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Engagement Analytics Part 1

Show-to-Show: Thoughts from the Show Floor by James Morris

Digital marketing with engagement analytics is the most significant change to come to the event industry in decades.  Seriously.  Since the dawn of this industry, a trade show consists of a a multi-day feast that resembles something like the game of “Hungry-Hungry Hippos”. Many companies are at a single event and compete for leads inside of a three or four day period.  After the show goes dark, the only “next step” is to follow up on the collected leads.  That is it. That is the whole game.  From a marketing executive’s prospective, this significant amount of work results in either feast or famine.  

To top it all off, the success of these events rely on the booth staff and sales follow up to justify the significant expense.  Gone are the days that marketing executives are paying for shows because sales rep - let’s call him “Jim,” reports that the show was a success.  Sure, there were a number of leads that were uploaded into the CRM platform, and Jim is raving about the interactions he had while on the floor.  Yet, we never truly know if the show is actually successful, or if Jim just loves happens to love San Diego and, thus, justifies the shows worth.  

Enter engagement analytics and TRUE data collection.  For the first time that I can recall in my career inside of the event industry, the terms, ROI or ROE can actually be justified; with real numbers and with real data. Consider the significant advancement that the “pebble effect” of the analytics provides. No longer is the show just a few day event. Like the ripples a pebble makes in a pond, through using proper analytics, the marketing efforts continue long after the show has ended.  We can now truly measure an event! While my customers are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the planning and justification due to our engagement analytics, poor ol’ Jim may not be so thrilled to find that his San Diego show is not as good as he suggested.