It is fair to say that big data is king in most industries, and collecting big data is a huge trend in the event planning industry. The marriage of technology and attendee-centric event planning strategies are creating the types of experiences that engage event participants in revolutionary new ways. We know that happy attendees are repeat attendees, and repeat attendees are often ambassadors and champions of your brand spreading the word and creating a following. The collection of big data in real time is a phenomenon called crowd shaping. A relatively unassertive process, crowd shaping harnesses the newest and latest technology trends to detect everything from an attendees’ location to their heart rate.
So what sort of data are we talking about?
- Attendee data: knowing who has registered and who checked in: Online ticketing can help online professionals collect data from attendees including their interests, career aspirations, geo-locations and budgets. Finding out further information about your audiences can help with devising new events and in creating and developing formats to cater for their interests and needs. Analysing attendee data can also help highlight the relevant partners and sponsors to attract and secure for your event
- Data from your event website: Google analytics can help decipher what users clicked on and where from, as well as their journey to register. This can help with ensuring the messages on your site are on point and that users register to become attendees. This data can also be used to help design future websites, pages and user-friendly areas to ensure users receive the information they need from you rather than a competitor event website
- Tracking the data searches that originate from a live event –this can serve to deepen consumer insights from events. What did they share, like, retweet or buy following your event?
But the question is, how will this data help the event industry and what will it deliver? In my opinion the ability to utilise the information gained from big data will revamp the industry by allowing event professionals to:
- Create personalised attendee experiences: Data analysis can help event organisers choose specific information, dates and venues to ensure attendees get exactly what is relevant to them. They can also customise experiences to suit various companies and market sectors. Experimental marketing is huge right now and the advances in data has enabled event professionals to create experiences unlike any other before.
- Faster reaction times and ability to make adjustments in real time: Big data can reveal what aspects and which content sessions of your event attendees are engaged with (or not) and why. This can make changing event schedules, signage and timings a simple fix in real-time better accommodating the demands of the attendees. This makes for a much more engaging experience and one that attendees will remember and share.
- Have better control of crowd flow. This includes data on crowd densities especially at big exhibitions where bottlenecks outside various exhibits or theatres can cause issues. Armed with this data event organisers can take control. Over time information of this kind can influence how you design your event spaces and can help maximise design concept, management and flow. It’s worth noting that while this may not reduce the number of twists and turns needed to take an event to completion, it will make these changes more predictable – and potentially a lot less costly
- Focused target audiences: The improved analytics that comes with big data can help fine tune your scope of potential event attendees enabling you to target your audience with pinpoint precision. Analysing collected data on your past audiences, will reveal patterns about the demographics and psychographics of people attending your events. This information is invaluable when marketing your next event and helps you to connect with the right people and potential attendees. Additionally, data management makes it easy to separate prospects and create lists of people who are most likely to attend your upcoming event. This way, you can focus on contacting these potential guests and showcasing the importance of your event – instead of simply inviting everyone.