Do you want to know what is event technology’s biggest benefit? Event data. Actually, it’s actionable event data. Data you can use to bring real value to your organisation. In fact, according to a new report from the Trade Show News Network, of all the different things that technology has done for event planners over the years, perhaps the most important is generating data they can act on. The report also goes on to say that what is needed now is understanding what that data means and how event organisers can use it to improve their events and attendee experiences.
The Growing Importance of Event Data with Corporates
The focus on data in the corporate events sector is bigger than it’s ever been. And like the report suggests, this trend is largely due to all the different technology systems we are now using around events – from registration systems and mobile apps to engagement tools, social media and so on. For those of you interested to know which of these tools are having the biggest impact on our industry, have a look at this infographic here: Ten Most Popular Data Collection Tools for Event Planners.
These tools are helping organisations collect and analyse data in ways that was once unimaginable. Yet the amount of data we now have in our hands can be overwhelming, to say the least. One of the most common complaints you’ll hear is that there simply is too much of it. In fact, a recent Eventsforce study found that 33% of corporate event planners felt the vast amount of data they have in their systems meant they didn’t have the time nor resources to do anything useful with it. The study also found that more than half of event planners found it difficult to consolidate their data as it was spread across so many different systems. Consequently, 72% of corporate event planners are now planning to make improvements to their data strategies. Which isn’t surprising. As the significance of events continues to grow for corporate organisations, so will the importance of managing all the data around these events.
Four Ways Corporates Are Using Data from Events
Event data is incredibly valuable. The more you make of it and the more you share it across your organisation, the more valuable it becomes. Have a look at the top four ways event data is being used by corporate organisations today, according to the findings from the ‘How Important is Your Event Data’ study:
1. Measuring Event ROI – A vast majority of 76% of corporate event planners agreed that measuring success was the number one reason they collect data from events. The source of this data varied from registrations and attendance numbers to engagement levels and revenue. Unsurprisingly, feedback from attendees, sponsors and exhibitors topped the list of metrics corporates are using for measuring event ROI. Analysing and reporting this kind of data across all the different stakeholders within their organisation helps corporate event planners figure out whether or not the event met expectations and if it was in line with the company’s overall goals and objectives.
2. Planning for Future Events – After determining whether or not an event went well, our study found that 62% of corporates are using the data to identify key lessons and takeaways to determine goals, activities and content for future events. For example: Organisers are increasingly analysing how their attendees are engaging with sessions by tracking check-in and check-out times and whether or not they used the live polling feature on the event’s mobile app. This helps them assess popular topics and speakers for their next event. In the same way, knowing that networking was the main reason people came to their last event may push them to introduce a networking tool or have meeting rooms available to facilitate conversations with like-minded attendees.
3. Building Attendee Profiles – Personalisation is also driving a more data-driven approach to the way organisations plan and run events as attendees increasingly expect both the communication and the live experience of the event to be tailored to them in some way. So, it’s no surprise that our study found that 40% of corporates are starting to use data they have on their attendees to create more powerful and targeted events. Using registration forms to capture attendees’ views and opinions can be a quick and cost-effective way of personalisation. For example, you can ask attendees what topics are of particular interest to them at your upcoming conference. You can then share this information with your partners and ensure the right kind of offer is included in the right delegate pack upon checking-in at the event. This is a lot more personalised than including offers from all your partners as you will almost certainly include things that are of no interest to them.
Looking for an easy and cost-effective way of personalising your attendee’s event experience? Have a look at this article for some quick ideas: 7 Easy Ways of Using Your Registration Process to Personalise Event Experiences.
4. Generating Leads/Sales – Almost 20% of corporate event planners said they use the data collected from events to generate leads and sales for their organisations. They know who showed up, what sessions they attended and who they engaged with – all of this data helps their sales teams stay up to date with important lead information. Some corporate organisations are taking a step further by integrating their event management systems with their internal CRM solutions so that the data is automatically updated in real-time across both systems. The integration allows sales teams to have accurate and immediate insight into who is attending their events and how often they’re engaging with the organisation. It also helps them assess what value event activities are actually brining to the business.
The study results highlight the growing importance of event data in the corporate sector as it brings them new opportunities to engage more closely with customers, prospects and partners – as well as generate new leads for their organisation. With more of a focus on data collection and analysis, it becomes even more important for these organisations to have a clear strategy around data management when it comes to events – one that outlines exactly what data needs to be collected and how it will be used. Not doing this effectively will almost certainly be a lost opportunity.
Are there any examples you’d like to share of corporate organisations using the data they collect from events? Let us know – we’d love to hear your views!
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