Category: Personalization

Personalized event registration: barriers, pitfalls, and solutions


When it comes to events, first impressions matter. As the kind of “opening act” to any occasion, registration sets the feel and tone for things to come. While personalization is now inherent throughout many elements of any given event, it’s not necessarily always easy or straightforward to include an element of personalization in your registration process. But be they delegates, potential delegates, exhibitors, or sponsors, everyone deserves the warm welcome that only personalization can offer. And you, as a planner, certainly deserve to reap the benefits of a thoughtfully personalized registration process.

Barriers and Pitfalls of Personalized Registration

There is no getting around it: personalization takes time and demands substantial effort from planners. This is especially true ahead of the event registration process, when planners need to ensure that they kick off their event by targeting the right audience with the right message. But before they can even begin to work on messaging, planners need to analyse the personal data they’ve gathered — whether this information has been collected via past events, emails, or surveys — in order to carefully and correctly segment their target audiences. With so much information to hand, it’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of segmentation and even — as Sitecore references — to in effect become paralysed by your data.

Likewise, with time and resources finite — and with so many other details to attend to in the run up to an event — it’s also understandable for a planner to perhaps not give personalized registration the attention it fully deserves. This is also a mistake; indeed, by neglecting to give considered thought to the element of personalization at the point of registration, you’ve also missed an opportunity to more fully connect with your target audience.

The Simple Solution

A sense of perspective is a powerful tool when it comes to considering the importance of personalized registration. After all, registration is not the main event, but it is a key element of almost any and every event (and certainly, of those done well). To that end — and especially when it comes to considering both the personal data you’ve gathered and your target audience — it’s worth zooming out to identify broad demographic categories within the details you have to hand. Once you’ve done this, consider the elements of registration that will resonate the most with your audience. Isolate and identify the strategies that will have both the greatest positive impact in terms of successfully opening your event along with the ones that will help serve your overall goal of engaging with those you really want to target. And here, it’s important to implement strategies that not only serve your audience, but also to choose the ones that slot seamlessly into your existing time and resources.

A final key point on personalization — and this concerns both the registration process as well as your event at-large — is that there is no single way to ‘do’ personalization. Whether you opt for segmented and personalized invites and e-mails or distinct registration paths or have dug deep to welcome delegates to your event with their favourite coffee, only you truly know the registration techniques that will resonate best with your core audience. As an event planner, your time and resources are precious, but with careful consideration and perspective, you can efficiently create the kind of welcome that benefits both your attendees — and yourself — now and in the future.



Want to learn more about how to personalize your events?

Get answers to the fundamental questions, as well as insight on the current state of personalization in the events industry from a recent research study with 150+ event planners with our eBook, ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalization’.

Eventsforce and EVENTIT partner to shape the future of the MICE Community

At a time when many industry professionals are planning their event portfolios for the year ahead, and navigating a challenging and unpredictable global event environment, Eventsforce is delighted to announce the continued partnership with EVENTIT — helping them connect, inspire, and educate event professionals across the UK and beyond.

EVENTIT is dedicated to providing event professionals with the opportunity to acquire information, ideas, education, and networking opportunities throughout the year. With a commitment to powering the future of events, Eventsforce is ideally placed to help them achieve this, offering a comprehensive suite of next-generation event management solutions for live, virtual, and hybrid experiences.

Choosing the Right Event-tech Partner

We are delighted that EVENTIT chose to extend and strengthen its partnership with Eventsforce. Having already embraced “Eventsforce Awards” to simplify the management of award evenings, making the submission and judging process simpler and quicker, EVENTIT will now rely on additional Eventsforce solutions to help them meet their organisational and event goals.

Eventsforce Registration” will allow the streamlining of the registration experience for in-person events. EVENTIT will have access to tailored experiences with personalised agendas, pricing, packages, and branded websites, as well as automation of event communications, improved agenda management, and contactless check-in using “Eventsforce Kiosk.”

EVENTIT will also benefit from Eventsforce’s latest registration and ticketing platform, “Eventsforce Groups & Ticketing”, which will allow them to promote events, sell tickets, and manage all their attendees in one place.

Positive Partnerships Driving the Events Industry Forward

Ian Webb, head of business development for Eventsforce adds, “I am incredibly proud that the partnership with EVENTIT will be continuing in 2022. As the industry continues to recover, we’re delighted to provide EVENTIT with our full range of tools, allowing them to take a flexible approach to their in-person and virtual events as they stand firmly behind the events industry.”

Judith Wilson, Director of EVENTIT said ‘Having worked with Ian and the Eventsforce team over a number of years we are delighted that they have come on board to support our full programme of events over the next 12 months. Eventsforce are continually developing their technology, keeping abreast of the growing demands of their clients but never losing sight of the need to keep things simple and intuitive for the end user and maintaining their amazing customer training and service. They really are an extension of our team!’

Eventsforce Next-Generation Platform Set to Transform Group Bookings for Events

Eventsforce Groups & Ticketing

Denver, Colorado – 29th September 2021 – Eventsforce has launched today a new ticketing and registration platform that is set to revolutionize the whole process of managing groups around events.  Built on Eventsforce’s next generation of event management solutions, the ‘Groups & Ticketing’ system is designed to help organizers sell more tickets and increase revenue from group bookings.  It also offers a unique and innovative group invitation tool that allows group bookers to secure places at events a lot more quickly.

“Groups & Ticketing is an exciting new platform as it is one of the only booking tools that allows people to buy group tickets but invite individual group members to complete their own registration details,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.  “This means both organizers and group bookers no longer have to chase people for information before securing bookings for an event.  It speeds up the sales cycle, it’s efficient and gives individuals in the group a lot more flexibility to personalize their own event experiences.”

Group bookers have the choice of providing registration details themselves or use the solution’s unique group invitation tool that allows group members to complete their own registration information. They can also assign group members to sessions (individually or in bulk), amend registrations, track incomplete forms and buy additional ticketed items too.

With group attendees, the platform gives them a lot more choice on how they want to experience an event. They can register their details and choose their own sessions and activities without sharing any personal information with the group.  They can manage their own opt-ins and preferences which helps with data protection compliance like the EU GDPR. The system also makes it easy for them to edit details, make changes to schedules and check-in to events without the constraints of the group.

“The platform has been developed to solve some of the biggest problems organizers typically deal with when managing groups for events like conferences, festivals, workshops and community gatherings. It cuts out a big chunk of admin work and helps them secure money from group bookings a lot more quickly. More importantly, it gives them the tools to manage group experiences just as easily as individual attendees,” continued Sirius.

The new platform also supports organizers that need a fast and modern registration solution for non-group events – whether virtual, in-person or hybrid.  A simple set-up process ensures organizers can launch their events quickly, while a WordPress widget allows them to set up ticketing on multiple websites. The platform also offers a lot of flexibility in creating packages and ticketed items for virtual and in-person attendees – you can change prices, offers and availability in minutes to increase conversions and meet demand.

Organizers can also benefit from improved data management. All registration data is automatically synched with Eventsforce mobile apps, check-in tools and the VCD virtual event platform, making it easier to manage all virtual and in-person attendee data under one roof.  All event data can also be easily connected to existing tech stacks via Zapier, along with hundreds of other popular apps on the platform.

Join our exclusive launch webinar next week and see ‘Eventsforce Groups & Ticketing’ in action – sign up today!


4 Ways Tech Can Help Personalize the Virtual Event Experience

how tech can personalise the virtual event experience
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Personalizing the event experience has always been a big challenge for planners. In fact, research from Eventsforce shows 73% of organisers see personalization as a big deal for their events.  And it’s not surprisingly really. Personalization helps engagement and improves both experience and satisfaction measures, which means better ROI.

But with virtual events, personalization takes even more importance – especially as screen fatigue kicks and organisers try to find more creative ways of engaging people online.  And this is exactly where technology can help.

The challenge is, however, that with all sorts of tech available, it can be hard to understand how it can be used in a way where personalization can successfully add value to the attendee experience.  To address this, we have taken four key areas where tech can make the impact you want.

1) Get Noticed

You need your event to stand out. That has always been the case – but when the only events on offer are virtual, you face even stronger competition. This is where tech that enables you to personalize invites and web landing pages should be top of your list of requirements.

Personalizing invitations can be simple and effective. By tailoring them as much as possible to the invitee, you can significantly increase their chances of attending. Virtual event platforms like Eventsforce VCD have integrated tools that can help you target people based on their behavioural personas and demographics.

For example, if you know that your attendee list is made up of corporates and academics, then you can create two separate versions of the same invitation with each one outlining the sessions that would be of interest to them. Both audiences have an interest in attending your event, but they have quite different goals and different ideas on why your event matters to them.

You should also aim to tailor your event web pages for different audiences. For example, a landing page with information on peer reviews, abstracts and referenced publications may be more interesting for your academics.  Whereas your corporate audience will be much more interested in seeing commercial ideas that the event aims to address.

Using tech in such a way as outlined will help to get your event noticed.

2) Drive Attendance

When attendees decide they want to come to your event, make it simple for them to sign up. Registration is such a critical element of the user journey. Get this wrong and attendees will not come.

Again, many event management solutions can help you personalize the registration journey by creating different registration paths for each type of attendee.  Before starting the registration process, segment your audiences, whether that be a delegate, sponsor, exhibitor, speaker, industry sector etc. You can then set up your registration pages so that each attendee is led through a set of registration questions that are specific to their selected category.  For example, exhibitors may get asked about web-banner sizes, whereas journalists may be asked to upload accreditation documents.

Using the tech, make sure that your attendee can get to the place that they need to be, in the simplest way possible, without added distractions. Make sure event registration is as streamlined as possible.

On-Demand Webinar: Virtual Events – How to get the registration experience right!

3) Connect People

With many people unable to go out and meet, it’s imperative that your virtual event offers as much as connection as possible. Attendees want to connect with each other and share ideas, insights and experiences. Suppliers want and need to meet buyers.

The good news is that event technology helps you connect the right people and all you need to do is decide what you want to offer. Let’s take a couple of examples to illustrate this.

By integrating networking tools as part of your registration process or virtual event platform, attendees will be able to see who is attending that may be of interest to them and set up meetings with people they want to meet. These tools are quite good in that they don’t allow attendees to schedule meetings that clash with other meetings or sessions that they will be attending at the event.

You can use smart matchmaking tools to help exhibitors, sponsors and attendees make the right connections.  For example, with Eventsforce VCD, virtual exhibitors can find attendees that have shown a specific interest in their offering.  They can then set up meetings and deliver more targeted messages and campaigns.  And if you are concerned about analytics, don’t be. There is much data that you can dig into and learn from.

4) Maximise Your Content

Attendees are often attracted to virtual events because of the content on offer. And because there is much competition as we mentioned earlier, it’s critical that you maximise the content you deliver.

Again, technology can help with this. Even before you decide which sessions to hold you could be mining the data to establish which subjects and hot topics people are really interested in. And in what format? Do they want short presentations, do they want lots of break-out sessions, do they want panel sessions? Find out what they want and you will be well on your way to a great event.

But, once you have established what the event content will be, don’t forget to promote it especially during your event.

Push notifications or in-platform broadcast messages are a great way of doing just that. By identifying your attendees’ interests and needs around speakers and sessions, your system can make it easier for you to personalize the notifications you send through your virtual event platform. For example, when an attendee registers for a session, the system can send them a reminder 30 minutes before starting.

Using tech to make it easy for attendees to personalize their schedules at events is also a good idea. The Eventsforce VCD platform, for example, gives automatic recommendations – it also has advanced filtering options that allow people to view and choose sessions that focus on their chosen themes and interests.

 Conclusion – Pay Close Attention to Feedback

Personalizing the virtual event experience is an effective way of engaging attendees. Having done that with the multitude of tech tools at your disposal you should then listen to the feedback. What does it tell you that you can improve for the next edition of your event?

There is so much value in feedback. Review it from all sides. Does the tech add or detract from the user experience? Is there something obvious to you, that is not seen by attendees which could produce better ROI? How are the personalization journeys of the different stakeholders?

Pay close attention to feedback to improve. All attendees expect more from your virtual event production and using tech for personalization is one of the quickest ways of addressing this.

Looking for practical ideas on how to use personalization around your events?  Get your copy of the ‘Event Planner’s Guide to Personalization’ for advice and tips!


8 Event Marketing Ideas to Boost Attendance

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Creating buzz and excitement around your events is so important as it makes it easier to convince people why they should attend in the first place. As well as encouraging them to sign up, successful event promotion can also drive people to share their experiences more and come back year after year.

Whether you’re looking for some fresh new ideas or want to go back to basics, have a look at our list of popular marketing activities that engage people and convince them to come to an event:

1) Create Exclusive Content      

Content is so important – specifically exclusive content that is not available anywhere else. The content can take any form: such as blogs, podcasts or videos. But the key point is that this is new content. It is not recycled content.

You can create interest around your event by developing sneak previews of what will be on offer. For example, let’s say that your key speaker for a medical event is an expert in Toxicology. She has written many books on the subject. Her previous talks are available on YouTube and she has presented several webinars. Many potential attendees may already be aware of her work.

What you need to do is to offer people a sneak preview of what she will talk about that is new. Promoting the fact that she will be a speaker will generate some interest but with exclusive content you can really ignite potential attendees and increase their anticipation.

Related reading: 3 Content Marketing Tips for Event Planners

2) Harness the Power of Video    

Video is a great tool for marketing events. It gives your attendees the opportunity to learn more about your event and does a good job of conveying the personality of your organisation. It also is a lot more engaging than text.  Forrester Research claims that a minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words.  That is the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages!

Mini videos can be extremely useful to aid your marketing efforts. You could create a number of mini 30-second video clips and release them as part of your campaign over a period of time, building interest in your event.

As well as previewing what is to come, you could use testimonials as part of your awareness raising. You could also get a few people to talk about why they are coming to your event.

The opportunity to use videos and tell the story of your event before it’s happened is enormous as long as you keep in mind the benefit to your viewer of attending.  For more ideas, check out this article that lists a number of ways you can use video when promoting events.

3) Use Partners and PR

Events as you know, are not produced in a bubble. There can be any number of partners involved helping to bring your event to life. Just think of possible partners that could help with broadening the reach of your marketing. Partner up with the host venue, host destination, sponsors, an association(s) or speakers and discover ways in which you can work together.

For example, when working with a speaker you could ask them to produce a blog post or a mini video clip for you. It doesn’t have to be about the content they will deliver at your event. It could be on a separate subject, but it will provide potential attendees with a glimpse of the speaker.

You could provide partners with some pre-written social media messages, including registration pages and maybe a discount code to share with their followers or members. Promote your partners and tag them on social media channels.

If you can also obtain coverage in their newsletters or LinkedIn group(s) that would also help.  It’s all about spreading the message far and wide. Don’t forget to use PR where you can. You or your partner(s) may have an agency that can help with media interviews, show previews and by-lined articles.

4) Engage Influencers and Use Word of Mouth  

People are basically social. We rely on our circle of family and friends for support and assistance. We tend to trust people we admire and often model our behaviour after theirs. This fact along with the explosion of the internet and social media has led to the rise of digital influencers and influencer marketing.

Traditionally, an influencer could be anyone from an A-list celebrity to a subject matter expert. The only criterion being that they must have a substantial following on some type of online platform.

But, let’s change our thinking from seeing the ideal influencer as someone who has an impressive number of followers, to someone who might have a smaller but more relevant following. You can use micro influencers who are immersed with your target audience. They are extremely valuable and often have highly engaged followers.

As well as using influencers, you can use of word of mouth as another technique to boost attendance. Encourage your attendees and interested parties (stakeholders) to talk about the event and inspire people to come along. Word of mouth is great for getting people who are not on your email lists, in your event management system or on your social media radar.

Related reading: How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Event Marketing Activities

5) Get Your Email Marketing Right   

Email marketing is essential for promoting events. It is also one of those things that needs to be executed in the right way. For example: creating the email invitation, inviting VIPs and maximising email signatures are just three things that spring to mind.  If you get any of these wrong, you could be in trouble.

Invitations are one of the most important things to get right. They help set the tone of an event and are often one of the first opportunities to make a good impression with potential attendees. However, research has found that getting people to open that email, click through and sign up to the event is something most organisers struggle with when it comes to event invitations. Strong subject lines and simple design and layout of your email will help.

Related reading: How to Create Invites that Draw People to Your Events

If you decide to invite people as VIPs, then make sure that they are significant to your event. Some organisations send VIP invites to lots of people without filtering who really should be a VIP. Send your special invites to the people that really matter. A small number of well-considered invitations could make a big difference to the success of your event.

Email signatures are often overlooked but they provide a great way of amplifying your event. Include a call to action to drive more registrations. Change the email signature as you get closer to the event and highlight different aspects of it.

6) Make Your Social Special  

Social media is another effective way of promoting events.  But you will need a strategy, otherwise you will waste time and energy. Target the right social media channels for your audience – there is no point creating buzz in the wrong places.

You will need a variety of content to share and a posting schedule. You can reflect your events’ branding throughout the campaign by replacing generic background images with event logos and your event hashtag.

You can tag in people that are participating such as speakers, hosts, the planning team and maybe delegates that have registered (just make sure you don’t violate any GDPR rules). Have a simple hashtag for your event, one, that is easy to remember and spell. Incorrect spellings of your hashtag will not help your marketing.

If you have some budget, you may choose to buy advertising or sponsor content on social media channels. There is currently a trend to do more paid social as the organic reach of social media is reducing – especially on platforms like Twitter. Use search engine marketing platforms like Google’s AdWords where you can pay to have your event advertised at the top of a search results page.

A combination of paid and organic social media is likely to provide you with the best results.

7) Use Text Messaging

Messaging potential attendees is another way to boost attendance. Not all of your marketing messaging should be done through using only email or social media. There are other ways in which you can get your message across. Some people respond well to texts or messaging apps. Whilst others are happy to take a phone call (yes it still happens).

Then there are messaging apps that you can use. For example, WhatsApp and Slack are pretty good for building interest and community.

Whatever means of messaging you decide to use, it has to work for your potential attendees.  You will probably need to use a combination of methods as everyone has a preference on how they like to be contacted. You should be able to locate their contact preference information within your event management solution.  Systems like Eventsforce can also help you track this consent to ensure you’re always communicating with attendees in a GDPR compliant way (watch video).

8) Personalise Registration & Don’t Forget Discounts   

Though it has its own set of challenges and can vary in effectiveness from one event to another, personalisation doesn’t have to be as complicated as one might think. Most organisations today use some form of automated system to manage registrations around their events and it is good starting point for any kind of personalisation you may want to do.

You could use your event management system to personalise the registration journey for your different audiences to demonstrate how important they are. For example, having a unique registration path for your VIP guests will ensure the questions and prices offered to them aren’t visible to other attendees which will make them feel that the whole experience was ‘personalised’ for them the whole time.  You can get all sorts of similar personalisation ideas from this industry eBook – ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalisation’.

An event management system should also provide you with the flexibility of offering tiered pricing, one off sales and early booking discounts. Using discounts is one way to boost event attendance but it shouldn’t be the one that you rely on.


The ideas we’ve outlined can be mixed and matched according to the individual event. Some techniques will work better for some events than others. The important thing to remember though is to adjust as needed. Make sure you have a strategy for your event marketing campaign and understand why you are following certain actions.

In all the ideas, there is a simple common thread: You have to be clear on what you are saying and why people should come to your event. If you are not clear, it doesn’t matter how many things you do or how much money you spend, your efforts will fail.

Understand who your potential attendees are, use straightforward language, offer a clear proposition and you should see the results you want.

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7 Key Considerations When Personalising Event Experiences

In an era where people’s attention is rapidly declining, having the ability to offer people relevance is critical.  So when the right event content is offered to the right attendee at the right time, chances are they will respond positively and more likely want to repeat the experience the next time round.

Using personalisation to improve the way attendees engage with your events can have enormous benefits.  But despite 73% of organisers seeing personalisation as a key priority around their events, a new eBook, titled ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalisation has found that many also come up against a number of challenges that make it quite difficult to implement.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top considerations you need to think about when planning successful personalisation campaigns around your events:

1) Align Personalisation to Event Objectives

Personalisation is not a tactical activity – but a strategic one.  All your events have a business objective and personalisation is a tool to help you achieve them. Get started by taking a step back and consider your event’s key business goals.  Is it to engage with customers?  Boost sales?  Launch a product?  Or grow a community? For example, if your objective is to increase sales, is there a particular audience segment that is underperforming and could be significantly impacted by a personalised event experience? Considering which business aspects your personalisation efforts can have an impact on can help you focus on the right areas.  It will also help you get the management buy-in you need to reinvest funds back into the programmes as you start seeing returns.

2) Implement a Data Strategy for Personalisation

Your ability to personalise is only as good as your data. After all, without data, how will you know who your returning attendees are, what messaging resonates with them or what convinces new people to visit your event website? Having a clear data strategy around your personalisation efforts is therefore critical. Without one, you’ll end up with too much data. Or not enough of the right kind of data.  Worse, you’ll risk upsetting your attendees by asking them for too much information with little gain in return.

Start the process by identifying what data you already hold on attendees, how you’re going to segregate audiences and what information you want to collect from them. Make sure the right data sources are in place to identify and prioritise the best areas for personalisation.  Is it email communications?  Is it the registration experience?  Or is it networking? It is also important to pull together the right team members and stakeholders in this process. The earlier you do this, the more effective your personalisation efforts will be.

Read: 4 Benefits of Personalising Attendee Experiences

3) Clean Up Your Attendee Data

Our research found nearly 50% of event planners say dealing with inaccurate data is one of the main challenges they have around personalisation.  In fact, using outdated or irrelevant information to target attendees cancels out any benefits of personalisation – even creating an overall negative experience as a result.  You need to have processes in place that allows you to continuously update your attendee data.  If your returning attendees, for example, are entering the same registration information at each event or correcting the data you hold on them time and time again, you are only going to frustrate them.  Using a registration system that automatically updates your central database can help you improve the quality of your event data over time.

4) Consider Data Integration

Events deal with so many different systems to capture and manage information around their attendees – from their event tech like registration systems and apps to back-end solutions like CRM, marketing and finance.  Pooling all this data together where systems can automatically share information can help you gain a better understanding of your attendees and their behaviour around events. Automatic data synching between systems also ensures you’re relying on the most up-to-date information.

Read: The Event Planner’s Guide to Data Integration 

Understanding how a customer has recently engaged with your organisation’s sales team, for example, can help you personalise the agenda information you send them in your event invite. Having this ‘single view’ of the attendee allows you to personalise event experiences a lot more effectively.  And it’s not as complicated as you might think.  A lot of event management solutions like Eventsforce offer an open API which makes it very easy to integrate your attendee data with all the other systems you use around events.

5) Personalisation Vs Privacy – Get the Balance Right

How much personalisation should you do? How much will drive engagement?  And how much will annoy your attendees?  Getting this balance right is key. One way of doing this is to put yourself in the place of the attendee.  What kind of personalisation would YOU want?  Is it session recommendations?  App notifications? Or tools that facilitate meetings with other like-minded people? Your aim should always be to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time – not bombard them with irrelevant information.

Read: Top subject lines for your event email campaigns

It’s also important that your attendees understand why you’re gathering information from them and how it is going to bring value to their event experience.   They need to understand that by providing that data, they are starting a relationship with you based on that data.

6) Don’t Forget About GDPR

The frequency of high-profile data security breaches is shaking up people’s trust in the way organisations manage their personal information.  It has also highlighted the need for more tighter regulations around data protection, like the new EU GDPR. The legislation, which came into effect in May 2018, gives EU citizens more control over what data organisations are collecting about them and how it is protected and used. And it applies to any organisation that interacts with an EU citizen. So if you are hosting events in the US but have attendees coming from the EU, then GDPR compliance will apply to you.

Read: Infographic – Are Your Events Complying to GDPR?

GDPR does not put a stop to data collection and personalisation – it simply requires you to have a more clearly defined strategy. One that focuses less on irrelevant data, and more on gaining consent for contextually important and actionable data. This means getting clear consent from your attendees when collecting their information.  They also need to understand how their data is going to be used and what the benefits will be of sharing this data with regards to their event experience. Again, event management systems like Eventsforce have GDPR tools than make the whole process of tracking and managing consent and securing attendee data a lot easier.

Read: Event Marketing Under GDPR – Consent Vs. Legitimate Interest

7) Measure the ROI of personalisation

Research has found that 1 in 3 event planners find it difficult to measure the return of their personalisation efforts – which is an issue.  How can you justify the time and resources you spend on personalisation when you can’t quantify the results?  One strategy around this is to demonstrate what happens when you don’t have personalisation in place, versus when you do.  Create A/B test campaigns focusing on existing segment data and one or two variables (ex. personalising session recommendations in invitation emails).

It is also a much better approach to make several small personalisation tests, learn what has potential and repeat the process – rather than one big test that takes months to develop and may not have the impact you expected.  By starting small, you’ll move faster, learn more and apply those take-aways to your campaigns. Through testing and gathering tangible evidence, it will be easier for you to see the potential return on investment of personalisation.


It’s safe to say that the whole issue of data is a big one when it comes to personalisation.  Before even starting the process, you need to think about what data you’re going to collect from attendees and agree across your organisation on how this data is going to be used for the purpose of personalisation.  Attendees also need to understand why you’re gathering their information and how it is going to bring value to their event experience.  Getting that balance right is really key if you want personalisation to work.

What are the best ways you can effectively personalise attendee experiences?  How much of it should you do?  And more importantly, how do we measure the results?  Get answers to these fundamental questions by getting YOUR copy of ‘The Event Planner’s Guide to Personalisation’.


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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