The DNA of Data: How event marketers can effectively utilize event data for better event ROI in 2022

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the game and created a new equation for event marketers to solve with the emergence of virtual and hybrid events. To be successful, companies are forced to rethink their entire event process— from planning and execution to post-event metrics. Now the question is: How do a company’s events stand out amid the disruption and still generate ROI?

According to a recent survey, 90% of event professionals plan to use a digital event strategy even as in-person marketing events come back fully. But, with multiple types of events on the table, how will marketers know how to best balance the mix or determine which methods deliver the greatest returns? What’s clear, is that event marketers will need more advanced insights to get the best ROI on events going forward.

Before 2020, virtual events were common but typically scaled down to webinars and pre-recorded panel interviews. Fast forward to the socially distanced world of 2021, and the only logical pivot for event marketers during disruption was shifting to full-scale virtual events, but with more advanced technology to create more immersive and engaging virtual conferences and sales events. Now, as marketers look ahead to 2022, the equation is going to change once again as they determine the best blend for their organization.

With that in mind, one of the first things any event marketer should do when executing and building out an event strategy going into 2022 is to leverage a free tool like Event Intel to gather insights regarding where customers and competitors will be investing.  This visibility is a great place to start and allows marketers to set their event compass based on real-time event attendance information in line with their market.

Once marketers understand where their clients and competitors will be, they then need tangible event data to analyze in relation to their sales and marketing goals, otherwise, they are guessing at ROI. If marketers are proactive by leveraging a platform designed to measure ROI from the beginning, they can begin to systematically evaluate the initiatives with the best outcomes—and course-correct early.

Define the KPIs First

Before the initial planning of an event's logistics, marketers first need to determine their goals and KPIs for each type of event they seek to hold. Once the focus is nailed down, and the event format is selected, event marketers need to work to ensure that the event’s objectives and execution are aligned with their goals to reach ROI.


Examples include determining:

  • How many leads the does an event need to generate to succeed in line with the marketing plan?
  • What is the number of upsells that align with sales objectives?
  • What numbers does the program need at top of the funnel to have the right outcome at the bottom of the funnel?


Once those objectives have been determined, it’s time to ensure the event data can be both gathered and then measured. For example, with new event marketing platforms, marketers can integrate a badge scanner at a conference with the company's CRM platform, capture all event check-ins, or utilize an integrated virtual event meeting solution that measures event engagement in real-time.


Leveraging a platform that effectively tracks and integrates data into existing CRMs, pipeline scoring, and marketing automation systems seamlessly – without manual data entry—is freeing. It enables event and field marketers to be more engaged throughout an event and frees up time to focus on other tasks, like having conversations with leads, running the event, or executing the event behind the scenes without data falling into the cracks.


Marketers need to ensure their teams, and everyone involved in the event’s execution and data tracking understand what data needs to be captured. This can be done by sharing event KPIs and creating customizable event briefs that automatically collect and store event information. The platform should fully integrate with the team’s event marketing initiatives and comprehensive marketing strategies, no matter what type of event data is being collected. The event data platform should also easily integrate into marketers’ existing tech stack for platforms like Salesforce, Slack, and Okta—effortlessly connecting the event marketing channels to platforms used for sales pipeline development.


Analyzing the Data

The equation for deciphering an event's ROI requires defining KPIs based on targeted pipeline momentum and sales conversions. Having access to all the collected data allows field and event marketers to draw smarter conclusions and enhance decision-making on the impact of future events.

For example, if 48% of data collected from registrations were secured through email and 18% through social media, expanding the email database may be more efficient than throwing more dollars and effort toward social strategies.


Event and field marketers have lacked a holistic view to be able to evaluate tracked leads from check-ins, sales onsite, social media activity, survey results, and impressions to decipher its impact—and ultimately what is working and what is less efficient. Coming out of a period of radical shifts in event marketing, it’s more important than ever to try to understand and optimize outcomes. No one truly understands the ripple effect the pandemic will have on the makeup of events for years to come. Through a mix of defined KPIs, strategy, technology, and highlighting the importance of gathering and aggregating event data, marketers can have the right tools they need to maximize event experiences and drive the most productive strategies forward.