Until recent years, there has been a one-way relationship between marketers and event planners. Namely, the marketing department would do their work to promote an event, but little help traveled back from the event planners back to the marketing team. Much event data, especially the onsite experience, was considered a black hole of information with little to glean for future marketing efforts.
Fortunately, the rise of great event technology and mobile event apps are now providing a rich set of data that can be used to better promote events as well as providing valuable information to the marketing department on the interests and needs of attendees.
A large amount of valuable information for marketers can now be extracted from high quality event management software. Here are some of the key areas where that data can reside.
- Registration demographics. Your online registration form is an easy place to collect valuable information. Besides contact data that will show the geographic base of your attendees, you can use your online registration form as a survey. With this tool, you can collect a wealth of attendee data including interests, purchasing power, industry status, and so forth.
- Mobile apps. The mobile event app has become the hottest place for collecting information about your attendees. Every touch of the app can be tracked and this allows you to learn what is most interesting to your attendee. Besides page views, you can track your most popular sessions, exhibitors and sponsors of interest, handout downloads and much more. The below sections discuss many of the other possibilities related to mobile apps.
- Surveys. Surveys are the front lines of data collection. We already mentioned using your registration form as a partial survey. The standard post-conference web-based survey is an invaluable source of data. Using the survey features of your mobile app not only can dramatically increase your workshop survey response rates, but you will receive near real-time feedback on the success of your sessions.
- Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others are open-ended forums to find out what is on your attendee’s mind. Since this data is not structured like a survey, this gives you a chance to review many issues you may not have considered.
- Mobile Q&A. The event app is a great place to generate real-time feedback from your attendees. One of the best features of events apps is Session Question and Answer. This allows attendees to pose questions to speakers direct from their phone. As a show planner, you can see how engaging the session is as well as get a free-form commentary from attendees.
- Session Scanning. You are missing out on the most basic of data if you do not know how many people are attending your sessions. Using technology such as QR Code session tracking you will know real-time session counts, when people entered a session and even when they left!
- Lead Retrieval. Lead Retrieval is often a missing piece of data for show planners. While each exhibitor might receive their leads, the event organizer may not actually know how often people visited a booth and were scanned. If your Lead Retrieval app allows you to report on exhibitor scans, then you will have solid information by which to gauge booth sales activity.
- Data Integration. Many event management software products are making it easier to integrate with other mission critical products, such as CRM and accounting systems. If your product has an API (“Application Programming Interface”), it should be possible to get these various systems to share data. A positive recent technology development is the rise of integration platform as-a-service (IPAAS) products such as Zapier and Built.io. These products make it easy to create workflows based on a “trigger” that occurs in a software product. For example, if somebody signs up via your online registration software a workflow can automatically activated that sends the registrant’s contact information to the CRM while also sending payment data to your accounting software. You are then in a better position to perform a deeper analysis of your information.