This fall, The Wall Street Journal published an article called, “The New Face of Face-to-Face Meetings,” in which it was stated that more “companies are putting greater emphasis on making sure their meetings achieve quantifiable results.”
The article went on to say that one of the ways companies are looking at increasing the value of meetings is to integrate face-to-face and virtual events to better complement each other.
This only makes sense when one considers that earlier this year, Meeting Professionals International, in conjunction with the Event Marketing Institute and George P. Johnson, released the 2009 Global EventView report indicating that 31 per cent of respondents choose event marketing as the marketing discipline that provided the greatest return on investment (ROI).
This was followed by web marketing, at 20 per cent.
Eventview also stated that 52 per cent choose event marketing as the discipline that best accelerates and deepens relationships, followed by public relations (21 per cent).
The increasing need to justify the ROI for events should not be a surprise. Most of us involved in the meetings and events industry have certainly been exposed to articles and seminars that are focused on how to demonstrate the value of what we do for our companies or clients.
However, the tough economic environment has driven this need to the forefront. No one within our corporation or among our clients is going to commit valuable marketing dollars to any initiative that cannot demonstrate its contribution to the bottom line.
I have to wonder how many of us really design our events to provide our organizations with the best results (or do we satisfy our clients by doing what we “always” have)? Are we incorporating new technologies and using social media to drive new and incremental results?
Are we looking for more than just a new venue to host our event?
In these times, a fresh approach that includes setting objectives up front, measuring the results correctly, and then providing our clients (either internal or external) with the right analysis and guidance is, increasingly, required.
The Wall Street Journal article went on to describe how one financial institution used the “Event Driver Methodology” to improve a large meeting’s ROI. By measuring 11 separate components of its annual meeting with key clients, it learned that only seven of the components drove the behaviur it had wanted to achieve.
The findings certainly helped the company design more effective future meetings to increase the ROI.
Perhaps the advantage of working in these challenging times is that they are providing meeting professionals with the perfect opportunity to employ new technologies and methodologies to improve our argument to let us have a place at the decision-making table.
Posted by Les Selby, Carlson Marketing, at 3:13 PM.