How to Use Digital Event Engagement Data to Boost Conversions and ROI

August 7, 2023
Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay McGuire
Associate Director of Content and Campaigns at Goldcast

Maximize Your Marketing ROI

Join 10,000 other marketers already getting the best tips on running engaging events that boost pipeline and create raving fans.

As event marketers, the biggest challenge we struggle with is often event ROI. It can be hard to directly tie revenue or conversions to a specific event—but at the same time, you know that digital events are a critical part of your marketing strategy.

So, what to do? The good news is that you can use digital engagement data to effectively track and analyze event ROI. For proof, just take a look at our recently launched ROI Dashboard. Even better, you can use that data to boost both conversions and ROI for future events. You just have to know what to look for!

For our three-part Event ROI Bootcamp series, our Head of Marketing, Kelly Cheng, kicked things off by walking through how to make the most of your digital event marketing and the resulting event data. Today we're giving you five of the biggest takeaways from this event, as well as some FAQs from the session.

If you want to check out the entire session, you can find the full webinar recording below! ⤵️

✨ Psst: You can also access all of our Event ROI Bootcamp sessions on-demand now!

1. Get to know your audience via first-party data

When people come to your event and engage in polls or click around within your platform, that is a goldmine of first-party data! Outside of the event, it can be hard to get people to tell you about themselves by filling out forms or surveys—but here, they're sharing important information voluntarily.

Be strategic with the poll questions that you ask. Huddle with your product, marketing, and sales teams to understand what types of qualifying questions would be useful for them. Do they want to know people's titles, how many years of experience they have, or what their most pressing points are—or should you ask something else?

Based on the information you gather during your events, you can add certain leads to specific nurture campaigns or increase lead scores for people who engage often, building on your MQL engine.

2. Harness the power of personalized interactions

Effective selling requires personalized messaging, and your engagement data allows you to fine-tune your outreach efforts. For example, if someone is telling you what process their team currently follows, that's a great talking point for your sales team to start the conversation with!

You can also browse through your event Q&A afterward and let the sales team know if there are any questions that stand out that would be good conversation starters. Creating a tailored experience for your audience makes a big impact and increases the chances they'll respond in a positive way.

Collecting all this data is great, but how can you get your sales teams to use it to become more personalized in their post-event outreach?" - Kelly Cheng, Head of Growth at Goldcast

3. Prioritize event follow-up with intent-based data

We recommend identifying "hand raisers"—the people who are highly engaged and most likely to buy. A key way we do this at Goldcast is by looking at event CTA clicks. This is because not all data points signal the same level of intent.

Not all data points are created equal. Some of them definitely indicate higher intent than others." - Kelly Cheng, Head of Marketing at Goldcast

For example, someone who fills out a poll might not be ready to buy, but the person who's clicked the CTA asking for a demo is probably pretty interested!

We also look at booth CTA clicks. Booths are great places to add more information about your products. If you notice people have clicked around to learn more within your booth, that could also qualify them as a hand raiser. For these folks, you might send out more resources so they can continue to learn more.

Once you've got your hand raisers identified, be sure to follow up with them ASAP. Our best practice is within 48 hours. The sooner, the better!

4. Automate, automate, automate!

There's a lot of follow-up to be done, but automation makes it easier to keep track of everything.

Here are a few suggestions:

Automate your high-intent leads. Set up a trigger in your event platform for certain "hand raiser" activities, like CTA clicks, that initiates a follow-up email, a Slack notification, or other messages to be sent.

Automate event gifting incentives. Check out integrated gifting platforms like Alyce, Sendoso, and Reachdesk. You can set up an enrollment trigger for people that meet your gift criteria (i.e., responded to a poll and stayed at the event longer than 30 minutes). A list will be created and sent to your gifting platform, which makes it easy to be sure you don't forget after the event.

Deploy attendance-based automation. Automate all of your post-event activities: emails, CRM campaigns, lead routing, etc. That way, you're sending specific emails to people who attended, didn't attend, or those who watched on-demand.

Enroll people in nurture campaigns based on poll responses. We have a poll about job titles and if someone tells us they're a Demand Marketer, we enter them in the Demand Marketing nurture campaign, full of customized messaging just for demand experts.

5. Join Event Marketers Club for more ideas

If you've already skimmed the FAQs below, you know that we recommend joining Event Marketers Club for awesome #swag ideas—but there's so much more to be found in this amazing community! You'll connect with other event and demand marketers looking to uplevel their events and be able to ask questions, share best practices, and learn together.

Discover how to effectively prove the ROI of events and webinars

Learning how to use your digital event engagement data to boost conversions and event ROI is just the tip of the iceberg. To truly achieve overall event success, you need to also know how to measure event ROI and craft a solid post-event follow-up plan.

Luckily for you, we’ve laid all that out in the rest of our Event ROI Bootcamp series. Check it out now!

Digital Event Engagement Data Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: I love the giveaway idea and would love to do it, but I am really curious to know the ROI and better understand how to justify the cost.

A: Ultimately, you want to look at the cost of your overall opportunity. For us, giveaways are a no-brainer because our opportunity costs are at least 30x a giveaway. We've found that attendees love the 1:1 attention; people who win giveaways tend to post about it on social and share with others, spreading the word about Goldcast!

The ROI is just simple math. If your software costs $10/month, it may not make sense in terms of ROI to offer a giveaway. However, for enterprise solutions with higher contract values, just one person becoming a brand loyalist due to your giveaway is well worth it.

Q: We're working with a tight budget. What are some lower-cost prizes that have been successful in fostering attendee engagement?

A: We recommend joining Goldcast's Event Marketers Club for great ideas; there's an entire Slack channel dedicated to #swag!

To start, think about seasonality. We're in the middle of summer right now, so what's a good gift that fits the season? (Hint: neck fans are relatively inexpensive per purchase and make for a sweet relief from the heat.) Or perhaps you can find a gift that makes sense for the product segment you're in. At Goldcast, we've given away microphones, video cameras, and light kits and found those work well for our audience.

Q: How do you determine event ROI goals pre-event?

A: It's critical to have a baseline from your historical data so you can get an accurate read on your goal projections.

If you don't have historical data, you can use this approach: 1) Calculate the required opportunities influenced/sourced for the campaign to meet your quarterly/annual goals, and then multiply that by ACV to get pipeline goal; 2) Apply your lead to opportunity conversion rate to understand your goal for number of registrants.

Q: What's the most overrated "legacy" metric and what's the unsung hero metric?

A: Our hot take is that registration data is far overrated. Many people determine whether an event was a success based solely on how many people registered, which doesn't give us much actual information.

As far as unsung hero metrics, one of our North Stars is Sourced Pipeline. This is key to proving event ROI!

Q: How many poll questions would you recommend?

A: At Goldcast, we typically do one per session. This ensures our sales team knows exactly what to follow up on, based on the responses we get! However, you may choose to use more polls—it's entirely possible to have polls that won't trigger sales team follow up (for example, if you launch a fun poll to keep people engaged during the event). This makes for a lower lift for each poll.

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