Data can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to do with it.
As event managers, we all experience information overload when analyzing or tracking our attendees during the event. And since we still don’t know how to truly comprehend the value of these facts, we end up ignoring the numbers and missing opportunities to better understand our guests and their experience needs.
No wonder why: according to MIT Technology Review, “By 2020, each of the 7.7 million people in the world is expected to produce 1.7 megabytes of new information every second of every day, and currently only 0.5 percent of all data is ever analyzed and used.”
Using countless event platforms and event mobile apps, organizers have access to an incredible amount of attendee information; yet, we all believe in the importance of data-driven approaches without actually understanding what these approaches mean.
Moreover, we are incapable of visualizing what we could improve using attendee-generated facts and figures.
By utilizing attendee data effectively, you can:
know how to promote your event more efficiently,
attract more attendees,
make real-time updates and improvements related to event logistics,
gain more sponsors,
increase the engagement of your guests,
As you can see, knowing how to read attendee data matters more than collecting this information. Understanding the numbers equals boosting the quality of your events and generating truly memorable and personalized experiences.
So how can you do it?
Here are a few tips on what you should focus on when analyzing attendee data:
Tip #1. Learn more about demographics
By knowing the demographical profiles of your guests, you can segment them in different categories and adjust your event dynamics to their interests.
For example, when planning an event, you’ll have an idea about the percentage of local attendees versus international attendees. This information will help you better coordinate your event’s social program.
Needless to say, you won’t take your local guest on a city tour, yet you can think about planning an integrated activity that will allow visitors to become familiar with the city, while locals experience something new. By focusing on gathering and reading your attendees’ demographic information, you’ll get to know them better and design the event according to their needs and burning pains.
Tip #2. Pay attention to your attendees’ purchasing habits
Setting up a fancy website and designing an attractive call to action is not enough for potential attendees to buy tickets to your event. If you want to convince people to attend your events, you first need to collect and decode the data about their purchasing habits.
This information depends also on your attendees’ demographic data. For example, millennials have different purchasing habits than Gen X shoppers. On the other hand, you need to know your potential attendees’ likes and dislikes, what type of messages will make an impact on them, and their preferred social media platforms.
To understand better the content preferences of your potential attendees, you’ll have to pay attention to keywords and types of content (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) that drive natural traffic to your event page.
Design a social media and content strategy and start experimenting. What type of event-related content makes your readers engage (like, share, and comment) more? Do they prefer to share articles, illustration, or Facebook videos about your event?
This type of data is changing constantly, requiring immediate reactions and adjustments from you. Knowing how your target group (potential attendees) are engaging with your content, will help you increase the number of material they are most likely to consume and share (promoting your event).
On the other hand, by creating captivating content, you’ll extend the reach of your event and gain more followers, thus more potential attendees.
Tip #4. Focus on harnessing your attendees’ networking experience
One of the most important data points you should look at is people’s motivation to attend your event and interact with others. What are they searching for during networking sessions? Can you provide them with the connections they are looking for, instead of encouraging them to mingle aimlessly in the crowd? Knowing their preferences will help you deliver a truly significant networking experience, adding value to their businesses or careers.
Tip #5. Analyze attendees’ behavior during the event
Are your guests disengaging during “icebreaker” games? Are they searching for alternative places where they could have a business meeting with someone they encountered at the event? Do they have all the necessary information to successfully navigate your event?
You see, there’s a big difference between asking for feedback and analyzing how people behave at your event. The latter is more objective, and the memory of the experience is not distorted by any emotional or personal factors. Also, by accessing real-time data, you’ll have the time to react or immediately improve certain event experiences.
You may not know exactly what to do with all of your attendee data, but there are certain ways you can examine the information and make data-driven decisions that will enhance your guests’ experience and help you promote your event more efficiently.
So next time, make good use of your attendees’ demographic data and think about how you can harness it. Pay attention to your attendees’ purchasing and content consumption habits. Make sure you have all the information you need to enhance their networking experience. Finally, don’t ignore the additional data you collect during the event, because this information can help you make real-time changes and improve or correct any event logistic-related issues.