Event marketing conversion rates can depend a lot on timing and location; Vendere Partners has been helping customers such as HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Intel and VmWare around event audience acquisition for the last 8 years. Within the last 3 years, we have driven attendance to well over 1,000 events (lunch & learn, seminars and webinars).
One of the most popular questions we get from our customers and their channel is, “how many attendees can I expect?” Well, there is the million dollar question. Several things are taken into consideration when building out an event.
What time of year is it? You might not want to set up an event with education industry prospects, the first week in September for example. Summer is pretty tricky as well. Do you run one in the beginning, middle or end? When are people taking vacations? The answer is, always! As a guide line, the last week of June, last 3 weeks of July and first two weeks of August are the best times for summer. I would stay away from the others.
What tier city are you holding the event? If it’s a Tier 1, then you better register more prospects and expect a lower conversion rate.
Tier 1 cities are more saturated. We have had prospects tell us that they could go to a lunch and learn every day of the week in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and surprisingly King of Prussia. We are seeing 32 to 36% conversion rates here.
Tier 2 cities aren’t as saturated but may have a strong presence around what is being sold. Economic conditions I am sure are affecting the areas as well. As in a lot of competition in the market or industries: Miami, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. Tier 2 holds a steady 37 to 46 % conversion rate.
Tier 3 cities have been less saturated. Their economies are flourishing. These are averages which most say they can accomplish in all markets but we are only seeing in Tier 3 and 4. Cities that would fall into this category are Dallas, Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, and Portland. The conversion rates typically fall between 47 to 53%.
Tier 4 cities don’t get a lot of love from event marketers: Little Rock, Madison, and College Station, TX would be great examples and have had conversion rates anywhere from 54 to 100%.
Rarely, if ever, will you run into 100% conversion at a lunch and learn event. We have seen it but it is rare. Then again, you may be providing a suite to a Yankees vs. Red Sox game. By no means does that mean that baseball games ensure 100% conversion. You would be lucky to get a 35% conversion to see the Orioles or Astros play right now, unless it’s against the Yankees or Phillies of course.
The most important questions to ask yourself are, are you driving net new customers? And what is the quality of those that do attend/convert? We have had customers with 9 attendees at a lunch and learn walk away with half a million in opportunities.
It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Photo by RWH