23 Avr Building an « EventTech stack » for better (virtual) event ROI
More and more articles mention MarTech stack and EventTech stack. The abundant number of technologies available has created the need to help professionals to select and integrate the technologies chosen. Building a “stack” is a project that serves exactly the purpose of selecting and integrating the right technology.
The context : the MarTech stack
An MarTech stack is an infrastructure, composed of various marketing supporting technologies. Thanks to their collective functionalities they help marketing professionals to reach their objectives in lead generation and customer loyalty, as effective as possible.
Endless combinations of technologies are possible to build this infrastructure. The annually published MarTech landscape shows an ever growing number of solutions, a stunning 4,500% in 8 years’ time, with over 7000 solutions available today. The approach chosen to build a MarTech stack depends on factors like the position of marketing in an organization, its long-term strategy and the way it interacts with customers.
Typically, a MarTech stack contains technologies of the following kind:
- Collaboration : technologies that serve the marketing team and external co-workers to collaborate effectively
- Customer Data : databases and related technology to analyse these
- Content : tools to create, manage and distribute content
- Connections/Interactions : technologies that support the interactions between the organization and its prospects and customers (email, websites, events, social media)
- Contacts : tools to capture and manage contact data
In recent years event technology has found its place in this universe, with a wealth if new tools. It is not a surprise that 75% of event organizers admit that they have a hard time to find their way in this overwhelming offer*. For them, building an EventTech stack could be a way to pinpoint and succeed their selection.
The purpose of an EventTech Stack
In general events are essential for most organizations: on average 25% of marketing budgets is invested in events of all kind. There should be return on this investment, in terms of visibility, engagement of the commercial ecosystem and above all, new leads!
Often the return on event investments is disappointing by lack of qualified leads, insufficient lead follow-up or the mere impossibility to show the impact of the events (in 75% of cases**).
Integration of event technology with legacy systems for sales and marketing will remediate:
- Quantifying return on investment of all your events
- Quicker follow-up with sales activities, which have more relevance for the lead or prospect
- A better collaboration between sales and marketing teams
- An enriched database (CRM and/or Marketing Automation)
- More precise analysis of your events with better decisions as a result
Given these benefits it is not surprising that organizations who have an EventTech stack up and running perform much better than their competitors***.
Building an EventTech stack
If you want to build your own EventTech stack the following steps are recommended:
- Note how you are organizing your events
Example: with or without agency, with a centralized or virtual team
- Define your event strategy and event objectives
Example: lead generation, paid or free events, virtual or live events
- Position per step in the event organizing cycle the apps or technologies that you already use and that you want to keep using
- Select the apss or technologies that enrich and complement your stack while integrating with your legacy
- Integrate the EventTech stack with the MarTech stack.
The result of this project could look like below
You will note the presence of some solutions that are not specific to events, like Asana, and also the position of the solutions from the MarTech stack (showing perfectly where their role for events is)
An EventTech stack for virtual events will contain specific technology like:
- The virtual event platform with all its tools for content management and measurement of participant behavior
- Polling tools like Slido
This technology replaces the tech mentioned in steps 3 “Event management on-site” and 4 “Participant engagement” as these are obviously done online.
Beyond technology: integration in the sales process
For 60% of the organizations having an EventTech stack in place, measuring the quality of their leads is a priority, 53% of them trace the contribution of events to sales results ****. This shows the importance of event generated leads for the commercial process: in order to reach objectives like the number of marketing qualified leads and to constantly nurture the sales funnel, events are essential. Event applications which support this approach are highly relevant in this context.
For instance a good app to scan and qualify event leads makes all the difference here. Such an app should be integrated with CRM and Marketing Automation systems in place and ideally inject leads in real-time. Automated attribution rules can further accelerate the process of follow-up by sales staff of event leads without losing precious time.
More and more organizations demand that event leads are not only followed at the entry of the funnel but along the full sales process. The end result of this approach is that the Return on Investment of events can be measured and event budget can be justified.
An EventTech stack that runs smoothly
Building your EventTech stack means kicking off a project that deserves the involvement of experts. Certainly, some holes in competences and experiences of your marketing and IT teams can be closed with expert help. We often see help is needed for:
- Understanding of event technologies and their integration with the legacy marketing systems
- Development of processes to utilize and benefit from the EventTech stack
- Transfer of knowledge for a steep learning curve of those involved
- Understanding of data management and data security
The benefits that you reap from a smoothly running Event Tech stack in terms of Return on event Investment are such, that time, budget and effort to create an EventTech stack are absolutely worth it.
*Research 2019 by Eventsforce
** Research 2019 by Hubb and BizBash
*** Market research 2019 done by Bizzabo and Cvent, and by Harvard business Review Analytics Services – The Event Marketing Revolution, 2018
**** Harvard business Review Analytics Services – The Event Marketing Revolution, 2018