Technology affords event planners and organizers a chance to understand their attendees unlike ever before. The information, often gleaned from mobile app or website usage data, interactive surveys, and live polling, helps hosts make internal improvements for upcoming conferences and meetings. Big data can also be leveraged by third parties like exhibitors and sponsors for everything from lead generation to understanding how their products and services were received by attendees.
The following post details how big data impacts events to improve the experience for everyone involved.
Improving the Event Experience
The days of asking attendees to fill out comment cards and fill in the blanks with guesswork are long gone; features like five-star ratings and post-event surveys for speakers and sessions integrated in mobile apps give hosts a much easier method to encourage attendee feedback. Other important data, such as reviewing mobile app metrics for popular sessions and most-visited speaker bios also shed light on what worked at an event and what needs improvement in subsequent years.
Utilizing big data at events helps hosts understand and quantify statistics needed to retain and grow attendee bases. Did one speaker in a smaller session receive rave reviews? Consider boosting his or her presence for next year. How many people accessed an important PDF? Maybe it’s time to re-arrange content next year to improve the visibility of particular content. The scenarios to use big data and improve the event experience are endless.
Acting upon event data also leads to better personalization from attendee to attendee beyond sweeping event-wide changes; big data can also be used to give subsets of attendees a more personalized experience. From using post-event surveys to address the fact a surprising number of vegan attendees found food options wanting to leveraging mobile app data to provide more exclusive content to certain attendees via user authentication, understanding every attendee is different and parsing through the data enables hosts to address unique needs and tailor experiences.
Benefits to Sponsors and Exhibitors
Event hosts shouldn’t be the only beneficiary of data at events. Sponsors and exhibitors stand a lot to gain from better understanding attendees and their preferences. A return on investment at events is vital for companies and seeing tangible results such as visitor numbers for exhibitor profiles and sponsor pages in a mobile event app quantifies ROI and aids event hosts in retaining the company for following years.
In addition to better understanding engagement numbers, data might also provide demographic information or contact details to determine audience trends and even build a mailing list for future marketing efforts. Sharing this information with sponsors and exhibitors is a value-added perk helping both sides form a transparent relationship where statistics are used to improve outreach efforts.
An Event Marketing Boost
Data greatly helps event hosts market their meeting or conference before, during, and after the big day arrives. Is one speaker in particular really generating views on your website or mobile app? Consider talking about him or her more on social media in the weeks preceding the event. Did a post-event survey indicate people were frustrated with a lack of obvious networking opportunities? Send a push alert linking to information in the mobile event app with a specific action plan for next year to remedy the issue.
The Bottom Line
Every industry is becoming increasingly driven by big data and events are no exception. From improving the event experience to establishing a better working relationship with exhibitors and sponsors, the ability to use insightful metrics to understand attendees—the pillar of any meeting, conference, or trade show—goes a long way in ensuring future success and a better return on investment for everyone involved.