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Shaking Up Event ROI Measurement

Two men shaking hands outside a convention

Skift Take

Vendelux's Event ROI Index is a bold attempt to inject scientific rigor into the often-ambiguous world of measuring event return on investment. While the initiative is commendable, the question persists: can an algorithm truly capture the ROI of a handshake?

Vendelux’s newly minted Event ROI Index ranks companies on the effectiveness of their in-person event strategy and budget allocation. It looks to sort the wheat from the chaff in the B2B enterprise sphere in a daring move that tries to assess the art of relationship-building with the precision of data analytics.

The company uses its impressive dataset of over 160,000 events and 70,000 total sponsors to quantify the business value of corporate event strategies. The index considers quantitative and qualitative factors, including registration and sponsorship costs, the number of potential customers attending, attendee demographics, and an innovation score. According to Vendelux, normalization and weighting offer a balanced view of each company’s performance.

“In a complex world of enterprise buyers, where digital and in-person touchpoints all matter to closing a deal, events are truly the foundation of those relationships and of the communities these brands rely on for growth,” said Alex Reynolds, CEO and co-founder, Vendelux. “Each event a brand invests in – whether sending one salesperson or having a sponsorship with a massive booth – serves as the glue that binds together various channels’ efficacy to contribute to a lead becoming a customer.” 

Top Performers

Pecan AI emerges at the top of a ranking of 100 B2B companies, with the highest score of 7.2. This 100-person company based in Israel is taking all the right steps to maximize its investment in business events. Next on the list are Inmar (6.7), Calendly (6.6), Signifyd (5.9), InMobi (5.6), and Riskified (5.3). These top 6 are the only ones above the pass grade of 5 out of 10. Vendelux suggests that most companies have a lot of room for improvement in refining their event strategies and attaining better ROI.

“Today it’s clear that no B2B brand’s event strategy is 100 percent perfect, yet these strategies are built by teams that have been drastically underserved by technology that’s purpose-built to bring transparency and quantification to their efforts,” said Stefan Deeran, COO and co-founder, Vendelux.

E-commerce fraud protection platform Signifyd is a happy customer. “Before Vendelux, we relied on manual tracking of meetings, anecdotal feedback from event attendees, and – frankly – our best guesses as to where we needed to be based on competitive intel we could derive from conference websites to inform our event strategy,” said Mark O’Sullivan, senior event marketing manager, Signifyd. “With Vendelux, the guesswork around maximizing our event marketing budget, measuring ROI, and remaining ahead of our competition is gone. There is no wasted effort at low-value events – every event we invest in and send team members to pays off.”

Challenging the Event Marketing Status Quo

While the index paints a picture of newfound clarity in the murky waters of event ROI, skeptics will point to the enduring complexity of measuring actual business outcomes from in-person exchanges. After all, can a data model genuinely appreciate a wry smile, a firm handshake, or the serendipity of a chance meeting leading to a closed deal months later?

Vendelux isn’t shy about its ambition. It wants companies to pivot towards a future where solid data guides every event marketing decision, from the booth size to the speaker selection. The promise is one of precision, where numbers and analytics replace anecdotes and gut feelings. The index suggests that the once-esoteric process of evaluating event ROI can be demystified with enough data.