We are living in a renaissance era in the live events business. The era is fueled by massive amounts of data in which we now have access. Whether you’ve been in the space for a while or are just starting out, the reality is real-time data gives us the insight we need to respond to opportunities and changing demands. As we talk to meeting and event planners every day, the consistent theme that emerges is in the presence of so much data, it’s not clear where to get started. One of the biggest inhibitors to using data more effectively is not understanding what’s out there and what’s possible. What you need is another set of eyes on your event. A data set of eyes! Here are 3 ideas to help you get started and get immediate value.
Registration seems like such an obvious data set. After all, you can’t have an event without registrants, especially if you want to get paid. What many planners don’t realize is that you can create registrant history from other events attended and begin to correlate that data for the purposes of cross-selling other events and future event development. Once you’ve captured an attendee this data can and should be also incorporated into your CRM platform to begin to get a bigger picture and view of how your events are generating return traffic.
Nothing screams, “improve the customer experience,” better than activities that hearing the voice of our customer and acting on it. Surveys allow not only for a registrant pulse on how the customer experience is going at various stages of the event, but it also invites opportunities for real-time immersion in the event, as it’s occurring. Some of the most common real-time interactions happen with customer ratings of services like food quality and venue comfort. One of the more obvious and not frequently used is speaker ratings pushed to registrants immediately following a presentation. This helps the speaker get great feedback in context and also helps the event planners incorporate needed, un-expected changes in the event chemistry to drive a more successful event.
Some events require participant mandatory attendance. Event planners scrambling at the last- minute end up taking names at the door or, worse yet, pass a sign-in registration log. Too often, this data is not correlated with the event registration data which ends up creating a disconnected data set and an administrative, data entry nightmare. Connecting your registrant data to your mandatory session attendance is low hanging fruit. But it doesn’t necessarily stop there. You can broaden your timesheet tracking to include other participants, like your 11 volunteer army. Logging your volunteer’s time can point you to the potential for rewards and recognition for some of your event’s most important contributors. Any way you slice it, data creates a plethora of fresh opportunities to create and drive amazing events. You don’t need a Ph.D. to get started either. Considering these suggestions may be low hanging fruit on your path to getting that second set of eyes to help you boost even more your live events.