top of page

Are events used as effectively as they can be?

Updated: Jun 4

A 2020 study by Bizzabo showed that the biggest obstacle to event success was to demonstrate ROI, with more than half (54%) of respondents surveyed expressing difficulty to do so.

Why is it still so difficult for many to express ROI?

Is ROI and effectiveness the same thing?

The definition of effective is ‘successful in producing a desired or intended result’.

So, they are the same.


ROI is such a crap term though and used as a standalone measure of success is really short-sighted.

But it is important to track success.

We learn from the same study that the ability to prove success is a key factor among respondents with marketers who are able to prove ROI having increased buy-in from executives willing to increase budgets.

This is simply sustainable business practice.

And so, above all else, plan for the desired or intended result(s).

This is simply taking a strategic approach.

Start at the results(s) and work backwards.

But if it’s as simple as it sounds, why are more than half of respondents still struggling to measure the effectiveness of their events?

An event facilitates face to face, online and virtual discussions with customers, partners and consumers, helping to establish much more valuable, personal and intimate relationships with a brand in an increasingly digital world.

As many as 8 out of 10 people who participate in marketing events pass that experience on to someone else, making a brand much more accessible to its target audience.

But this opinion-based intangible nonsense, right?

And maybe that’s where the problem lies?

Perhaps some marketers are so heavily influenced to perform against tangible metrics like leads and sales (ROI) that other intangible benefits are overlooked?

Cisco famously sets KPIs for all initiatives under its four pillars of: amplify, accelerate, innovate and inspire.

Alongside strategic goals like increased demand and number of qualified leads Cisco is able to establish far wider measures under its mandate that include: strengthening partner relationships, building reputation, consolidating its position as the market leader, being first to market with innovation and creating authentic, relatable human interactions through raising brand awareness.

Whilst the tangible measures may prove the event was worth it or worth the investment, it is the less tangible measures that often have the longest-lasting impact for a business and its customers, partners and consumers.

Adopting a strategic approach firmly puts the focus on the desired or intended result.

It informs all planning and decision making throughout the entire process.

It better aligns event marketing activity with the wholesale goals of the business.

It makes events a more effective marketing channel for use.

And so, are events used as effectively as they can be?

Probably not.

Well at least half of them anyway.

You can get in touch with Dom Garner, Co-Founder and Executive Producer and sign up to attend our Small Talk webinar series at


Receive our insights straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page