As the world finally opens back up (yay!), event marketing teams are being put in a unique position. While many teams may have saved on event budget in 2020 by investing mainly in virtual events with fewer overhead costs, it is now time to decide whether to go all out on events this year or stick to 'regularly scheduled programming' across the board.
Because event marketing typically requires a hefty portion of any marketing budget, the decision to sponsor, attend, or exhibit at an event often involves input from an entire team, including executives. As your event marketing team looks to get back into the event game this year, here are a few questions to ask to help determine whether you should sponsor or exhibit at a marketing event:
1. Does the event directly relate to your team goals and strategic objectives?
First and foremost, the decision to sponsor or exhibit at an event should have some strategic outcome for your team. Never make an event investment decision 'just because' – you won't have the data to back that one up on your budget sheets. Instead, build a set of qualifying questions or criteria to make sure the event aligns with your team goals.
2. What does the audience of this event look like?
Suppose your team will have a presence at an event. In that case, it is probably because you either want to engage with the audience or foster relationships with the audience that you've already established. Whether this event is in person or virtual, ask the organizers (before you commit to sponsoring or exhibiting, if possible) for an audience breakdown or profile to make sure it's right for your team.
3. Are the overhead costs in line with your ROI goals?
Now let's talk budget. It remains to be seen if events will be more costly this year for sponsors and exhibitors to make up for lost revenue in 2020, but you don't want to go overboard too early this year. So instead, stick with your event budget to ensure your ROI numbers align with your goals.
What will your team involvement need to be? Event marketers were a bit spoiled in 2020 with so many virtual events that required no travel and low lift to execute. When determining what events to sponsor or exhibit this year, make sure you know your team involvement – including travel, accommodations, workload, etc. – out of the gate so you can make an informed decision.
Optimize event marketing with Circa
Event marketing is at a pivotal crossroads, with virtual and hybrid events re-inventing how event marketers make decisions. You can optimize your event marketing strategy – whether in-person or virtual – with Circa event marketing solutions.