Tag: event data

Infographic: The Power of Event Data

Event data is incredibly valuable – the more you do with it, the more valuable it becomes. However, the abundant use of data collection tools like registration systems, event apps and networking tools also means our industry now is collecting more data than ever before.  The more data we collect, the more important it becomes to understand exactly what kind of data is needed and how it’s going to be used – as not doing this effectively can be a real lost opportunity.

So how are event planners using all the data they collect from events?  And what value is this data actually bringing to their organisations?  Measuring event success is the most obvious answer. Data like feedback from attendees, registration numbers, attendance rates and audience engagement during sessions are all key metrics that help prove ROI to stakeholders.  However, there are a number of other ways event data can bring real value.

Have a look at the infographic below highlighting the top four ways organisations use event data today:


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Why Onboarding is Critical When Investing in Event Tech

At a time when budgets are pinched even tighter and downsizing has become commonplace, seeing a quantifiable return on events has never been more important. And technology plays a key role here.  It allows you to collect important data around your events (registration forms, surveys, RFID) and create all sorts of reports that help measure ROI.

The problem is that the amount of data generated around an event can be overwhelming: from website traffic and social media engagement to registration and attendance.  From the quality of your attendees to their feedback and evaluation. From the revenue generated to conversion rates and sales leads. Figuring out what your event tech system should measure and how best to measure it is not as simple as one would hope.

Enter the world of onboarding.

What is Onboarding for Event Tech?

A concept originating in the US, onboarding is traditionally associated with the process of familiarising and welcoming new employees into an organisation.  Numerous studies have shown that when support levels are high, new hires often have more positive attitudes about their jobs and work harder.  When support and direction aren’t offered, it has the opposite effect: unhappy and unproductive employees who don’t make it much further than four months.

The same concept applies when you invest in a new event tech. What you get out of it (and ultimately, your event ROI) really depends on the kind of onboarding experience you have beforehand.  Onboarding in this sense means ensuring you get the right kind of guidance, skills, consultation and training that can help you get the most out of your technology.  A structured process that makes sure the system is going to collect and measure the right kind of information that allows you to meet the objectives of your event. Because without it – as with onboarding new recruits – your new technology may not deliver on its promises the way you had hoped.

Whether you’ve investing in a new event management system, an event app or any other kind of technology that allows you to capture data around your events, then onboarding is something you need to think about.

How Does Onboarding Improve Your Event’s ROI?

Before we go into what a good onboarding process looks like, we need to highlight the importance of who it is that delivers this service.  In most cases, once you decide on a new system, your event tech provider will offer you a training session on the new system.  You learn everything there is to know about each switch, button and feature. You go back and digest this information and configure it in a way that’s right for your specific event. This all sounds good but what happens when you have a sophisticated solution with a lot of functionality?You don’t want technology to create more work for you – you want it to simply processes.  You want it to save you time and help you run events that succeed.

Let’s take an example. Say you want to introduce paid-for events and need to integrate a payment gateway into your registration system. There are a number of things to consider here.  What payment gateway should you choose?  What discount rates should you apply?  How will you monitor the status of payments?  How will you measure the revenue you’re generating? Do you need this figure to be broken down by attendee type? Will you need to compare this from one event to the other?

A good onboarding team will assess these requirements and recommend the best way of configuring your system.  It will recommend on the best processes and work flows you need to put in place. It will provide you with guidance on what data needs to be captured by the system in order for you to create the ROI reports that matter. Having this support from the start can help you avoid making any changes later on, which inevitably will cost you time and money.

 The ABCs of Good Event Tech Onboarding

Industry experience is critical to a good onboarding service.  To ensure you get the most out of your investment, it helps getting advice from people who are experts in the field and have had plenty of experience in managing different types of events. They understand how events are run and the kind of challenges you face because they were once event planners too.  They can give you the right kind of advice on how best to use the system, provide insight on potential problem areas and help you and your team identify how best to measure your event ROI.

1) Determine Your Event Goals

The first part of the onboarding journey is to understand the business objectives of your events and identify key problem areas in your processes.  To do this affectively, onboarding will involve top level decision makers across your organisation (from events and marketing to the communications, IT and finance departments) to set clear business goals and determine exactly what the organisation requires from the new system.  Do you want to increase attendance with new or returning delegates?  Do you want to increase revenue by introducing paid-for events?  Do you want to cut the time spent on chasing payments?  Do you want to create new leads in your sales database?

The more stakeholders you get involved, the more likely the onboarding team can help you determine exactly what you want to achieve earlier on. If your CRM manager, for example, decides it could be a good idea for you to integrate your delegate data with your organisation’s CRM system, then you’re better off determining this at this stage.  Why? Because making these software changes further down the process can be the source of a lot of frustration and cause delays.

2) Set Up Your Event’s ROI Metrics

Once they have determined the end goals you and your organisation want to achieve from your events, the next step is figuring out what data needs to be captured, how it should be processed and what kind reports you need to produce.  Will you be sending delegate lists to hotels and caterers?  How often will you need to send those reports in the run up to your event? What kind of reports do you need about your speakers, sponsors or exhibitors?

Identifying the right reports is essential in measuring your event ROI. Is it numbers through the door? Is it session attendance or engagement? Is it money coming in? Is it the number of new registrations or how much time delegates are spending at the event? How you measure success will determine the kind of data you need to capture and the reports you need to produce.  Onboarding can help you identify what you need to measure and ensure markers are placed across the system in all the right places.

3) Map Out Your Event Processes

The next stage of onboarding involves collating all this information and putting together a process flow document, which often can be in the form of a flow diagram.  The document needs to identify what data needs to be captured at each stage of your event lifecycle and how this can vary from one event to another – or even from one type of attendee to another.

For example, with sponsors, you may have to collect information on fees and deadlines.  With exhibitors, you may need to capture data on stand sizes.  With delegates, it may be about capturing what sessions they want to attend or what kind of accommodation requirements they have.

Future proofing is also key here.  Onboarding will ensure that the process flow reflects how the system will be used in the future. For example, they can recommend configuring your system in such a way that when returning delegates are registering for your next event, their details are automatically prefilled within their registration forms.  This time-saving approach to customer service is critical for some types of events.

4) Get Advice on Best Practices

Working so closely with different types of organisations and their events allows onboarding to provide unique insight on some of the latest trends and compliance regulations in the industry.  For example, you may need to store delegate card details to secure deposits for things like transport, hotel rooms, dinners etc.  Onboarding can give advice on which payment gateways are best suited for this without making your organisation subject to PCI-DSS regulations.

They can also advise on best practices around Data Protection regulations like GDPR.  Are you using the right kind of consent boxes on your registration forms? Are you sharing detailed delegate lists with hotels and caterers or are you sharing only what is necessary?  Are you using all the information you are collecting in your registration forms? If not, then how are you storing this data?  Do you know the difference between ‘sensitive’ and ‘non-sensitive’ personal information and what kind of extra security precautions you need to be taking when storing this kind of data?

Are your events ready for GDPR? Get your FREE eBook: ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

5) Training & On-going Support

The process mapping document ensures that the solution will be set up and configured in a way that accurately reflects and measures the set objectives around the events. It also provides the basis (and agenda) for the product training that the onboarding team will conduct for all your end users.  The training session will not only focus on features and functionality, but will also teach your team how to use the system based on the process flows that were specifically mapped out for you. It makes the whole process of IT training more transparent, straightforward and tangible. It also ensures that everyone understands all the set ROI objectives and what their work needs to focus on.

Find out how Eventsforce Onboarding can recommend on best processes and workflows when using event management software – including guidance on data management, regulatory compliance and how best to achieve event objectives and goals.

How Much Personalisation Should We Do at Events?

Personalisation is seen as one of the hottest trends in the events industry as attendees increasingly expect both the communication of the event and the live experience to be tailored to them in some way.  At the same time, data capture tools like registration systems and apps are helping events collect valuable information on attendees to create more powerful and customised event experiences.  But as good as it all sounds, is personalisation something we should all be doing?  How effective is it really? And how can we get the right balance between providing value and protecting attendee privacy?

Eventsforce recently debated the topic with Carla Jones, Head of Event Operations & Client Services at Haymarket Events and Caroline Hills, Head of Digital Global Delivery at British Council at the Event Tech Live show in London. The session (available on video here) looked at what kind of tailored activities work, how effective they are in engaging attendees, as well as what impact the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on personalisation at events.

Have a look at what they had to say:

Can you please give us a quick background on the kind of events your organisations run?

Carla Jones (Haymarket): Haymarket Media Group is one of the largest media and publishing companies in the UK – we run more than 120 events each year that gather over 20,000 attendees – from award ceremonies and gala dinners through to breakfast briefings and large-scale conferences.

Caroline Hills (British Council): The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. With operations in over 100 countries, we host hundreds of events across the world, including the Going Global annual conference and the finals of the FameLab international science competition.

A recent study on the ROI of Event Personalisation found that 73% of event planners see data-driven marketing as a top priority for their events, with 96% using personalisation to tailor their attendees’ experiences. How important is personalisation for your organisation and how do you use it around your events?

Carla Jones (Haymarket): I think basic personalisation is a given now – we do things like using personal names in invites, confirmation emails and so on. We also ask specific questions for people who hold certain job titles and tailor content for them. We personalise event agendas – we look at why type of people have registered and use that information to create an agenda that we know would be of interest to them.  When we’re bringing in speakers, we talk to them about who has registered and see if we can tailor the content of their presentations to the needs of the audience.

At Haymarket, we have a single customer view and this is very important for us.   We run events as a marketing vehicle for our publishing brands – so we gather all the data we collect on an individual who engages with all our different brands and events in one place.  This means at any given time, we know if someone is a valued conference customer but maybe not a subscriber to one of our publications –  and we are able to personalise our activities accordingly.

Caroline Hills (British Council):  The majority of events we run at the British Council globally are educational in some way, from large international conferences down to small workshops that help students prep for an exam.   Personalisation in the form of multilingual event websites, registration forms and email communications (our systems currently support over 60 languages) is very important for us as it allows us to attract as many attendees as we can by offering them the ability to register in their own language.

Going Global is one of the most high-profile events we run annually – with more than eight different attendee categories each year.  So we do things like personalise the registration journey for each attendee category. We use networking tools to allow attendees to set up their own meetings prior to the event.  We also use an app to give attendees a more tailored experience of the event – they can see their personal agendas, arrange meetings with other attendees and receive material from sessions they’ve attended directly into their app.

What challenges do you face with personalisation and how do you address these challenges?

Carla Jones (Haymarket): Lack of time and resources is definitely an issue. I think the bigger issue, however, is that it’s difficult to see what kind of return you’re getting from doing personalisation – which is probably why the majority of event planners stick to basic personalisation. For example, we don’t see the value of apps for our events – personalised push notifications and fully integrated apps simply don’t offer value for money.  I also think it’s difficult finding that balance that’s going to benefit both you as an organisation and the attendee.

Caroline Hills (British Council):  We find it very difficult to measure the ROI of personalisation, even when you’re personalising down to the level of using event apps – so we use these very sparingly at a handful of conferences a year as they are expensive. We try to measure the return of some of our personalisation efforts by looking at how efficient the registration journey has been using various methods. Analytics can be very helpful to pinpoint drop off points.  For Going Global, we sent one of our User Experience colleagues to the event with a big tub of chocolate which he used to incentivise attendees to answer a small number of questions about the registration journey. That helped us a lot and we made a number of changes to the journey the following year!

Registration systems are seen by 84% of events planners as the most effective data collection tool for the purpose of personalisation. In light of that, how do you decide what personalisation data you need to collect in registration forms?  How do you get the balance right in a way that brings value to both attendees and the organisation hosting the event?

Carla Jones (Haymarket):  I think you always have to put yourself in the place of the attendee.  Remember that too much personalisation can be invasive and doesn’t necessarily bring any value to the event experience.  I attended one event recently where each time I attended a seminar, my badge was scanned and consequently was sent lots of stuff that I wasn’t interested in.  You really have to be careful not to take it too far.  Instead of that warm fuzzy feeling that shows we care about you – you’re being bombarded with info. This isn’t personalisation – it’s boxed as personalisation but it’s not.  It’s actually tailored marketing. You have to think about your end user.  What is your attendee going to get out of it?  What is the impact? If you don’t get balance right, you’re going to annoy them. Remember that people are happy to give you their information if they see value in doing so.

With our events, we agree beforehand what data we need to collect and for what purpose – so if we know we’re going to tailor content according to job titles, then this is something we take into consideration when deciding on questions in registration forms. I also think to get the balance right, you need to be aware what questions should be mandatory and what shouldn’t. Mandatory questions should be there only for the purpose of getting them to the event – anything else should not be mandatory. Also, if you ask lots of questions and make it all mandatory, then you’ll get a lot of people just filling in the forms with rubbish.  Where is your quality of data?  You don’t want data that is useless.

Caroline Hills (British Council):  Yes, I think it’s really key to ask only those questions that you need the answers for to successfully register someone and get them to your event.  Always ask yourself what you need to know and then figure out how to ask for that information in as few questions as possible. If you want to ask additional questions for the purpose of personalisation where the answers are nice to have but not essential, then yes, make them optional so attendees don’t have to answer them if they don’t want to.

It’s also key to think about how you’re asking for that information. Don’t ask for their data of birth, for example, if you only need to know if they are over 18. Don’t ask for passport numbers if you want to make sure they have a valid passport – ask if they have a valid passport instead. By doing this you’re reducing the amount of sensitive data you’re collecting to a minimum, which will make potential attendees more comfortable parting with their information. This also reduces your data protection risk level, which will become even more important when GDPR comes into force this year.

The issue of data protection is a big one when it comes to personalisation.  What impact you do you think the EU GDPR will have on personalisation efforts around events?

Carla Jones (Haymarket):  With GDPR, you won’t be able to have registration forms anymore with pages and pages asking for sensitive demographic information – there’s been a general attitude that if people are coming to an event (especially when it’s free) then take advantage and ask as much as possible.   But GDPR will flip this.  Event planners will need to think about things a lot more carefully. You’ll need to get the right kind of detailed consent to use this data. You will need to think about how you’re going to keep this data safe –  as the more data you hold, the higher the risk of breach.  So, it’s not worth collecting ‘personalisation’ data if you’re not going to end up using it. GDPR will force event planners to be a lot more careful about how much data they’re collecting from attendees and for what purpose.

Are your events ready for GDPR? Get your FREE eBook: The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance, and learn what impact Europe’s new data protection regulation will have on event marketing, data management and event technology – as well as what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

Caroline Hills (British Council):  The biggest impact of GDPR on the events industry will mostly be around consent and permissions, and the biggest challenge around this for us will be educating people about the dos and don’ts so that we stay compliant with GDPR.  Our small central team can’t audit every single event and say you can’t ask this and you can’t ask that, it’s not practical for organisations like ours. You also have the challenge of new people coming in all the time, so you have to have a continual programme of training running. We’ll probably end up having more basic registration forms to control this better globally and it might limit how much personalisation we actually do as our priority will be making sure we are compliant, rather than looking at how we can improve personalisation, as the consequences of not being compliant are potentially enormous fines.

Read: Ask the Experts – How BIG an impact will GDPR have on meetings and events?


The issue of data is a big one when it comes to personalisation.  Before even starting the process, event planners need to think about what data they’re going to collect from attendees and agree across their organisation on how this data is going to be used for the purpose of personalisation.  Attendees also need to understand why organisations are gathering their information and how it is going to bring value to their event experience.  Getting that balance right is key for successful personalisation.  In summary:

  • Decide what data you’re going to collect, why you’re collecting it and agree across your organisation on how it’s going to be used before collecting it for the purpose of personalisation
  • Don’t ask unnecessary questions – this will have a negative effect on the attendee experience
  • Make it clear to attendees that the information they provide will bring value to their experience and that you’re looking after their data and privacy – especially with the upcoming GDPR.
  • Those organisations that can personalise event experiences but show they they’re dealing with data privacy in the right way will be the ones people choose to deal with in the future.

You can watch the full video of the discussion on event personalisation between Eventsforce, The British Council and Haymarket at Event Tech Live 2017 here.

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4 Technology Trends from Experts at Europe’s Largest Event Tech Show

The annual Event Tech Live show took place in London this month, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.   As Europe’s only dedicated exhibition and conference for event professionals interested in event technology, it attracts more than 1,600 attendees and 100-plus exhibitors from the event tech industry.  The show had a generous display of new technology innovations and solutions, including a launchpad pitch competition which gave a good insight on what’s coming next. More interestingly, the conference brought together a number of experts from technology vendors to event organisers to discuss and debate the latest technology trends and issues shaping our industry today.

From GDPR, personalisation and the future of event apps to the emergence of new applications like chatbots and facial recognition technology – have a look at our top takeaways from Europe’s largest event tech show:

In case you missed it…GDPR is coming!

If there was one topic that kept popping up time and time again across most of the sessions at the show, it was the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the impact it will have on the events industry. And yet surprisingly, an audience poll conducted by a panel of experts from Glisser, SpotMe and Krowdthink revealed that MOST event planners had actually very little understanding about the new regulation – which is quite alarming, given the implications.

GDPR is coming into effect in May 2018 and will apply to ANY event collecting and processing the personal information of European attendees – regardless of location. For event planners, the new regulation presents a change in the way they decide what data needs to be collected from attendees and how that data is used for things like marketing campaigns.  It will change the way attendee data is shared with other third-party organisations like venues, sponsors and tech providers. It will also change attitudes to data security and what measures need to be in place to keep attendee data safe. And let’s not forget about the fines.  Compared to current data protection regulations, non-compliance to GDPR can lead to some very serious financial consequences – and lawsuits.

But it’s not all bad news. GDPR will bring about some big opportunities for our industry too.  In fact, one of the main take-aways from the panel was that GDPR is a big chance for event planners to advance their careers. How? By taking ownership of GDPR.  By ensuring that events are dealing with personal data in a transparent and secure way – and always in the individual’s best interest.  And by getting their event tech ready too. If you’re interested in finding out more, have a look at this free eBook ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’ which explains why the events industry has to start taking responsibility for GDPR, its impact on event marketing, data management and event technology and what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

Related Article: 5 Questions You Need to Ask Event Tech Providers About GDPR

Event Apps Vs. Chatbots

The popularity around event apps has evolved so much over the last few years – most people attending any kind of event expect an app and it seems most event planners want one too.  But are apps starting to get a bad reputation?  How effective are they really in engaging audiences? And will other emerging technologies like NFC and chatbots replace the need for event apps all together?  These questions were addressed in a very interesting discussion by panellists from Sciensio, Beeem, NoodleLive and CrowdComms exploring the future of event apps.

In the always-connected world of smartphones, social media and information-on-demand, it seems that the attention span of our attendees is getting shorter and shorter.   And this is something that event planners need to address if they want their attendees to interact more with their apps. People don’t want to waste their time browsing through irrelevant content on an app just to find out the location of their next session.  They want the technology to add value to their event experience and they want the interaction with the technology as easy as possible.  And this is where chatbots come in.  They don’t require attendees to download anything.  They apply easy text-based messaging t technology that most people are comfortable in using and more importantly, they provide that instant personalised information service that attendees are looking for at an event. Though we firmly believe that native apps still have a firm place in the events industry – perhaps we will start seeing more people move towards what chatbots can offer over the coming few years.

All the panellists agreed that pushing more personalised content on people’s smartphones will be a key trend over the coming years. Websites can already send personal push notifications on people’s phones through Google Chrome (coming soon on Safari).  Google is also driving a big push towards progressive web apps – which basically allows you to run apps on a web browser. The technology will bridge the gap between apps and websites by offering the functionality of both, with more offline capabilities, improved speed and better performance.  Watch this space.

How Important is Event Personalisation?

Personalisation was another hot topic at the event and we can understand why. More and more attendees are starting to expect both the communication of an event and the live experience to be tailored to them in some way.  At the same time, the abundant use of sophisticated data capture tools – from registration systems and apps to surveys, social media, networking and on-site tracking solutions – are helping event planners collect and analyse valuable attendee information to create more powerful and customised event experiences.   But as good as it all sounds, is it something we should all do?  And how do we decide how much personalisation we should actually do?

This was the basis of one panel discussion between Eventsforce, Haymarket Media and the British Council which unveiled the results of a new research study on event personalisation.  It seems that despite it being a growing priority for 73% of event planners, more than 50% struggle to see how effective their personalisation efforts are in engaging attendees and building brand loyalty.  The study also revealed that more than half don’t end up using all the data they collect for personalisation and another 44% find it difficult to determine how much personalisation they should actually do.

So what was the advice?   Decide what data you’re going to collect, why you’re collecting it and agree across your organisation on how it’s going to be used before collecting it for the purpose of personalisation. Don’t ask your attendees any unnecessary questions as this will have a negative effect on their event experience.  And finally, explain clearly how the information they provide will bring value to their experience and that you’re looking after their data and privacy – especially with the upcoming GDPR. Click here to watch the full session.

Event Technology – What’s Next in Innovation?

This year’s show also saw the return of the Launchpad, a dedicated area for start-ups and providers of new event technology solutions – except this year, they also ran a pitch competition where providers had to battle it out in front of a panel of judges.   There were some very interesting applications of event tech, all designed to save time and enhance the attendee’s event experience in one way or another.  The winner was a web-based solution from Zenus which uses facial recognition technology to cut waiting lines and speed up the check-in process of attendees at events. When an attendee approaches a kiosk, their profile will pop up and a scanner can print their badges on the spot. Alternatively, you can place a tablet facing the line of people and attendees will be automatically checked-in as they walk.

Another noteworthy winner was Sciensio’s Concierge Eventbot solution which offers attendees an alternative to apps through a range of text messaging services, including agendas, directions, floor plans, surveys, polls and more.  We also saw a great staffing solution from Liveforce which promises to scrap the need for Excel spreadsheets when recruiting, scheduling, booking and paying temporary staff around events.  Worth checking out.

You can watch all the pitch presentations of the ETL2017 Launchpad competition here.

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New eBook: The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance

The events industry needs to pay attention to Europe’s changing data protection laws or prepare to face the consequences.  A new eBook by Eventsforce, titled The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance, explains why the events industry has to start taking responsibility for the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), its impact on event marketing, data management and event technology and what steps event planners need to take now to get ready for the May 2018 deadline.

How ready is the events industry for GDPR?  Find out what other event planners are doing by taking part in this 2-minute survey and a chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher!

Why Is GDPR Compliance Responsibility of Event Planners?

GDPR will come into effect on 25th May 2018 and will apply to any organisation that collects and processes personal data on European citizens or residents. So, if you are hosting events in Europe or your attendees are European citizens (regardless of where your events take place), then the new regulation will apply to you.  And if you’re using some kind of event management or registration software that helps you capture and process the data around your events, then GDPR will apply to your technology providers too – even if they’re based outside the EU.

Is it a big deal?  Yes, because GDPR is going to change the way you collect and process personal data through things like registration forms and mobile apps. It’s going to impact how you use that data for marketing and personalisation. It’s also going to impact the measures you have in place to keep that data safe. And though you’ll be right in thinking that compliance is something that will be dealt with by your IT, legal, operations or marketing teams, the reality is that the responsibility for the new regulation does not stop there.  And that is because many of the things event planners do today can put their organisations under serious financial risk with GDPR:

  • Using pre-ticked consent boxes and vague opt-outs within registration forms and apps
  • Not having the proper processes and systems in place that store consent
  • Not being able to access or delete the data you hold on people – quickly, at no cost
  • Sharing delegate lists freely with venues, speakers and other attendees
  • Not paying attention to the data freelancers and temp staff have access to
  • Emailing unsecure spreadsheets & leaving unattended registration lists on-site

The consequences of these actions are huge compared to current data protection regulations, especially if the data gets into the wrong hands. And though people aren’t fully aware of their rights yet, they will be.  And once they are, the enquiries will start to come.  As will the lawsuits.  It is therefore important that event planners understand exactly what they should and shouldn’t do under GDPR – so that they can then figure out what changes they need to make around collecting and managing the personal information of people that come to their events.

eBook: The Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance

GDPR presents some big challenges to the events industry, but it also brings some big opportunities too. The ‘Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’ eBook gives a simple overview of what GDPR actually means for event planners, what changes it will bring about compared to current regulations, the rights of attendees, the risks of non-compliance and the consequences of BREXIT.

It also provides insight on how GDPR will impact event marketing, data security and event technology, as well a step-by-step guide on what event planners need to do now to meet the May 2018 deadline.  Highlights include:

Event Marketing Under GDPR – One of the major changes for event planners with regards to GDPR compliance will be the conditions of consent – this will have a profound effect on the way we currently use personal information to build mailing lists and push the marketing activities we do around events.  The eBook covers the topic through a Q&A that provides answers from experts on some of the most common questions event marketers have about GDPR.

Data Security Under GDPRData security is another issue that becomes more of a priority under GDPR.  Organisations will have to show that they’re doing their best to protect the personal information of individuals to minimise the chances of it getting into the wrong hands. The eBook exposes a number of important vulnerability areas that event planners should be putting greater attention to and what they need to do in the case of a data breach.

Event Technology Under GDPR – GDPR regulations require compliance both by the company hosting an event and by the event tech companies that process data on their behalf (ex. registration systems, mobile apps, surveys, networking tools etc.). The eBook explains why event planners dealing with non-compliant vendors can pose a big financial risk to their organisations.  It also outlines the important questions planners need to ask tech suppliers to ensure they’re fulfilling their legal obligations.

What Steps to Take to Prepare for GDPR – A simple nine-point checklist which highlights the key steps event planners need to take to prepare for GDPR, based on advice published by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Highlights include how to create awareness about the new regulation across your team, how to run a data audit to assess what needs to be done with all the personal data your systems hold on people, as well as guidance on managing consent boxes within forms.

The eBook also highlights the opportunities that GDPR brings to the events industry.  It looks at how compliance will give organisations the chance to show that they’re dealing with personal data in a transparent and secure way.  This will help them build a new level of trust with attendees and customers, which will be key in deciding which organisations people choose to deal with in the future.

To get a FREE copy of the ‘Event Planner’s Guide to GDPR Compliance’ eBook, please click here.

To learn more about Eventsforce and how it can help events with GDPR compliance, please contact one of our team at gdpr@eventsforce.com

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4 Ways Corporates Are Using Event Data

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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Why Post-Event Engagement Is a Big Deal – Part One

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A new research study from MeetingsNet has found that professional development is the main reason attendees attend events. Of course, the extent of this does really depend on the type of events you run – but generally, when you look at the factors that determine whether or not someone decides to sign up to an event, education, networking and destination always come up top.  And as event organisers, these are probably the three most common areas we consistently promote in the marketing activities we do around our events.

Industry Poll- (1)While many of us may be seasoned experts in creating engaging events that do well in fulfilling these attendee expectations, it can be hard to maintain this level of engagement once the event is done.  In fact, an industry poll from Eventsforce this month found that an overwhelming 91% of event planners find post-event engagement a challenge.

So, what can we do about this and why should it matter?  Interestingly, it goes back to education and networking.

Why Is Post-Event Engagement Important?

Suppose you’ve just had a great event and the feedback’s been good.  Your attendees are feeling inspired and ready to share the ideas they’ve learnt.  They also want to connect with the people they met at the event. So, education and networking.  These are the two main reasons attendees came to your event and they are the same two reasons people will continue to engage with you after the event.

Why?  Because learning and connecting with the right kind of people will open up new opportunities and help them become better at what they do.  From their perspective, the event is a means to an end, not an end in itself. So, let’s stop thinking about events as a stand-alone activity and instead look at how it fits into the bigger picture which is our wider audience engagement strategy.

There is an enormous opportunity to use an event as a platform to start new conversations. To continue education and to create a community of like-minded people who want the same things. This not only builds excitement and momentum around the events you’ll be hosting in the future, but it also creates a greater sense of loyalty around your brand and what it represents.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Untitled design (96)If your post-event engagement strategy is facilitating education and networking, then you need to focus on delivering value.  And value comes from determining how people engaged with your event in the first place – from the email marketing campaign you used to launch your event website, to registration, social media, mobile apps, surveys and so on. Find out how your attendees engaged with your event across all these different data points and you’ll be in a good position to figure out what will work and what won’t.

Here are some examples of the kind of questions you should be asking when determining how people engaged with your event:

  • How did they interact with the event website? Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that can help you figure out where your visitors and registrations are coming from, the journey people take through the site and the content and pages on your site that are the most/least popular. Read more about it here.
  • Breaking down attendees by type can really help you with your post-event engagement strategy and the key to this is your registration system.  What kind of information did they supply in their forms?  Are you able to use that data to segment attendees into different categories or industries?  Are they new or returning visitors?  Who were they interested in meeting with at your event?  For example, knowing that 70% of your attendees were female marketing managers from London who love networking can give you the intelligent data you need to help you personalise experiences before, during and after the event.

Sophisticated data capture tools – like the Eventsforce event management system – help event planners collect and analyse valuable information on their events and attendees. Have a look at how you can use registration systems to personalise content for attendees: ’7 Easy Ways of Using Your Registration Process to Personalise Events’.

  • How did they use the event app? Look at your app analytics to see what features attendees used and what wasn’t of interest to them. Look at the kind of content they were interested in downloading, how they used the networking tools, how they engaged with speakers during sessions, whether they were interested in meeting exhibitors or attending seminars and so on.
  • What sessions did they attend? What did they register for but were unable to attend? Which sessions were popular and which had a lot of no-shows?  This kind of information can easily be captured by your event management system and can help you determine topics, questions and speakers that resonated with people at the event.
  • How did they engage with others at the event? Proximity solutions like NFC and RFID are helping event planners and exhibitors better understand visitor footprints on the show floor to determine hot and cold spots.   It can give a good indication of what grabbed the interest of attendees, which booths were popular or whether or not they were able to visit all the booths they had originally shown interest in.
  • What feedback did they provide on surveys and polls? What did they like about your event and what didn’t meet their expectations?  Which speaker stood out for them?  Were they able to get everything they want or do they need more information? And of course, would they come again? All this information will provide you with useful insight when determining your post-event engagement activities.
  • How did they engage with your event on social media? Were there some platforms more effective than others?  What content were they sharing with their own networks? What engaged them emotionally and what was educational? Were there any negative posts and how were they dealt with?

Looking at all these different areas and learning how your attendees engaged with your event will form the basis of your post-event content strategy.

NEXT WEEK:  How to keep the conversation going – we’ll be looking at how to put together a post-event content strategy, along with 10 great ideas that will boost your long-term audience engagement.

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