The recent surge of data available at our fingertips has brought new opportunities for businesses and event marketers.
There are now more opportunities to get to know your target audience well. With the data available, we can better identify consumers wants and needs. Where do they live and work? Do they have a long commute to work? Do they travel for business? What products and services are they currently using? What products are they interested in purchasing? How many events do they attend or exhibit a year?
There is value in knowing your audience persona information. A prospective buyer or event attendee persona data is the key converting them from a window shopper into a buyer. Learning about your customers and their behavior patterns gives you the upper hand over your competitors. This type of consumer data has the potential to allow you to create an event experience that your audience won’t forget. You may be able to improve conversation rates, increase attendee retention rates, reveal areas that need improvement, and boost overall engagement.
Today we're sharing how to leverage data and analytics to plan a more impactful event strategy.
Build a competitive analysis – “Go beyond your competitors”
The business world is filled with thousands of events taking place throughout the year. Keeping tabs on your competition is a great way to gain an advantage in a tight and competitive event market. To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to know your competition. That’s why it’s so important to conduct a “benchmark”. A simple online search can tell you a lot about other companies in your industry that may be a potential threat to your business. When analyzing data, look to see who their audience is and how they engage with the competitive brand. Also, see what strengths they bring to the table that your company may be lacking. See what areas of weakness the competition needs to improve upon and how your company can fill the void.
Get to know your audience
Before diving into the event planning experience, you need to know who you are targeting and how you are going to reach them. Every conference and trade show attracts a unique audience. The best event marketers know how to market to the right audience. By understanding your target audience, you can influence their decision-making process and persuade them to register for your event. Getting to your audience also helps you narrow your focus when developing a marketing plan. Before the initial planning process begins, research and develop a persona profile for each attendee. There are several tools you can use to build a persons profile, some are free and others have a cost. A simple Google and social media search can tell you a lot about the industries and people you are trying to reach.
After you do the research and identify their pain points, you will know why they would want to attend your event. People usually attend an event because something about the brand messaging captivated their attention. Based on the available data you have about each attendee, develop messaging profiles that capture your brand's personality but also resonates with the target audience. Each messaging profile should answer “Who they are,” “What their interests and pain points are,” “When they might be available to attend your event,” “Where they frequent online,” and “Why they would be interested in attending.” Tailor your messaging to each buyer persona to ensure your message gets in front of the right audience. The key to planning a successful event is to think like your audience. What would make their experience a memorable one? Once you’ve answered that question, you can start building your marketing strategy.
Determine how your audience wants to engage
Now that you have a wealth of information about your attendees, it’s time to determine how your audience wants to receive information. Use data insights to select the appropriate channels they’re going to engage with. A younger audience might respond better to pre-event information sent via text, social media, or a mobile. An older audience might prefer traditional tech mediums like an email or a website landing page. It wouldn’t hurt to survey the audience before registration to find out how they like to receive communication so you can customize the experience to meet their needs.
Capture data in real-time
Access to new technology and big data has become a game-changer for the events industry. Event professionals and marketers can now quickly pivot and make changes to the event experience on the spot. Have you ever been to an event and noticed that the schedule changed throughout the day? This was a simple fix that was made in real-time based on data and feedback to accommodate the demands of attendees better. Being able to act instantly based on data and feedback has allowed event organizers and exhibitors to provide a more engaging experience for everyone in attendance.
Identify measurable outcomes
The benefit of having access to a gold mine of data is that you can measure the success of every touchpoint. However, even with access to this treasure trove of data, most companies miss the mark in assessing the sentiments of attendees pre-, during, and post-event. Measurement improves event management and effectiveness. By defining measurable outcomes, you can determine what success looks like early on and plan a more impactful event. Outcomes are specific, measurable, reflect a change in behavior, and are meaningful. To measure what success looks likes, at the beginning of the planning process you should ask what results are expected from each objective.
To ensure you measure what matters, focus on the bottom line and attendee engagement rate. Once goals and objectives have been decided, it’s time to identify benchmarks and targets you would like to meet. Performance metrics should focus on quantitative data. You’ll need facts and figures to showcase the overall achievement outcome. Distribute a post-event questionnaire to survey attendees. Once you’ve received the survey results, gather data and compare the information to benchmarks and targets you set. This will help you identify areas that were well received and places where you can improve the event experience.
As advances in technology continue to surge, event professionals will find that personalization and agility are becoming the driving force of event planning thanks to data. In a metric-focused world, it’s only a matter of time that we continue to find new information about our attendee’s wants and needs.
If you want to measure your event management efforts and use data-driven strategy contact us today and start to manage the whole event data.