Companies are applying the principles of investment portfolio management to events. And it’s paying off. Big time.
It makes sense…events are substantial investments. Why wouldn’t you align them with your overall business objectives and marketing strategy? Managing your events as you would your company’s financial portfolio can help ensure this is happening. Look at it in two phases.
Phase 1: Assess and Evaluate
Your portfolio should meet your future needs and give you peace of mind. For that to happen, you first have to understand what assets you have. What is your current event landscape? Who is operating what? What is the purpose of the event?
Next, develop the lens you’ll look through to determine the success of current and future events. Decide if an event aligns with your business and marketing strategies.
10 Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are your company’s top business objectives for the short-term and long-term?
- How are you defining success for those objectives?
- What are your company’s top marketing objectives and strategies for the year?
- Does your company have three to five key marketing messages you’re trying to consistently deliver?
- What are your marketing segments, customer profiles, targeted audiences?
- In your current event portfolio, are events reaching the right audiences?
- Is the timing right for each event?
- How have your events performed in the past?
- Are events creating leads and opportunities you can leverage across your organization?
- Do your events match industry standards—can they hold their own against competitors’ events?
Now, set some baselines and benchmarks based on your answers. What data do you need to gather and analyze? Define both financial and operational metrics.
- Unique registrations
- Marketing and sales qualified leads
- Registrant conversion rate
- Attendee conversion rate
- Participant satisfaction
- Training scores
- Incremental sales
Evaluating the ongoing return on your events lets you make adjustments as needed to position yourself for success. You need to think of your event as a living, evolving thing. Therefore, evaluation is an ongoing process, not just facts and figures you deliver at the end of an event.
Phase 2: Manage and Evolve
Essentially, what we’re suggesting is a Performance-Weighting Strategy to manage your event portfolio. What does that mean? It simply means you define a set list of criteria based on corporate business and marketing objectives to weigh every event against.
Set a Stop-Loss
A stop-loss is a common term in financial portfolio management. It’s the decision to sell a security or commodity rather than suffer further losses. You should establish a stop-loss for each of your events. Evaluate your event against your established criteria. If that event is underperforming, identify ways to gain confidence in it, or reinvest in a better-performing event.
Lock in Gains
Once your events start gaining momentum and driving profit, you should adjust accordingly. By gradually raising your stop-loss levels as your events rise in value, you can lock in gains. This is how your events (and your company) continue to grow.
Stick to Your Plan
You have to set your criteria to measure event success, and stick to it. Constantly evaluate whether an event is gaining momentum and value. If not, fix it or redirect your budget. As events become more successful, it’s time to up your measurement criteria. Expect more, and make sure you get it.
Aligning your event portfolio to your business and marketing objectives will give you the clarity and governance needed to ensure every event is helping your company grow and succeed.
Today, events are a key element of any successful marketer’s strategy. Take your event success to the next level. Download this ebook to learn how to start driving stronger results with your event strategy.