Events and experiential marketing often mean big budgets devoted to unfamiliar territory. Which are two very good reasons to have solid measurement in place. Here are four quick tips to help you do just that:

1. Put measurement in your budget up front.

I can’t tell you how many events and campaigns I’ve had to try to measure after the fact and with limited budgets. The results, quite frankly, suck.

To properly measure any kind of event or experiential marketing campaign, especially one designed to measure awareness or engagement, you need to establish the baseline level of awareness or engagement up front. Then you have to measure again after your event is over.

So make sure your budget includes, at the very least:

  1. Time and resources to create and field a baseline survey
  2. Time and resources to field a post-even survey, and
  3. Time to analyze the data and compare the results.

I’ve done just that for a client using Survata, and the whole thing cost just $500. So it doesn’t have to break the bank. But given what you’re investing in the event, the research needs to be proportional to the budget: at least 5% and probably 10%.

2. Build measurement into the design of your event.

Do some clever planning to make event measurement easier. If you’re giving away prizes, t-shirts, or free beer, then make sure you use the giveaway to collect emails so you can survey people after the event. If you have a booth or a kiosk, then set up a way to count visitors. Test their knowledge and then reward them for answering questions. Whatever will be your interaction(s) with people, design them in a way that allows you to record some valuable data.

3. Make sure you are measuring the real objective(s).

Too often, event management companies provide survey data with one-size-fits-all questions like “How did you like the event?” But events are seldom designed just to make people have good feelings. More typically they are intended to change minds, encourage particular behaviors (like sales or inquiries), or improve relationships. None of which are measured by the typical questions asked by people who put on events. So ignore the data that doesn’t match your objectives, and make sure you design a way to measure what you really need to know.

4. Build $$$ into your metrics.

If the purpose of the event or experiential marketing is to get more leads—or more engagement, or whatever you want more of—it isn’t enough to just count those things. You can always simply buy more leads, followers, or social shares. The question leadership will ask you is “How much did it cost to get more of leads, followers, or engagement at your event, and was it less expensive than some other way of getting them?” So build the costs into your metrics. And plan ahead to make cost effectiveness comparisons with marketing alternatives.

 

Katie Paine is the Publisher of The Measurement of Advisor and CEO of Paine Publishing. She can be reached at kdpaine@painepublishing.comFollow her on Twitter @queenofmetrics.

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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