From choosing the perfect location to planning your promotion strategy, countless decisions go into organizing a top-notch event. Drawing on past experiences to make educated decisions is nothing new. However, today’s technology makes it easy to collect a wealth of data. This makes decision-making a breeze and helps make each event better than the last.
Data-driven decision-making unlocks fresh and enticing prospects for event hosts, organizers, and marketers. In this article, we’ll present straightforward suggestions to help you find the data you need and leverage it to create a more effective event strategy.
Gathering Event Data
Since you can track just about everything online, it’s easy to collect all kinds of information when hosting virtual and hybrid events. Some of the best sources for gathering event data include landing pages on your event website, social media, promotional posts, and, most importantly, your virtual event management platform. It’s also possible to gather essential insights from in-person events by using on-site technology like RFID tracking and analyzing online interactions that occur before, during, and after the event.
Here’s a look at some of the most pivotal information you can collect and use to shape future event decisions.
- Age, gender, and geographic location of attendees
- Industry or professional background of participants
- Seniority levels of attendees (e.g., entry-level, mid-level, executives)
Attendee Preferences and Engagement
- Number of repeat attendees
- Session choices
- Number of event booths visited and dwelled time at each
- Number of workshops and sessions attended
- Number of questions asked during Q & A sessions
- Number of one-on-one meetings scheduled
- Number of mobile app downloads
- Speaker ratings
- Responses to post-event surveys
- Activity levels on chat channels
- Live polling response rates
- Number and quality of social media connections
- Engagement on social media posts
- Click rates and open rates on email communication
- Utilization of event-specific apps or software
- Types of devices used by attendees (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops)
- Feedback on the event’s technological aspects (e.g., app usability)
After the event, you can also analyze the number of leads and sales it brings to your event host, sponsors, and vendors. Doing so will help determine the return on investment (ROI) – a compelling piece of data for those in decision-making roles.
Using Event Data for Decision Making
Once you’ve gathered your event data, you may wonder what to do with it. Effectively analyzing this information will give you the ability to improve your events consistently, ensuring an unforgettable experience every time. By using data to drive your decision-making, you can increase your conversion rates, boost attendee retention rates, and improve overall engagement. Analyzing data is also an effective way to find areas that need improvement and figure out how to correct them.
While there are many ways to use data to improve your events, it’s important not to let it overwhelm you. Start by analyzing a few key points and making decisions based on them. Then, you can return to your data and take a deeper dive, repeating the process multiple times as you get more comfortable. Here are a few simple ways to leverage the data you’ve collected.
1. Refine Your Event Objectives
When measuring your success, few things are more valuable than cold, hard facts. Using data analytics to drive your decisions makes it easy to keep yourself focused on what really matters. The two primary objectives that always seem to rise to the top are the attendee experience and your business objectives.
Placing these at the forefront of your decision-making process helps ensure that each event you plan is a success. Even better, when it’s time to review the results with your clients, you’ll have the data to back up your decisions.
2. Collect information on Attendee Preferences
The information you collect during your event will help you understand attendee preferences to accommodate them better going forward. For example, tracking traffic patterns will allow you to identify the most popular booths and vendors. You’ll also be able to see what types of offerings are creating the most engagement.
This will help you decide whether to re-book speakers, choose topics attendees are interested in learning about and evaluate whether the space was suitable for your event.
3. Identify the Best Engagement Strategies
When it comes to creating successful events, communication is indispensable. It’s critical to understand how your target audience wants to receive information. For example, an older audience may enjoy receiving email communications while younger attendees may never check their email, instead preferring to receive text messages.
If you want to make the greatest impact, don’t make assumptions! Instead, consider taking a moment before or during registration to ask your attendees about their communication preferences. Doing so will allow you to customize the experience to meet their needs and will give you better overall results.
4. Track and Manage Vital Event Metrics
One of the best things about having so much data is that it allows you to measure the success of every touchpoint. If you’ve taken the time to define your objectives before you begin planning, you’ll easily be able to compare your results to what you were hoping to achieve. Not only does this create accountability, but it also gives you the tools you need to improve your overall event experience.
5. Effectively Promote Your Next Event
As you create a marketing plan for your next event, take the time to look at what did and didn’t work in the past. Consider factors like how many times promotional videos were viewed, how many people signed up via email, and how much activity came from social media posts. It will help you find areas where you want to double-down and identify marketing efforts that may not be the best use of your time.
eShow Makes Data Collection Easy
Each time you collect and analyze data, you’re creating a cycle of learning that allows for continual improvement. With the right tools in place, it’s easy to collect and manage many different types of data in a format that is easy to use.
From advanced registration options to a robust virtual event management platform, eShow offers everything you need to ensure the success of each event you plan. We also offer integration with AMS and CRM systems, allowing for maximum efficiency and access to real-time information. Contact us to schedule a personalized demonstration to learn more about our user-friendly tools.