Cancelling one million event tickets ...
Dealing with harsh event feedback about via email

"Inspect what you expect!" - event website traffic

Today's subject line phrase is sage advice from my go-to expert on event sponsorship, Phil Pacific.

It is also a guiding principle you should keep top of mind when working with sponsors, partners, and vendors.

In this case, we'll look at the sponsor side of things. Specifically, how some sponsors send web traffic from their site to your site.

Back in 2011, I was working with a local event. As with many client projects, I tend to dive way too deep into the data. To my embarrassment, I've spent hundreds, maybe over a thousand hours noodling in Google Analytics. For all that time invested, there are less than 10 things you really need to focus on in Analytics.

Let's look of one of those ten important items ... referring website traffic.

There were multiple sponsors and media partnerships in place for the client's event. Most of the sponsors and media partners were already sending traffic to the client's event website.

Any incoming traffic to your event website needs to be monitored! In Google Analytics, you can find this information on the "Referral Traffic" page.

According to Google Analytics, the client's event website received a total of 96,740 visitors, from December of 2010 through August 1, 2011. Of the total, 312 clicks were from the event title sponsor's web site. The sponsor's link from their website to the client's site was at no cost. It was included as an in-kind line item in the sponsorship agreement.

During that same time frame, the title sponsor's website received over 200,000 website visitors. One would think, 312 clicks on 200,000+ visitors as sinfully low! Especially for a title sponsor of an event.

After the discovery was made in Google Analytics, my client was understandably concerned.

So, I took a more in-depth look into what was going on. The biggest issue was where the sponsor placed the client's HTML website link on their webpage.

By the time the client passed along their concerns to the sponsor, and it was received by the right department, the event was over. That meant, potentially huge missed opportunities at zero cost.

The cautionary tale from above happens every year with clients! My way of monitoring and preventing a repeat is through a weekly client status call and web traffic review.

The takeaway of the day, if your event has links on partner or sponsor websites, look at the referral traffic on Google Analytics. Also, check those placements and ask, "Are they easy to find and click?"

As Phil said, "inspect what you expect!" Because you might be missing out on high-quality traffic to your event website, at zero cost.

If your event gets over 35,000 (verified) attendees, be sure to get in touch with Phil Pacific at ADC Group!

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