverpool street.

Booking venues last minute will allow you to take advantage of discounts. Other cost-saving tips include asking suppliers and partners to provide collateral for free as an additional branding opportunity for them, or obtain a drink sponsor to cut down the cost of alcohol.

Tip 3: Always communicate a wrap up of your lead generation event

Demonstrate to your sales team and wider organization that you are focused on generating business from your events and ensuring ROI by sending a post-event wrap up (either via email or in a debrief meeting).

The secret to organizing a successful lead generation event is driving new sales in a face-to-face environment. While it’s important to showcase the experiential value and the brand exposure gained from the event, also include details that sales teams can relate to. For instance, include data on how many new leads were created and how many prospects attended.

Your wrap-up email or debrief meeting should include the following details:

• Total potential value attended: \$\$ + # of attendees
• Highlight key companies in attendance (you can include a hyperlink to a full company list)
• Total registered + total value registered
• Event highlights (include photos)
• Results from your post-event survey
• Thank you’ss & shout out’s (it’s important to demonstrate gratitude)
• SLAs – sales follow-up process (this one is important to ensure that leads are followed up in an appropriate manner)

Pro tip: The trick to delivering an ROI generating event is to ensure that appropriate follow-up also occurs. If you rely on a sales team to follow up on the leads you’ve generated, ensure you spell out the sales follow-up process and what you need the team to do.

Delayed follow-up can kill any potential new business opportunities and revenue associated with your event, so incentivize sales to make it happen quickly. Make it fun by rewarding the first three sales team members to convert an opportunity to get a gift card or bottle of wine.

Conclusion

While the priority of most B2B events is to demonstrate sales ROI, it takes a savvy B2B Event Manager to demonstrate how to balance that with brand marketing and trust building.

As the world continues to become more data-driven, empowering yourself with relevant numbers and statistics will educate your sales stakeholders on how your lead generation events contribute to sales pipeline. Learn more ways you can use data to drive your event success in Beyond Registration: Using Data to Supercharge Your Event.