Despite even the best memories and strongest gut feelings, it’s difficult to design a tangible and reliable measure of event success. However, various methods including surveys, attendance counts, and follow-up emails show that the event industry continues to strive for improvement.
In recent years, the growth and advancement of technology has enabled event managers to assemble an array of highly accurate, knowledge-based data to determine whether or not an event was successful, and which aspects of the event contributed to that success (or lack thereof).
Here are this year’s top tech developments and how to use them to gauge the effectiveness of your next event:
1. Event Apps
Reliable, qualitative data is essential for measuring the success of an event and recognizing where there’s room for improvement. In the age of technology, gathering large amounts of insightful data isn’t the chore it used to be. Tech developments have made it possible to monitor the entire lifecycle of an event in real-time, starting with tracking the engagement of prospects and attendees.
Event apps are the no-brainer solution to delivering personalized experiences at scale. With options that differ depending on the type of event, apps enable guests to receive event notifications, individualize calendars based on sessions they plan to attend, and efficiently register for and check-in to events.
Considering eighty-six percent of event attendees rate an event app as one of the top three features that made for a more enjoyable experience, these are an easy win for your guests and a tangible database for you.
2. Social Media Metrics
Once your event app, social media pages, and registration page have been configured, you can gather insights from analyzing interactions on these platforms. Event analytics tools illustrate the number of pageviews, unique visits, ad impressions, and posted comments leading up to and during your event.
In our hyper-connected world, social media metrics disclose valuable information regarding the opinions and inclinations of individuals. Creating a hashtag is a simple way to monitor mentions and the tone of comments made during and after your event. Because they provide concrete numerical data, social metrics are especially great for sharing with investors and determining ROI.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Advancements in technology are continually altering nearly every aspect of how we live and learn. Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments like chatbots are revolutionizing the ways in which industry leaders interact and obtain data on their patrons. These intelligent robots are best employed as registration and customer service assistants.
Chatbots, which can be easily deployed on multiple platforms, learn from each interaction they make and improve with continued use. Based on the assistance attendees seek from these bots, they are able to provide unique insights on potential problem areas that may have been overlooked by people.
Humans may grow overwhelmed by aiding consumers and trying to manage their questions while simultaneously noting their tone. AI has the ability to recognize human behaviors and emotions, rapidly determining the answers they need while gathering data. This information is useful for recognizing patterns and trends and segmenting consumers based on preferences, all of which comes in handy when establishing triumphs and shortcomings.
4. Audience Engagement Tracking
Being able to track audiences can give you an inside look at what works and what doesn’t. Eye tracking technology enables a device to become aware of what the user is interested in at any given point in time, so you know the effectiveness of your efforts before the event even starts. Begining with your website’s landing page, you can track the focus of visitors and see, from your users view, what’s attracting the most attention (making adjustments where necessary).
How much time are they spending on your page? Is there an abnormal discrepancy in the number of people trying to learn more about your event versus how many are actually registering? Come the big day, tracking audience engagement via your event site and app as well as in person provides crucial data.
If you book big name speakers like Jeff Bezos or Mark Hurd, you know ahead of time how many people have clicked through this info on your event page and can accurately compare crowd flow and attendance in real time. This sort of technology can help event managers plan ahead for in addition to gathering quantifiable data on the success of your efforts.
5. Marketing Automation
Post-event follow-ups remain a tried-and-true technique to indicate attendee satisfaction. Traditionally, this requires a significant amount of manpower to individually categorize and manually message every single person who shows up to an event.
Marketing automation technology, however, requires little effort to send mass customized emails without sacrificing quality. With the ability to break your audience into targeted segments, you can easily sort through attendees to ensure each categorized group is receiving a message specifically tailored to them.
And because marketing automation systems attach prospects to their respective campaigns, it’s easy to measure revenue in relation to its source. This collected data can show you how many event-generated leads were converted to customers and why, allowing you to better prepare for future event attendance and budgets.
Event coordinators have the fifth most stressful job in America. The communication and organization required to satisfy hundreds or thousands of different personalities while also achieving business goals is not something everyone can handle.
Utilizing technology can help ease difficult and tedious assignments. I encourage you to explore the tools available today and stay
updated on new technologies as they’re released to learn which ones best suit your management style and event goals.