Speed to Lead: 4 Ways to Get ROI from Your Event Data…Fast

We’ve all been there: staring at a fishbowl full of dusty business cards that require data entry, or looking guiltily at a post-event attendee list that’s been sitting on our desk for two weeks. It’s—to put it lightly—discouraging. Because when time is money, quickly getting event leads into the hands of your sales team, marketing function or sponsors is directly linked to long-term ROI. Real talk? You can’t afford not to have a speed-to-lead event data strategy. But don’t sweat it. In this piece, we’ll cover four actionable takeaways you can use to maximize the efficiency of your event’s lead-management program.

Tip 1: Get smart about event lead scanning

The glory days of scanning the event badges of every living soul, then dropping the data en masse into your post-event email campaign are long gone. Still doing it? You should stop, because in today’s GDPR-restricted world it’s like playing with matches in a straw house. Not only are you violating data-privacy regulations requiring proof that individuals have opted in to receive your messaging, you’re also likely doing your brand more harm than good by sending cookie-cutter emails.

Instead, start categorizing your leads when you scan them. Yes, it might take a little more work up front, but adding a few simple checkboxes to your lead-scanning process will allow you to tell if a prospect has shown genuine interest—or just wants a free t-shirt. Finally, always let leads know what you’ll be doing with their data, reminding them that they can opt-out at any time. It’s just good etiquette.

Tip 2: Personalize your outreach

Here’s another eye-opener: You’re not the only one reaching out to attendees after an event. So, if you want your email to stand out in their inbox, you’ll need to personalize your messaging.

Here are three best practices event teams should adopt when running an email nurture program:

Confirm attendee identities: Whenever you scan a lead, ensure the data you’ve captured matches that of the actual individual. Gathering the correct spellings and company names can make the difference between your email receiving a response or ending up in virtual limbo.

Capture attendee interests: This one’s simple: If you’re already scanning leads, just add a field that captures attendee interests as they relate to your product and services. Later, design follow-up messaging that’s tailored to those content areas, which will provide your target audience with additional value.

Gather session insights: If you’re an event producer using the Attendify event app, you can leverage the Audiences tool to evaluate session-related data, including attendee check-ins, their responses to polls, even the keywords they used in their social interactions. Post-event, your sales and marketing teams should waste no time in mapping these insights, then put them to work during attendee follow-up.

Tip 3: Score your leads to boost velocity

Quickly getting insights about qualified leads to sales and marketing teams is the holy grail of every demand generation program, and event leads are no different. But what’s the best way to expedite the process considering events are technically an offline source? Below are a few different strategies to try, depending on your tech stack.

Add a scoring model: If you’re using a badge scanner, simply add a rating scale into the mix so that your reps can better denote qualification criteria. While this involves the event marketing and sales teams agreeing on ratings definitions ahead of time, doing so means you’ll be able to carve out the best leads and place them in front of your sales team ASAP post-event. The lower-scored leads? With the session insights and attendee interests you gathered in Step 1, you can effectively place those contacts into a personalized nurture stream inside your marketing automation system.

Use session insights: If as an event manager you were able to gather and map session insights earlier using Attendify Audiences, you now can segment your attendees by score. For example, if you’re a blockchain vendor, you might assume that an attendee who went to all the blockchain-themed sessions and responded positively to those topics has a higher level of interest in your solution than someone who did not.

Integrate leads into your tech stack: CRM and marketing automation platforms—where leads go to live—are the “heart” of the partnership process between marketing and sales teams. After an event, one of two things should happen to the leads gathered there, and fast:

  • Either the lead is new and should quickly be entered into the platform with its accompanying event-related data, or
  • The lead is already a prospect in your database, and now needs to be updated with any new insights gleaned at the event. Doing so can actually increase the prospect’s existing score and speed their way through the funnel.

Tip 4: Leverage real-time integration

Nothing does more for speed-to-lead than plugging your event data directly into your marketing automation platform (for example, Marketo) and CRM system (like Salesforce). Doing so sets off real-time triggers that are created by the actions attendees took during events.

Imagine this:

A sales rep scans a lead during an event, and denotes that he wants to book a follow-up appointment with the lead before the event is over. This data point immediately triggers an automated email to the lead from the sales rep. And just five minutes after walking away from the booth, the lead receives the email with a link to the rep’s calendar.

Voila—the magic of automation! It facilitated immediate lead engagement while allowing the sales rep to continue working other opportunities. More importantly, the automation process captured the entire lead journey—from the rep denoting the contact for follow-up to the details of their final appointment. All the data was recorded directly to the lead’s record, and they now can be officially assigned to the rep and removed from other follow-up campaigns if necessary.

Not many event technologies integrate with automation and CRM platforms, and even fewer have robust analytics backends. So you’ll want to collaborate with your sales and marketing operations teams prior to making a purchasing decision to assess whether your preferred solution can stomach the needed integrations.

No matter what type of revenue-generating teams you’re working with on a regular basis—marketing, sales, vendors and partners are just a few—speed-to-lead should be a primary collaborative concern post-event. Ensuring the swift delivery of both key insights and accurate attendee data not only provides your organization with a direct line to event ROI, it also strengthens the possibility of nurturing long-term relationships with attendees long after the event is over.