December 14, 2020
By Madison Howard

What are your attendees thinking? It’s a common question for planners and marketers, and finding the answer doesn’t rely on telepathy, but on technology. Using technology to track customer touchpoints, companies can create multiple engagement scores per event that provide actionable insight into the customer journey. For marketers and planners, the engagement score ties to virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, looking to event touchpoints to show the attendee journey. The scores can provide full insight into your customers based on their event interactions. With these insights, you can prioritize leads, and messaging, and relationships that ultimately propel your business to next level.

What is engagement scoring for events?

Engagement scoring is an easily configurable scoring tool that lets you assign points manually as well as set default points created through a machine-learned model based on historical data for each potential action an attendee can take during an event using your event marketing and management technology, CRM, and marketing automation systems. These allow you to segment attendees, target customers to increase engagement, and drive your event’s ROI.

Scores can be aggregated at both the event and attendee level, allowing your team to make more informed business decisions and feed personalized content in your CRM and marketing automation systems. Your engagement score is defined by the parameters you set, based on the values that matter most to your events and attendees. It’s easily adaptable and you always have the flexibility to adjust the point values and categorize attendee actions to fit the needs of your business. This score is built from interactions at every kind of event, whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person.

How do you use engagement scoring?

Engagement scoring provides another layer of behavior and actions that make it easier for sales to convert leads and fill their pipeline by identifying what attendees are at the right stage in the buyer’s journey based on their trackable interactions. Truly, the power is in the hands of the event planner and marketer to determine what activities receive what point values and how they impact the overall engagement score. Not sure what the attendee journey is? Watch 7 Steps to Understand the Attendee Journey. 

While the engagement score may or not be new to you, it’s likely not the only scoring you have in place today. You are probably using a combination of firmographic, demographic, and behavioral data to determine an overall lead score or rank. As a best practice, you will need to add the engagement score for your events to your overall scoring model.

Another benefit of the engagement score is that you can use it to determine follow-up paths for your registrants. For example, at Cvent CONNECT Virtual we were able to model the data in Salesforce reports to determine volume for each of our paths and stay within sales capacity for follow-up. The highest 10% of engagement scores went directly to a sales rep, while the next 50% were sent to sales development representatives (SDRs). The remaining 40% were placed into marketing nurture buckets and then based on email engagement, could bubble up into a hot lead for sales.

How can engagement scoring be used across your organization?

An engagement score doesn’t just help sales, planners, and marketers. It provides a valuable metric for the entire organization. Here are just some of the ways that engagement scoring can be used across your organization:

Event planners and engagement scoring

Engagement scoring allows you to keep a pulse on your event with a timeline of activities that are happening in real-time. As you track activities, you can understand individual and overall event engagement and use that data to improve future events. Use engagement scoring to help exhibitors quantify the value and ROI that your events are providing them. And finally, customize engagement scoring based on what your internal stakeholders care about to provide relevant insights.

Marketers and the engagement scoring

Marketers will find engagement scoring most helpful in identifying what attendees to send to sales for immediate follow-up, and to identify which ones aren’t quite ready. This will allow sales to prioritize who they follow-up with and when based on the level of engagement. For those leads that are less engaged, add them to the right marketing campaigns and programs for continued nurturing.

Executives and the engagement scoring

Executives care about the big picture. They aren’t concerned about individual attendee activities, but what the overall score means for sales. Use engagement scoring to quickly pass leads to sales to accelerate sales pipeline and closed business. And for high-priority attendees, like VIPs and exhibitors, track engagement more closely and send that data to sales. Your exhibitors and sponsors want to be able to prove the value of their investment in your event. With engagement scoring, you can quantify exhibitor and sponsor ROI to continue to drive revenue from that channel. Take the event and attendee data you gathered and pass it to your system of record to maintain accurate, up-to-date data. Engagement scoring shouldn’t be limited to single events, but used as a big picture way to look at attendee engagement across your total meetings and events program.

How do you create an engagement score from event interactions?

Every interaction, from registering for your event to filling out a feedback survey, can offer insights into where an attendee is in their buying process. But, making sense of that data can be daunting. There are hundreds of touchpoints throughout an event and to decipher them, you have to have the right technology in place to help you make fast, strategic decisions.

Which attendees were most engaged? Who should your sales team follow up with first? Who’s most likely to purchase from you? Who’s likely to return to your event in the future? To answer these questions, you need to create an engagement score that qualifies attendees based on their unique set of event activities and use their scores to quickly determine the next step your team should take.

What activities make up an engagement score?

The engagement score is built from attendee activities at your event. These activities occur during the event, within sessions, during appointments, and at exhibitor booths. Activities aren’t limited to virtual events, these activities can be tracked across in-person and hybrid events too. Here’s a look at the attendee activities throughout your event that you can capture and score.

Event Activities

Activities in the event could be event registration and event check-in. On the virtual side, you would consider an event log-in or join a virtual event to be the same kind of activities. As the event progresses, more activities would include viewing the event schedule, whether in the virtual event hub or on a mobile event app and, of course, filling out and submitting the event feedback survey. 

Session Activities

Sessions bring unique activities like session registration and check-in, as well as joining a session. When attendees ask a question within a session or fill out a session feedback survey, you acquire higher engagement activities.

Appointment Activities

Appointments can impact engagement scores greatly depending on the weight you assign to these interactions. Because attendees have to invest more time into appointments, attending an appointment would have high-value and provide information on attendee interest, such as where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Exhibitor Booth Activities

When it comes to exhibitors, activities are everywhere. When an attendee views a profile or joins an exhibitor’s booth, that’s an activity. Even better, when a lead is scanned or qualified is an activity that gives planners and marketers a better understanding of intent.

Build engagement scoring into your event program

In order to run effective events, you have to think in terms of your total event program. That means looking at every event you host, whether internal or external, virtual, hybrid, or in-person, and using every datapoint at your disposal to prove ROI and drive attendees to sales. With engagement scoring, you’re able to make sense of the data gathered before, during, and after your event using event marketing and management technology and perfect the handoff between marketing and sales to close deals more quickly.

Benefits of engagement scoring

  • Gain visibility: Make sense of all your attendee data, from invitation to post-event feedback
  • Get real-time insights: Keep a pulse on your event by tracking real-time activities
  • Retain your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors: Target the right audience with the right content to enhance brand engagement to keep attendees coming back

Learn more about engagement scoring.


Madison Layman

Madison Howard

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, my passion for writing began before I could read, with a nightly verbal diary dictation transcribed by my obliging parents.

When I'm not writing, you can find me binge-watching TV shows, baking elaborate desserts, and memorizing pop culture facts.

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