How to Negotiate Better Contracts with Event Marketing Agencies

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It’s a fact of business that you never go into a negotiation that you can't walk away from. The great thing about Data Driven Enterprise Event Planning (DEEP) is that you always have data on your side when it comes to negotiating contracts.

We've identified a few "danger signs" that could come up in a negotiation that is light on data and metrics.

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The Latest Shiny Object

A lot goes on during live events. There is a tendency among event marketing firms to promote the latest wearable technology or “online concierge” to help you leave an indelible impression on your attendees.

You’ve heard the pitch, “we’ll create your own version of SIRI to talk to people…” or “give people a wearable band to track their calorie counts at the show buffet…” or countless other gimmicks that can add to your event marketing tab fast.

We're not advocating that you ignore new technologies. Only that you have a way to objectively evaluate whether they are useful - with data. Want to use a wearable? Make sure you track % of total interactions with the product. Want to use an AI chatbot? Make sure you can track “session time” with users. You can only manage what you measure.

Out-Sourced “Competencies”

This next flag is like a “shiny object” but less visible in your bottom line. Event marketing firms often bake outsourced services into their proposals. Then, they charge you a hefty mark-up just for acting as an intermediary.

It is imperative to have software that keeps information on all of your partners in a central location. Doing so will allow you to track the activity of every partner relative to the others, ensuring they're always transparent with the value they provide relative to cost.

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Exotic Metrics

If you have an event marketing agency “build out” certain technologies you are running the risk of metrics that may not be commonly, or at least immediately understood. A classic example of this is “LTVC” which stands for Lifetime Value of a Customer. While this is a valuable metric to measure over time for a company that sells software as a service, it is far less valuable, if not meaningless, to the episodic nature of event marketing.

As our data—and your data—has proven over time, there certain metrics that matter for event marketing. Live events are the best for generating qualified leads, and moving prospects along the sales pipeline. You will maximize your ROI by negotiating contracts that focused on those objectives and DEEP tools will give you evidence to decide wether your partners are actually helping you.

And Now for Something Useful …

We feel the best approach to a negotiation is keeping everything focused on business outcomes. The best (and to be fair, most) event marketing agencies prefer this approach and will align their contracts with your objectives. 

The best way to do so is specifying the sort of metrics that you are interested in tracking from the outset of your relationship. That way both sides have a clear idea of what is expected, and you can ensure that partners are not taking advantage of you with gimmicks that don't provide actual value.