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Is ROI the new CSR?


“ROI is out-trending CSR as the most mentioned acronym in 2014”

At first glance that may appear an inflammatory headline. Is he really suggesting Corporate Social Responsibility is a thing born of trend rather than substance? But hear me out… I believe all businesses talk to CSR but not all demonstrate it, and I think Return on Investment is in a similar position.

74% of corporates do not measure return on investment for their events” BMEIS Survey 2013/4

Interesting. This was a significant survey of over 600 corporate and association qualified meeting and events’ organisers (69% for associations in case you were wondering) so no small sample behind that percentage. What is interesting is that 26% of corporates think having to demonstrate ROI is saving them money… so all those who are measuring think that? Actually I think that percentage is not directly aligned to the percentage measuring in this survey. However, for all the times the question of ROI is raised my guess is most would have had the percentage measuring significantly higher than 26%.

Is it because the 74% do not consider it important? Have they just not been asked yet? Or is it because they are not sure where to start? Or do not have the methodology that will allow ROI to be demonstrated to both the Marketing Director and the Financial Director?

Elling Hamso, of the Event ROI Institute, has a video entitled “Cancel all Events” (now that is an inflammatory headline!) that you can catch on their You Tube channel. His point is not the events do not have a value so there is no point in running any, phew! His point is that if you do not know the value you are getting from the events you run then how can you tell anyone else when you are challenged? Today corporate event managers from L’Oréal, ITV and IBM discussed the ongoing conflicts with procurement at Event 360. I could not help but wonder if it was the ROI that procurement were struggling to see that led to comments about procurement not understanding events. This afternoon I joined a debate online that was led by procurement professionals asking if corporate culture could be changed to talk about demonstrating value rather than maximising savings.

We believe the methodology we use to measure ROI is based on the principle of value creation, influence participants to do something which adds value to stakeholders at the lowest possible cost.

If you are in the 74% barely nodding to ROI then The Conference Doctor would be happy to prescribe the remedy that will leave you knowing the value your events are delivering, and able to tell anyone who wants to know. Contact us for a house visit and get our completely impartial view on how your program of events is performing for you.

Now, where was I on CSR…?

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