How to accelerate ROI through events

Article - Marketing
By Verena Fiebelmann|3rd November 2023

In today’s competitive landscape, senior marketing leaders are constantly seeking ways to accelerate ROI through events. And with an astonishing 90% of senior executives declaring that events are a cornerstone of their 2024 marketing strategies, it comes as no surprise that the lion’s share of budgets are reserved for it.

Interestingly, 66% of those leaders are gearing up to allocate funds to in-person event experiences only over the next 12 months. The consensus among marketers is clear: event marketing is one of the top channels for achieving strategic business objectives. And with an average conversion rate of 87% of qualified leads turning into 1:1 follow-up meetings from GDS event experiences, it is evident that events accelerate ROI.

What’s the strategic role of event experiences in accelerating ROI?

The event marketing landscape has evolved significantly, driven by technological innovations that redefine the game. Trends such as virtual reality, gamification, and customization have revolutionized audience engagement. With the help of technology, you can gain valuable insights into attendees’ preferences, priorities, and challenges, enabling the creation of more personalized and tailored experiences that forge deeper connections and deliver results.

Leveraging event experiences is no longer just about hosting events; it’s about reaching senior decision makers actively seeking solutions. However, challenges, such as limited resources, budgets, and measuring event marketing ROI, are ever-present.

That is why we have created a new guide, designed to illustrate how senior marketing leaders can harness the transformative potential of event experiences to realize their strategic growth objectives in 2024. Let’s dive in!

Ask yourself:

  • Have you evaluated your current event strategy and technology stack?
  • Are you leveraging virtual reality, AI, and/or customization?
  • Have you explored how you can integrate new tech to enhance your event experiences?
  • Have you started planning your events for 2024?

1. How to increase profitable pipeline growth

For those aiming to accelerate profitable pipeline growth and boost event ROI, event experiences offer a turbocharged solution. In a world where time-to-revenue is critical, immersive and hyper-engaging experiences become the accelerator. Senior leaders can expedite their sales pipelines, renew relationships, and reaffirm their brand’s position through events alone.

Whether opting for the efficiency and scalability of digital approaches or the networking opportunities of in-person, the end goal remains the same: pipeline growth.

Our partner, Twilio, serves as a remarkable example of the impact of event experiences, generating an astounding $11 million in attributed pipeline through a suite of GDS digital event experiences.


Image: Twilio’s immersive environment

Key actions:

  • Set clear ROI goals for your events
  • Tailor your content to address specific needs
  • Leverage tech to maximize experiences

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

2. How to increase brand awareness

If your goal is to maximize brand awareness, event experiences are a powerful strategy. They provide a unique opportunity to enhance brand exposure before, during, and after the event, allowing brands to position themselves as thought leaders. By tailoring insights to address audience challenges, these experiences capture the attention with subject matter experts, offering content customization and ultimately boosting event ROI.

Our partner, Payhawk, prioritized enhancing brand recognition by generating shareable content. This involved crafting a client advocacy video and a thought leadership panel discussion professionally designed by GDS Studio, significantly boosting their brand visibility.

Key actions:

  • Evaluate your brand strategy
  • Choose an event format that aligns with and define your objectives your brand strategy, messaging, and goals

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

3. How to position yourself as a trusted advisor

Becoming a trusted advisor in a competitive market is not easy. Your brand’s credibility is pivotal, and the quality of experiences you provide plays a central role in building trust. By prioritizing credibility, value, and experiences through strategic event investments, you can effectively position your brand as a trusted advisor.

A compelling example of achieving trusted advisor status is SecureWorks, who partnered with us to deliver informative yet engaging content. This collaboration was designed to cement their brand as a trusted advisor within the cybersecurity industry.

Key actions:

  • Invest in valuable content and impactful speakers
  • Prioritize value over promotion to build trust
  • Leverage partnerships and collaborations to enhance your brand’s reputation and commitment to industry

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

4. How to elevate conversations to senior decision makers

Elevating conversations to senior decision makers within target companies can be challenging, given their high demand, tight schedules, and cautious approach. However, event experiences delivered with precision hold remarkable influence. Crafting laser-focused experiences tailored to your target audience can expedite the sales cycle, establish trust, deliver impactful messages, and offer convenience and flexibility.

Deep Instinct illustrates a compelling story of a brand that couldn’t get in front of the right people at the right time through traditional approaches. Through a suite of events, they were able to reach their target audience and progress them further down their sales funnel.

Another partner, Rapid, recounts a success story of a brand that struggled to source and access senior executives at large enterprises with the need for an API solution. Through GDS Digital Roundtables, they achieved an impressive 80-90% conversion rate for follow-up meetings and created valuable pipeline opportunities.

Two powerful examples of how you can accelerate ROI through events.


Image: Rapid’s immersive environment

Key actions:

  • Employ data-driven audience acquisition to ensure your event experiences reach the right people at the right time
  • Understand key challenges and what’s driving change to resonate with your target audience
  • Develop content which is tailored for senior leaders to help them accelerate projects

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

5. How to win market share and net new logo

If your strategy involves winning market share and acquiring new customers, event experiences are a game-changer.

Facing challenges such as fierce competition, limited brand recognition, strong customer loyalty, and the need for innovation, event marketing provides a solution.

Event experiences offer exposure to new audiences, targeted outreach to brands, networking, lead generation, and brand visibility. They also allow you to showcase expertise, demonstrate products, and position your company as an industry leader.

Merkle’s success story provides an inspiring insight into how a company can reshape its go-to-market strategies to bolster brand awareness within specific regions, such as the DACH region. This transformation can serve as a catalyst for augmenting market share, particularly in areas where a company’s services may be less recognized compared to other parts of the market.

Key actions:

  • Run events that elevate your expertise, products, and educational content
  • Position your company as an industry leader to attract net new logo
  • Consider strategic partnerships that can support audience targeting

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

6. How to expand existing accounts

Expanding existing accounts hinges on customer satisfaction and a deep understanding of evolving needs. Event experiences act as a key tool for deepening relationships, showcasing new offerings, gathering valuable insights, and personalized engagement, ultimately contributing to account expansion and boosting event ROI.

CyberSmart offers a real-life example of how their showcase successfully engaged their channel partners and managed service providers, through a customized, branded showcase. This platform educated them on new cybersecurity regulations, product updates, and delivered thought leadership in an engaging and enjoyable manner.


Image: CyberSmart’s Digital Showcase

Key actions:

  • Use event experiences to showcase new offerings to new customers and create meaningful connections
  • Gather feedback from existing customers to deepen and develop relationships
  • Leverage insights curated within events to provide more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling

Which experience(s) do we suggest?

6 key takeaways to boost event ROI

  1. Approach event experiences strategically, aligning them with broader business objectives
  2. Embrace innovation and technology to enhance attendee experiences
  3. Focus on delivering high-quality, valuable content and thought leadership
  4. Target your event experiences effectively to reach the right senior decision makers at the right time
  5. Prioritize building deeper connections with net new logos and nurturing relationships with existing customers
  6. Continuously measure the ROI of your event experiences and adapt your strategies accordingly

In conclusion, event experiences are a powerful tool for accelerating event marketing ROI and achieving strategic business objectives. By following the key actions and takeaways outlined in this piece, you can maximize your event ROI. Remember, success in event marketing requires careful planning, execution, and continuous adaptation to your audience’s evolving needs to ultimately accelerate ROI through events.

Ready to supercharge your event marketing strategy and accelerate ROI through events?

Download our guide now and discover the key strategies to maximize your ROI. Don’t miss out – get your copy today!

Download guide

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