When every penny counts

Expert Opinion World
When every penny counts

Dax Callner dives into the data lake:

Event people have always been challenged with justifying the cost of events to their stakeholders. Events are expensive, and they don’t usually have the reach of digital or broadcast channels. And yet events are still regarded as important because marketers intuitively understand it is about depth versus breadth – strengthening and deepening a relationship with the target audience, perhaps more powerfully than through any other channel.

But events are still under intense scrutiny – and no one has effectively ‘solved’ the event measurement challenge.

This issue has led to a group of event people getting together to launch the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition. The EMMC is a non-profit group of companies and individuals with significant event and measurement experience banding together to promote better measurement to the event world. From standardised metrics and credible tools to a benchmarking system which will help marketers compare their results against global averages, the EMMC is looking to change how events are measured and to defend the investment that brands make in them.

It’s a big mission, especially after a particularly difficult year in the event world. With many event people focusing their attention on virtual experiences, it has become clear that digital means lots of data – way more than traditional physical events have offered. In digital, just about everything a participant does or says can be tracked, producing an almost overwhelming amount of data to assess.

As physical events return, this is the moment to consider a data-oriented mindset: how can we as an industry use data more rigorously to create events that are better than ever before? How can we make events more effective for audiences and deliver greater value for the brands that put them on? To that end, the EMMC is shaping a metrics model that is focused on assessing business and attendee outcomes. This means correlating event activities with business-impact drivers – from evaluating changes in propensity to purchase, to increasing customer retention. It means assessing events through a ‘value for time’ lens from a participant standpoint. The EMMC is focusing on these types of ‘metrics that matter’ as fundamental to just about any type of event – while allowing for total flexibility in how marketers add additional metrics to their campaigns.

The EMMC benchmarking approach is in development but it is likely to feature a data sharing methodology in which members contribute anonymised, aggregated data to a database run ‘data lake’ which will be tagged to allow members to extract data most relevant for comparative purposes. For example, understanding measurement scores when it comes to B2B conferences in the tech industry, or average results for consumer-focused automotive activations. The vision is for a deep and helpful dataset – for better event planning and to contextualise measurement scores (so we know, are the results positive or negative?).

The EMMC ambition is to reshape event marketing measurement by making it simple, useful, and actionable. The group is open to suppliers, brands and individuals (with around 50 corporate and individual members as of this writing). More details can be found at www.eventmeasurement.org.


Dax Callner is founder of the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition – a non-profit member organisation whose aim is to drive effective measurement and set-in place a new standard of marketing measurement.


Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

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