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How Do Conferences Measure Up in Terms of ROI?

July 05, 20234 min read


As an ISV, it’s important to participate in events for specific ERPs. If you just integrate with one or two that’s totally doable but if you work with many it can be overwhelming. And there aren’t just ERP conferences there are others to think about like:

  • Partner conferences

  • Marketing conferences

  • Industry-specific

  • Verticals

  • User Groups

If you have an insane marketing budget and unlimited bandwidth, then this can certainly be doable, but if you don’t, like many of us, which do you choose?

Certainly, budget and bandwidth are the top considerations but there are others such as

  • Your goals

  • Was this event successful in the past

  • Does it align with your initiatives

  • Where will you get the most bang for your buck

How do conferences measure up in terms of ROI?

It REALLY comes down to what’s the true ROI because not all conferences are created equal. We’re all strapped for budgets, so it’s important to know where your money goes and if it will be worth it in the end.

What is the actual cost of attending a conference?

The cost of attending a conference can vary greatly depending on the size and location of the event, but there are a few things you should consider when figuring out how much it will cost your company to sponsor:

  • Registration/Sponsorship fee(s). What’s included in your sponsorship fee, what means most to you in regards to value - a session, prime location, number of attendees, size of booth, dedicated time in front of attendees? 

  • And don’t forget those additional expenses like - Travel, hotel, food, time away from the office. 

Does sponsoring a conference really drive revenue growth?

In the world of marketing, there are a lot of things you can do to help grow your business. But one of the most effective ways is through sponsoring conferences and events.

Sponsoring conferences gives you an opportunity to make an impression on attendees by placing your brand in front of them repeatedly throughout their day at the event. It's also a great way to build relationships with prospects and customers--and if done right, can help increase your brand awareness around town.

But you REALLY have to evaluate how many people you need to talk to get your ROI, how many conversations, scans, and the quality of leads.

Which conference(s) should I consider sponsoring as part of my marketing initiatives?

The first step in deciding which conference(s) you should consider sponsoring is to identify the events that are relevant to your target audience. 

Next, look at how many people attend each conference and how much sponsorship revenue they generate. Are there opportunities for you to partner with other sponsors? Are there ways for you to get involved in social media conversations surrounding this event?

Could you do a joint webinar or joint initiative instead and make the same impact or supplement your time at the event?

Don't forget to include ROI as part of your decision-making process

When deciding whether or not to sponsor a conference, it's important to consider your goals and what you hope to achieve. The ROI of a conference sponsorship is the increase in revenue from the conference itself. It could also be measured as an increase in brand awareness or customer loyalty, but these aren't necessarily direct results of sponsoring a conference.

Maybe you did this event last year, so you can look back and figure out the true ROI. If you haven’t done this event yet, ask other ISVs for feedback who have sponsored in the past. (That’s what we do as part of The ISV Society Monthly Mastermind Meetings)


There's no doubt that attending a conference can be a great way to connect with potential customers and build your brand. But it's important to consider all the factors before committing to sponsoring one. You need to know how much it will truly cost you (and potentially bring in), and whether or not this investment is worth making, given other marketing initiatives you have planned for the year ahead. Are there other initiatives you could do to get in front of more people for less amount of money?

A joint initiative with other ISVs can be just as effective. Sometimes investing time and money in webinars and blogs with other ISVs can do the trick. (FYI, That is what we do at The ISV Society). 

So, as you start planning out the rest of 2023 or putting your budget together for 2024, really take the time to evaluate every initiative, every conference, and everything that costs money so you can really get the most out of your marketing budget.

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Amiee Keenan

I've been working with ISVs for over 20 years doing all things marketing, partner engagement, event planning, website and blog content, building a channel, and so much more. I've worked for some amazing ISVs in a variety of industries including manufacturing and distribution, cloud hosting and sales tax, as well as procurement, and pricing.

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