If you’ve spent time on our website (which we highly recommend!) or heard about klik through the grapevine, you’ve might’ve come across these words:
“Better experience. Better data.”
That, of course, is our company’s slogan. Four words to succinctly sum up all of what our company collectively believes in.
It’s a pretty simple cause-and-effect equation, right? Give your attendees a lively, engaging event and you — the person or team putting it all together — will reap the very informative rewards that will make your next event an even bigger smash.
The unfortunate thing for many event organizers, however, is that the two parts are inextricably linked — and the “better experience” part is something that eludes many.
According to Cvent and Event Marketer’s report, The Power of Live Event Data, the greatest challenge facing event coordinators in recent years has been “attracting and growing high quality attendance at their events and meetings,” which has put the focus squarely on the question of how best to gain attendee insights to enhance experiences and increase value to their organizations.
The operative word there is “how.” As in: it’s important to understand how having attendees fully engaged at your event drives the wealth of onsite data necessary to make improvements and assure high-quality attendance. Therein lies the true value of tracking your attendees’ experience.
ON THAT NOTE, WHY IS ONSITE DATA FROM LIVE EVENTS SO IMPORTANT?
As much as 84% of business leaders (vice presidents and C-Suite) view in-person events as impactful to the success of their companies, according to the Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarks and Trends report.
Imagine the organizer of a trade show or a conference sitting at their desk even a decade ago thinking, “If only I could actually get inside the heads of the people on the floor and figure out what makes them tick?”
Up until recently, measuring attendee data from live events wasn’t really a thing beyond whatever could be gleaned from registration forms — provided attendees took the time to fill them out completely.
In a best-case scenario, event professionals could use that information, along with their instincts and any other researched data, to piece together a user experience of sessions, vendors, speakers, etc. that would hopefully get people hooked.
Nowadays, the possibilities exist and are endless when it comes to capturing every signal an attendee puts out — or, as one article neatly refers to them, “digital breadcrumbs.”
Just think about these tasty little morsels of unprecedented information:
- Which booths attendees visit and how long they spend at each one
- Which types of vendors they’re visiting
- Which activities they’re signing up for
- Other attendees they’re networking with
- Industry reps they’re getting to know
- How they’re interacting with any gamified elements
- Not just where they’re going and what they’re doing, but also where they’re not going and what they’re not doing
Being able to chart each individual journey through your event allows you to build the most complete profiles of your attendees and gain once-unthinkable insights. In turn, you get to tailor your next event with the greatest of ease and maximize attendance.
IT ALL STARTS WITH ENGAGEMENT
Engaged attendees naturally provide more data than passive ones, so the more opportunities you create to ramp up participation, the richer the results:
- Multiplying interactions among your attendees gives you a window into learning about each of them beyond their post-event surveys. The appeal of certain touchpoints will, of course, vary by demographic and where they’re located in the event’s journey. For example:
- Gamification: Create customized games that will engage attendees and incentivize behaviour.
- Information inquiries: Make it possible for your attendees to get more information on products or documentation, either via klik Touchpoint or your app, to know what really interests them.
- App chat and networking: Gain a better understanding of who interacts with whom, and why it can add a world of value to personalize and enhance your attendees’ future experiences.
- Make sure your exhibitors are in sync with your attendees’ interests in order to collect in depth data about their behaviours. Attendees who stay at any given booth longer than two minutes and collect information more actively than at other locations, for example, will give you a better idea of their interests. The greater the depth of data, the more precisely you can adjust your offer.
In order to better understand our audiences, event organizers need to ensure high-level participation and be able to measure it.
IMPROVED EXPERIENCE THROUGH STRONGER DATA
As per HBR’s report The Event Marketing Evolution, rich datasets help events become more personalized and relevant by letting them “capture high-quality data from every touchpoint to unlock deep insights on event attendees’ preferences, [enable] relevant post-event communications, [support] future personalized marketing efforts, and [allow] for in-depth event measurement.”
This level of data will help you create a higher-quality experience down the road by touching on a number of areas across the board:
- Marketing strategy: Based on the actual value attendees got out of your event, you can more easily determine its branding.
- Trends: Segments can be created based on behaviours, allowing you to notice trends among larger groups to cater an event that will resonate with all kinds of participants.
- Sales: Targeting the most-engaged segments at your event will raise the quality of attendance.
- Event experience: How much the setup of your event, its themes and topics, and its interactive elements resonated with attendees will determine the likelihood of them returning next time.
- Sponsorship packages: Having data on attendees’ behaviours means being able to adapt your sponsorship packages based on segments, as well as finding sponsorship that matches their interests.
It’s also important to contextualize the type of information you can collect from wearable technology compared to other more traditional forms, like surveys.
While surveys are a great tool and have worked for eons, it’s important to remember that there’s often a discrepancy between what attendees say they like or are interested in, and what their actions actually reveal.
Surveys, for example, can tell you a bit about who your attendees are and whichever things they remembered to put down that they’re interested in… and that’s about it. Passively tracking your attendees’ behaviours, however, gives you an opportunity to seek out and find patterns you might not have thought existed. For example:
- You can generate data that enables you to understand the flow of your event, letting you know if a specific area creates flow issues or if another area is favourable for networking.
- Foot traffic, which is also a good way to measure your trade floor and exhibitors' success. After all, people vote with their feet...
- You can use dwell time at any given session as a metric for a speaker's performance and, if you cross that data with attendee segment types, you could also determine whether you should review session length per track.
- Step 1: Give your attendees more opportunities to engage with your event
- Step 2: Collect data about their behavior and interactions.
- Step 3: Analyze said data, create segments, and look for patterns.
- Step 4: Make any necessary changes to your event that will help drive a better experience next time around.
- Step 5: Repeat Step 1.