7 Secrets to Measuring the ROI of Corporate Ticketing & Hospitality

Our most recent global survey of 155 corporate businesses revealed a startling fact: 91% of companies engaging in corporate hospitality don’t measure its ROI.

In today’s data-centric environment, that’s not just surprising — it’s almost negligent. With greater scrutiny from upper management and increasing budget allocations towards hospitality programs, understanding ROI is crucial.

We work with major commercial partners in sports and entertainment including Diageo, BP, Qatar Airways, Xero and NBC Universal to help them maximise the business value of their prime assets.

Here are the top seven secrets to get you on the right track.

1. Assess Leadership Scrutiny

Senior management — be it CEOs, CFOs, or FDs — is increasingly scrutinising customer entertainment budgets. Questions that you might face include:

  • “What value is all this activity generating for our business, and can you prove it?”
  • “Why are we investing in each area of our portfolio?”
  • “Should we invest more or less in certain areas, and what does the data indicate?”

Understanding the specific key concerns from leadership will guide which ROI metrics you should focus on in developing your measurement framework and establishing your data collection strategy.

2. Address challenges upfront

Calculating ROI for corporate hospitality isn’t straightforward. It’s a complex puzzle that requires a nuanced approach. Here are common challenges and how to navigate them:

  • Attribution complexity: Pinpointing ROI to a specific event or individual guest is tricky unless a deal is closed there and then. For example, a VIP guest you entertain today might only become a profitable customer years down the line.
  • Time lag in returns: The benefits of customer entertainment often manifest over an extended period, making it difficult to assess immediate ROI.
  • Data scarcity: Sometimes, businesses don’t collect enough pertinent data to even begin calculating ROI.

Capturing relevant data is essential. So you will need the correct systems in place to achieve this. A level of automated collection and likely some systems integration (connecting to Salesforce, for example) will be necessary here. With the data in place, you will need to take a long term view that captures value accrued over months or years and may included a weighted attribution model that considers multiple customer touchpoints.

By proactively addressing these challenges, you’ll set a strong foundation for more accurate and meaningful ROI measurements.

3. Agree on Key Metrics

Before you get lost in data, sit down with stakeholders to agree on key value metrics. These could range from the total lifetime value (LTV) of entertained clients to the percentage of decision-makers at an event. This alignment ensures everyone is on the same page when ROI reports come in.

4. Gauging ROI over time — a holistic approach

In the rush to demonstrate immediate ROI from specific events or individual VIP guests, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Customer entertainment is part of a larger CRM strategy that encompasses multiple touchpoints over an extended period. Here are some actionable insights to adopt a more comprehensive view:

  • Annual Usage Metrics: Make it a routine to review the annual usage rate of your ticketing and hospitality portfolio. This will give you valuable data points like:
    • “What is the annual usage rate across the portfolio?”
    • “Are there patterns of high or low usage that can inform future budgeting?”
  • Wastage Rate: Unused tickets are not just a waste of money but also a missed opportunity for relationship-building. Regularly evaluate:
    • “What’s the wastage rate?”
    • “Could unused tickets have been allocated more strategically?”
  • Customer Value Over Time: The ultimate goal is to build long-term relationships that deliver ongoing value. To do this, you should ask:
    • “What is the total annual value of the customers we’ve entertained?”
    • “How does entertainment correlate with customer retention or up-selling opportunities?”

By taking a more comprehensive view that focuses on long-term engagement and value, you’ll create a more accurate and actionable ROI measurement framework.

5. Implement Automated Reporting

In this digital age, manual reporting doesn’t cut it anymore. Automated dashboards can offer immediate insights, and answer questions like:

  • “Are we targeting optimal guests successfully?”
  • “What’s the value of customers entertained by contract?”

Automation ensures that stakeholders have real-time access to critical information, aiding quicker decision-making.

6. Focus on Long-term Trends

Short-term metrics might offer instant gratification, but they’re often not the true indicators of ROI. Concentrate on more enduring metrics like:

  • “Total lifetime value (LTV) of customers entertained per partnership or event type.”
  • “Total new business revenue following entertainment.”

Such long-term views offer a more accurate depiction of the true value derived from your corporate hospitality investments.

7. Time for change: take action

If your business falls into the staggering 91% that hasn’t been measuring ROI on corporate ticketing and hospitality, inertia is no longer an option; it’s time to act.

Measuring ROI doesn’t have to be a Herculean task if approached methodically. You essentially have two main routes: develop an in-house framework or adopt a specialist software platform. Both have their merits.

  • Develop a Framework: If you opt for the in-house route, collaborate with different departments to determine what key metrics to track. Establish data collection methods, automate as much as possible, and make sure your framework is flexible enough to evolve as your business needs change. It’s a significant investment in both time and resources, but if executed well, it can offer a tailored solution.
  • Choose a Software Platform: The alternative, and often more efficient and effective route, is to adopt a software platform designed to measure ROI. The Sponsorworks platform not only provides you with the metrics that matter but will also automate data collection and reporting, making it effortless to keep tabs on ROI.

Discuss how Sponsorworks can help measure your ROI

Interested in going beyond the numbers? Fill in out contact form below and one of the team will be in touch. Or you can book a demo to find out how our platform can automate your business’s ROI measurement framework and reporting.



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