B2B Lead Gen: Does your event feedback/evaluation match up with your event purpose?

Ok, so you’re going to invest significantly in hosting a corporate event.   There are some very basic questions that you should be asking yourself;

  • What is the purpose of your event or event series?
  • How will you determine if it was a good one or bad one?
  • What are your goals for the event?

These are simple questions that we ask our customers when working with them on customizing tools to measure their performance. Getting customers to describe the purpose of their meeting is usually a natural response.  We are launching “New Products”, “New Branding” etc. Finding an answer to the question “How will you determine if you had a good or bad event?” takes a bit more thinking, especially if their event goals are nebulas or undefined.  I know what you are thinking… How could you plan an event without knowing the goals?   Let me explain… I am a big proponent of surveying to gauge event performance during and after the event.   Asking questions like “Did you like the venue?”, “Rate your satisfaction with the keynote” are helpful in future event planning.  But you can't stop there.  You have to align your feedback with questions that are relevant to the attendee and focused on gauging performance against your event goals.  Many companies miss the target here.  For B2B lead generation events,  “goals” in this context, align with creating new leads and opportunites for new business and upgrades to existing business.   Here is an example of a survey that misses its target. This is a post event survey for a one day B2B lead generation event.  This is a very smart high tech company producing an event with the primary purpose being generating renewed interest in their products and services. How satisfied are you with: The quality of the overall event? Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied The scope of the information presented? Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied The usefulness of the information? Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied The usefulness of the networking opportunities? Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied The quality of the keynote presentations: James Jones Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied Jim Smith Very Satisfied       Very Dissatisfied Usefulness of the Roundtables? Security / Data Loss Prevention Very Useful               Waste of Time Enterprise Mobile Deployment Very Useful               Waste of Time Compliance / Regulations Very Useful               Waste of Time Mobilizing Your Business: Which Apps Are In Your Plans and Why? Very Useful               Waste of Time Additional feedback? As a sales person, I find this survey to be a tad bit offending.  First, it is anonymous which means I’ll never see the data for my prospects, customers or partners.  Second, it provides information to two entities; the speakers regarding their performance and marketing regarding the experience they delivered to attendees.  Nowhere are they asking how they did with regards to their primary purpose. If the purpose of your event is to introduce new products and services to an audience of customers, prospects and partners with the goal of driving sales post event perhaps you might ask something like this: Would you like to speak with a solution specialist regarding one of the topics discussed in the round tables? That’s all that I wanted as a sales person.  I usually received attendance data only. I can tell you this; those that answer yes to this question have a higher propensity to become a lead, opportunity and sale.  Our best customers know this and have devised ways to deploy event technology to capture, gauge the size and track these from a closed loop perspective. How do you measure your event performance?