With GDPR now in place, event planners have a fantastic opportunity to step back and think about the longer-term possibilities within their reach. EventTech Talk spoke to Arvi Virdee, a GDPR consultant and co-founder of Fileom, to find out more about the benefits of the new legislation and what it really means for the world of meetings and events.
1. Competitive Advantage
This is a sum-of-all-its-parts benefit that relies on data protection being absorbed into your organisation’s DNA. In the wake of the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica revelations, we know that privacy is a good thing! Robust data protection procedures and compliance policies will push for greater consumer confidence, which in turn will deliver all sorts of commercial advantages.
The GDPR also challenges organisations to design new, coherent and transparent methods for gathering the personal data of people coming to their events. Those that do will enjoy a competitive differentiation and reap the rewards of cleaner data, stronger engagement and a more valuable relationship with their customers. Expect to see better quality from exhibitors in future, for example, rather than just an opportunity to grab a name card or scan a delegate.
Get the EventTech Talk GDPR Special – expert advice and articles on GDPR and its impact on event marketing, data management and event technology.
2. Attendee Trust
Without trust, the competitive advantage will be non-existent. For event organisations that prepare and adapt effectively, good governance and compliance can be turned into repeat business by transparently showing attendees they can trust you. This new level of transparency, where personal data is protected and people feel more in control over how their information is used, should lead to them trusting brands more and have the confidence they need to share more information.
3. Improved Data Security
The GDPR makes “data protection by design” a legal requirement and ensures security becomes a real priority for event planners. Measures such as encryption, remote wipe and a nightly clear desk policy should all be adopted, along with many others. The renewed focus on security will reduce the risks of fines for non-compliance, brand and reputational damage and attendee churn. “Don’t just shut the door. Lock it. Then check the locks. And be mindful about who you allow to have a key,” recommended Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham in a recent speech. And definitely no more sharing of passwords to access the delegate list for your next event!
4. Effective Marketing
For event marketers, a big part of GDPR compliance involves cleansing and fine-tuning databases. However, this process should not be feared as it offers opportunities to unlock and future-proof data-driven marketing strategies: the delivery of more appropriate, personalised and timely communications to engage attendees which will result in better outcomes. There’s also the chance to design “consent experiences” that entice users to share granular preferences that firms might not normally get. This means no more sharing of a delegate list with a partner or sponsor, unless the delegate has given clear and demonstrable consent.
5. A ‘Leaner Organisation’
Preparing for the “new normal” of enhanced data protection yields many positive by-products. Stronger collaboration across business units, better decision making, purer data-driven insights, increased alignment with technology, reduced costs and enhanced business relationships to name but a few.
GDPR is here to stay – embrace it as an opportunity to make a positive change. By focusing on the rights of individuals over organisations, the new regulation will help events become a lot more responsible in the way they manage the personal information of people coming to their events. Those that can show they’re dealing with personal information in a transparent and secure way and have respect for the privacy of individuals will succeed in building new levels of trust. And this will be key in deciding which organisations people choose to deal with in the future.
Is your event technology GDPR compliant? Need help tracking and managing consent on event websites and registration forms? Eventsforce offers a comprehensive set of event management solutions, services and expertise that can help support the event planner’s journey to GDPR compliance.