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Four Best Practices for Leveraging Event Attendee Data

By Stagedge Team | 3 min read
Four Best Practices for Leveraging Event Attendee Data

 

The primary goal of gathering event data is to improve future events. Which speakers soared or flopped? Which activities and bonding exercises were most popular?

SE_YouTubeIDToday, event planners have access to “unprecedented levels of attendee data,” according to Forbes. This information—collected through apps, websites, social media, surveys, and direct observation—makes it possible to create an enhanced and more customized event experience for attendees. But the sheer amount of metrics available at our fingertips can feel overwhelming. What data should we collect, and what should we do with it after we collect it? In this blog, we’ll look at four best practices for leveraging event data.   

 

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#1. Gather Event Feedback

The primary goal of gathering event data is to improve future events. Which speakers soared-or flopped? Which activities and bonding exercises were most popular? Did attendees want more time to network?

Direct feedback comes from attendee assessments such as interviews, polls, and post-event surveys. It has the advantage of being immediate and easily quantifiable.

We recommend that event planners collect feedback on everything from keynote speakers, workshops, and breakouts to food, lodging, and wayfaring. You can gather this feedback in two key ways:

Direct feedback comes from attendee assessments such as interviews, polls, and post-event surveys. Direct feedback has the advantage of being immediate and easily quantifiable. But due to time constraints or a desire not to offend, attendees may not be forthright when questioned in this manner.

Indirect feedback is gathered through event observation. Your marketing team can compile a list of future event improvements by observing what is and isn’t working, as the event unfolds in real-time. Reviewing social media posts about the event also helps uncover opinions—as well as possible influencers to engage with in the future.  

 

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#2. Generate Follow-up Communication

When it comes to event marketing, your current attendees are also your hottest leads. A key way of making future events successful is to get these current participants to commit to attending again—and that means following up with them. Beyond the post-event surveys mentioned earlier, consider sending out forward-looking communication, like targeted marketing and invitations to future events. Use registration event data to help customize these marketing campaigns by demographic, industry, region, and likes/preferences.

Harness data, too, to refine your email messaging, improving open and click-through rates. Don’t forget that massive, generic emails often wind up in spam folders, while segmented, personalized messages engage and fosters a sense of connection. And if that offer links to something an attendee expressed a positive response to at the event—such as a particular speaker or break-out session—it will build constructively upon a connection that already exists. Top-ranking leads can receive personalized content, such as a video clip of their favorite event or speaker, and an individualized offer or promotion.      

 

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#3. Use Data to Calculate ROI and Conduct Predictive Analysis

In the past, calculating the ROI of events was difficult, but technology has made this task easier. The intangible nature of certain variables will always make this an inexact science (for example, maybe someone left a breakout session early because they had a family emergency—and not because the speaker was terrible). Even so, today’s data capabilities allow event marketers to clarify and inform ROI to a degree never before possible. Many popular sales CRMs, like Salesforce, now allow you to perform an ROI analysis based on variables such as attendee satisfaction, popular content, networking opportunities, lead conversion, and deals closed.

Data insights can expand your relationships with important organizational players, including investors, sponsors, and stakeholders.

Predictive analytics represents a powerful instrument in the data toolkit, offering the ability to leverage data to predict future attendance numbers and peak engagement times. Again, popular tools like Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson can be utilized for building and deploying predictive models. Armed with the ability to foresee upcoming highs and lows, event planners can make more informed decisions regarding budgets, logistics, equipment, and staffing. Predicting future trends also helps curate marketing and communications campaigns and hone event topics and themes, enabling the creation of customized event experiences.

 

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#4. Enhance Relationships with Sponsors and Stakeholders

Data insights can expand your relationships with important organizational players, including investors, sponsors, and stakeholders. Being able to analyze and demonstrate the value of your events using the metrics mentioned earlier—including revenue generated and lead conversions—helps potential sponsors feel more confident about committing to future events. And thanks to your data, you may be able to attract more (and bigger) sponsors, adding even greater value to your event and creating a virtuous cycle.

 

Converting a Whirlwind of interactions into Numbers

While it can feel bewildering at first, the world of data is a boon for event planners. Metrics and data tools convert the whirlwind of event interactions into clear numbers that can be analyzed and acted upon. Data analysis allows event planners to learn from the past and prepare for the future, improving communication and professional opportunities for all involved. The end result? Events that are more customized, responsive, and cost-effective.  


 

The use of data—especially attendee data—brings a need for increased cybersecurity. To find out more, read our related blog 4 Things You Must Know to Keep Your Events Cyber-Secure.

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