Events have always been a major facet of many companies’ marketing strategy, but the data they produce hasn’t always lived up to the standards of larger digital marketing campaigns, where cost-per-click, bounce rates, and impressions are common dialogue.
Typically event marketing is viewed as an offline activity. However, there is a substantial amount of data being gathered on attendee engagement at both virtual and live events. Attendees are registering, attending keynote sessions, asking questions, sending messages, networking, visiting booths, talking to staff and more. With event technology now tracking every interaction before, during, and after the event, event teams should finally be able to provide the same level of robust data as a marketing department’s other arms. On its own, however, this data simply tells us what an attendee did at the event, with sometimes overwhelming details on how they engaged.
Now, the question is how can event organizers package the data so sales and marketing teams can action it with minimal lift? One strategy is to score your event interactions so you can quickly gauge interest and engagement, and therefore qualification. Assigning a weighted score to each event activity can create useful insights. This tactic also allows you to compare current engagement score rates against those from a previous event, or to compare scores across different activities.
Event organizers can then use this information to pinpoint the activities that are most effective at generating attendee interest. Further, marketing teams can use individual attendee engagement scores to decide who sales should prioritize for immediate follow up, and where in the marketing funnel contacts should be entered. Here’s how to do it.
The Value of Event Data
The data gathered at all stages of the event can provide powerful insights for your sales and marketing team. Your marketing team wants to know which session topics are most likely to resonate with potential customers, and how far along each contact is in the buyer’s journey so they can share the most relevant marketing materials with sales.
Image Credits: Cvent – Dialing Up Event Engagement Whitepaper
The data you gather about attendees before the event gives your sales and marketing teams information about who your attendees are. This demographic and psychographic data is particularly useful for identifying key similarities between qualified and unqualified contacts. In turn, the data gathered post-event can provide useful information about why attendees engaged, what they achieved by attending the event, and what they plan to do next.
During the event, you typically gather engagement data which provides information about what attendees did during your event. Data about which sessions were attended and which booths were visited can be a treasure trove of useful information for sales and marketing when packaged correctly. It can indicate what attendees are interested in, and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Though this data can be incredibly insightful, by itself, it’s just numbers on a screen. In order for engagement data to be meaningful, it needs to be connected to your pre- and post-event data. This segmented data then needs to be translated into insights that can be actioned by the sales and marketing teams in your business. This is where scoring comes in.
What Is Event Engagement Scoring?
Scoring your event data is a process used to assign negative or positive scores to every type of pre-, during-, and post-event interaction along the attendee journey, which then add up to an attendee’s overall qualification score (typically ranging between 0 and 100). The higher an attendee’s score is, the more qualified they are and the more they will be prioritised by sales and marketing. Depending on what makes the most sense for your business, scores can be assigned both at an individual level and at an account level.
How you attribute scores depends on which activities matter most to your organization. For example, you may want to assign higher scores to people who attend the keynote session about your latest product rollouts versus attending a generic keynote session. Look at all the data you gather for your events and discuss with sales and marketing which interactions are high value or low value.
Why Is Scoring Important to Sales and Marketing?
Scoring event data has three clear benefits which aren’t entirely exclusive to the sales and marketing teams — they also positively impact the events team. Benefits include:
1. Making it easier for sales to convert leads and fill their pipeline
2. Determining the follow-up paths for registrants
3. Providing quantifiable evidence of the marketing impact that events have
At Cvent CONNECT Virtual 2020, Cvent showed their product’s engagement scoring system in action, using it to determine the follow-up paths for registrants. The highest 10 percent of engagement scores went directly to a sales rep, while the next 50 percent were sent to sales development representatives (SDRs). The remaining 40 percent were placed into marketing nurture buckets. Scoring their data allowed them to identify the most appropriate way to follow up and fill their pipeline.
In other words, engagement scoring can go a long way to refining what it means for a lead to be “qualified.” On the one hand, it provides valuable information on the type of content that each attendee gravitates towards, and on the other, it shows just how much of that content kept their attention — and kept them coming back for more. All of these metrics can be key factors in determining who sales should follow up with first.
Scoring is also a useful way to go beyond measuring the success of your events based solely on the number of leads generated. It demonstrates the power of events to create qualified leads through engagement. By scoring your data you’re able to show how events are improving engagement with the brand and how they are supporting other business functions.
What’s the Best Way to Implement Scoring?
This may sound like a huge mountain to climb if you have nothing like it set up already, but it’s not. There are technology platforms out there that can help you get set up. Cvent is a platform which prides itself on making it easy for event professionals to report on all key metrics across their event program, including engagement scoring. Customers have access to easy-to-use templates, as well as guidance from a customer service team with expertise in designing the most effective engagement scoring systems.
Events produce a wealth of data about attendees. However, oftentimes this data goes ignored because it needs to be packaged in a way that makes it easy for sales and marketing teams to use. Scoring your event interactions is a powerful way to create insights that teams can use to determine how to follow-up, fill their pipelines, and convert leads. Using a technology platform that can automate the scoring process — and integrate with your CRM and marketing automation systems — is ultimately the ideal way to implement this strategy.