Most marketers realize the value of interacting with customers both online and offline, but measuring ROI from those offline interactions (and justifying budgets) has been notoriously challenging. More and more companies are finding success, and showing how their offline marketing is translating into profit.

So, just how are they doing it?

New research from Harvard Business Review surveyed more than 700 enterprise executivesall from companies with at least 30 percent annual revenue growthto explore how they’re measuring offline marketing success, specifically via events.

The key trends and best practices are worth noting.

The 3 most popular types of events companies are investing in are:

  • Conferences & Seminars
  • Product Trainings
  • Business / Channel Partner events

The 3 most popular metrics they’re tracking:

  • Number of Attendees
  • Number of Qualified Sales Leads
  • Brand Awareness (before & after event)

B2B organizations are investing slightly more aggressively in event marketing than B2C organizations, with 54% of B2B companies saying they derive more value from events than other marketing channels.

With the right type of event, and the right metrics in place, the simple tips below can help you get more value out of your event investments today and in the future.

Take a look:

Integrate Event Technology into Your Company’s Information Systems — By making event data and intelligence accessible across departments, and using software that tightly links with your CRM system, you can connect the crucial data needed for measuring end-to-end ROI on events, while taking real-time action with customers after everybody goes home.

Use Stage-Appropriate Metrics — Since different types of events are used at different stages of the sales funnel, it’s important to measure the right things at the right time. Examples include:

  • Lead generation metrics for sponsorships and partner events
  • Pipeline acceleration and revenue metrics for VIP or Executive events  
  • Customer renewal and growth metrics for user conferences
  • Sales increase metrics for in-store events

Align Event Metrics with Company KPIs — By forecasting event success more accurately, you can better connect results to more strategic metrics like revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Some common KPIs event marketers are using today include:

  • Attendance Quality (ie: C-level or decision-makers)
  • Demand Generation (ie: Net-new leads generated, Demos/meetings held)
  • Funnel Influence (ie: pipeline generated)
  • Customer Performance (NPS of attendees)
  • Spend Efficiency (cost per contact or lead)
  • Brand value (the impact an event has on your brand perception)
  • Opportunity in the room (the potential value of all open opportunities in attendance)

The bottom line?

If you’re going to invest marketing dollars into events, take the time to set up the right goals and tools to accurately measure your ROI. The ideas above are some great examples of moving beyond anecdotal reporting, and taking advantage of the next generation of event technology to capture rich new datasets to better measure your success — and deliver a better experience to your customers.