Study Reveals Majority of Events Struggling to Measure ROI of Personalisation


A new research study has revealed that personalisation and data-driven marketing is a growing priority for 73% of event planners, yet more than 50% struggle to see how effective their efforts are in engaging attendees and building brand loyalty.  Of the 150 senior event planners surveyed, 56% don’t end up using all the data they collect for the purpose of personalisation and another 44% find it difficult to determine how much personalisation they should actually do.

The research findings are based on the views of event professional based in the U.S. and the UK and represent corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies.

The ‘ROI of Event Personalisation’ research study conducted by Eventsforce last month has found that an overwhelming 96% of event planners use some form of personalisation across their events: Tailored event invitations topped the list as the most popular method of personalisation at 89%, followed by personalised communications at 71%, which includes things like attendee emails and dedicated landing pages on event websites. Other tactics include pre-populated registration forms and tailored registration paths for different types of attendees. Lower on the list are personalised on-site experiences, including catering and give-aways at 24%, followed by personalised push notifications and concierge services using apps and chatbots.

The study found that the increasing use of data capture tools like registration forms and mobile apps are also fuelling the drive for event personalisation as they help event planners collect valuable information on attendees to create more powerful and customised event experiences. When investigating which tools are seen as the most effective for sourcing personalisation data, the findings revealed that registration systems topped the list at 84%, followed by CRM and marketing solutions at 62%. Almost a third of respondents also rely on data collected from surveys and event apps.

“The findings of the study have been interesting because despite the demand for personalisation and the abundant use of data collection tools, a lot of the personalisation data that event planners are actually collecting from attendees is not being used. The results show that only 44% of event planners use most of their personalisation data, with another 22% claiming they can’t get the insight they need from the data they have.” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.

The study also looked at some of the other issues event planners are currently facing around personalisation. Almost two-thirds of respondents felt they lacked the sufficient time and resources to personalise experiences effectively, whilst 31% struggle to measure the return of their personalisation efforts.    Other issues revolved around data management, including determining what questions to ask attendees for the purpose of personalisation, getting the balance right between providing value and protecting attendee privacy and dealing with data inaccuracy.

“The 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,” continued Sirius.

The study also looked at what impact event planners felt the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on personalisation efforts across the industry.  Europe’s new data protection and privacy law which is coming into effect in May 2018 is set to radically change the way events collect, store and process the personal information of attendees.  Of those surveyed, more than a third felt GDPR will limit the personalisation and data-driven marketing activities they do around their events.

Eventsforce will be debating the topic of personalisation, privacy and GDPR with senior event planners from Haymarket Publishing and the British Council at the annual Event Tech Live show in London on 9th November 2017.  The session titled, ‘Event Personalisation – Finding the Balance Between Value & Privacy’ will discuss the findings of the study and provide an opportunity for the speakers to share their experiences around personalisation and finding that balance.  Those interested in attending can register for the event at or visit Eventsforce at stand 216 in the exhibition hall.

For a more comprehensive look at the results of the ‘ROI of Event Personalisation’ research study, please download the infographic below:

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides web-based event management software that powers thousands of successful events each year. With headquarters in London (UK), its customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Its highly customisable software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to abstracts and awards management, as well as on-site management and event reporting.

Eventsforce also has expertise in managing complex data integration projects, which help organisations save time and improve data sharing around their events.  It has partnerships with leading technology vendors and its open API allows organisations to seamlessly integrate Eventsforce solutions with payment gateways, CRM solutions, finance and membership systems.

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