Meetings and events drive sales, and with the right understanding of data, meeting planners and departments can get recognition for their role in the selling process. Data can be used to demonstrate that events are a major factor in closing millions of dollars in sales.

It’s not just brand marketing and education that drives sales opportunities and overall revenue. By capturing the data for each touchpoint, the meeting department can build a convincing case for the role of events in any eventual sale.

Cvent Connect recently compiled steps at their annual convention that will show how your efforts are paying off for your company. These simple steps will help you show how data is integral to your company’s bottom line.

Define Your Success

For cost reduction and data measurement purposes, it is best to always define your success. It is easier to keep a customer than get a new one, so measure how much education and support your meetings provide to current customers. Track every response to your campaigns

and consider every contact at a new company to be an influencer in the buying process, even if they are not the final purchasing decision maker.

Data Collection

It is important to capture not just general registration data, but pre- and post-event surveys. Ask questions like – How did the attendees feel? What they learned vs. what they wanted to learn? Did the information help them at work? Spend time formulating your questions to encourage the most useful responses. A digital survey might be more useful for multiple if/then questions, and reward survey participants with sponsor or event swag. Survey information is only useful if you know how many attendees are at each event, how many different venues are in play, and you won’t always get in-depth information from a pen and paper survey at the end of a session.

Data Analysis

Every sales cycle has peaks and valleys that coincide with your customer’s’ internal budget, and if you don’t understand them, you won’t be able to ascribe the impact of your event appropriately. It takes time to get approval for large sales, and sometimes customers need to wait for a new fiscal year before adding major expenditures to their books. By capturing information about all your attendees, and mapping it to all your accounts, you can show the role your event played in their purchase decision.

Sales Partners

Is your sales department working with you or without you? One way to measure this is with “opportunity consistency” results. Data can also show that some teams are not taking advantage of the opportunities planners are providing them. (Example: when measuring the totals for events, one translated into $1,500 in sales while another produced $5 million. The only difference was the sales team.) Unfortunately, this can result in poorly produced events with a low return on investment. That undermines the events department as well as the whole concept of in-person meetings and events. To combat any lack of cooperation from a sales department, offer to work with them and then capture the attendee registration data yourself.