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Thanks to modern event technology, planners can now measure the success of their event experiences better than ever before. Based on their specific event goals, they can identify key performance indicators and use event data to measure the event’s overall ROI.

Since event data should be the guiding light in the event planning process, you should embrace event tech solutions, such as platforms and RFID technology. They’re the golden goose of event data! The perks are endless – you can learn more about your attendees’ behaviors and maximize your exhibitor’s experience, among many other things.

Follow our tips for leveraging data at every stage of the event planning process. And remember, always be transparent with your attendees about which data you’re collecting and for what purposes.

leverage event data - gather pre-event data

Gathering Pre-Event Data

What event planners need to do first is determine the goals of their event. Then, they will collect and analyze data relevant to those goals. Data collection starts before the event, namely through registration and marketing.

Pre-event data can give event planners plenty of insight into their attendees – who they are, what they like, and how to best market to them. Set up your registration with that in mind and use your preferred event registration and marketing software to get started!

Registration Data

Planners can start harvesting valuable data at event registration. Registration forms can include the basics, such as name, work email, job title, and information about preferred sessions and interests. 

Aside from the form itself, you can also learn a lot about your attendees by expanding your payment options and adding traffic analytics. For example, you can add a sponsor code and see how many attendees your sponsors brought in. You can also see where the traffic to your registration form is coming from. If most visitors come from a certain social media platform, double down on that particular marketing channel.

Pre-Event Surveys 

Pre-event surveys give event planners a deeper understanding of their attendees. Create a separate survey for your sponsors, speakers, and exhibitors. No need to guess what makes them tick – just ask! Consider adding these questions to your pre-event survey:

  • How did you learn about the event?
  • Is this the first time you’re attending?
  • Why did you choose to attend this event?
  • Which sessions are you most excited about?
  • What’s your estimated time of arrival?
  • Do you have any dietary preferences or restrictions?

The easiest way to distribute surveys is through your event management or registration platforms, such as Validar or Pathable. Most event platforms on the market offer this feature. To collect your event data, you can also use popular survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform

To get as many responses as possible, incentivize participation by offering discounts, swag, or gamified rewards on your event app or event platform.

Marketing Data

Pre-event marketing is crucial to your event’s success. First, get the word out by posting on your website, social media, and blogs. Then, leverage that data to learn more about your audience. As mentioned, you can also use registration and pre-event survey data for marketing purposes. Additionally, your marketing automation software and web analytics should answer the following questions:

  • How many people are visiting your event website?
  • Were they redirected there from social media or Google search?
  • What are the most popular sessions and topics viewed on the website?
  • What is your email open rate?

This way, you’ll know which marketing channels to focus more of your energy on to attract more attendees.

Source: Pathable

Collecting Data at the Event 

It’s showtime! Planners can use event data to make real-time changes to the event, communicate with their attendees, monitor social hashtags, and so much more. Let’s explore!

On-Site Registration

On-site registration data will show how many people attended the event compared to all the tickets sold. In addition, if you offer various types of tickets at registration, you can see which ones have the highest attendance rate.

Event Platforms & Event Apps

Event platforms and event apps are the biggest sources of valuable event data. You can conduct on-site surveys, facilitate polling, and get instant feedback about your audience’s engagement levels.

You can send a survey to your attendees immediately after sessions to get instant feedback while their memory is still fresh. You’ll also be able to track which sessions and exhibitor booths are the most popular. And if attendees or sponsors are experiencing a problem, you can fix it in real-time rather than find out about it after the event. 

Event Data from Social Media

Monitor social hashtags and do social listening to get feedback on certain parts of your event. Give those who use the event hashtag some love by reposting their posts and liking them. Social media will help you better understand the overall experience people have at your event.

RFID Technology

RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology is popular among both attendees and planners. While audiences like it because of the quick check-in process and cashless payments, planners love all the data it provides.

RFID technology gives planners insights into how people move through the event in real-time and which sessions they attend the most. They can make changes based on heat maps, such as canceling specific sessions or moving event staff to another location. 

Sponsors and exhibitors, too, love RFID technology. Lead retrieval is effortless! They simply scan attendees’ wristbands to get their data and to include them in competitions and raffles. And the best news? It’s easier than ever for them to track traffic to their booth and measure return on investment. 

leverage event data - post event

Post-Event Data

Gathering event data doesn’t end when your event wraps up. Next, find out what your attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors really thought of your event, and finally, measure your event’s overall ROI.

Post-Event Surveys

Make sure to send post-event surveys to everybody who was a part of your event: attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and other stakeholders. Ask them for feedback by gathering the following information:

  • What were your favorite sessions?
  • Would you recommend this event to your friend or colleague?
  • How likely are you to attend our future events?
  • Is there anything you’d like to add?
  • Did you find the audience to be relevant to your business? (for sponsors and exhibitors)

Measure Your Event’s ROI

Measuring your event’s ROI is one of the most important reasons to gather event data.  It’s the best way to prove whether your event was a success! Still, Bizzabo found that 54% of respondents have trouble showing event ROI to key decision-makers.

To avoid that, planners need to first determine the goals of their events and then use the metrics to see whether they achieved them. Depending on your event, planners collect different types of data.

Planners need to give value to the attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. Thanks to RFID and other event technology, measuring exhibitor ROI has never been easier. Each exhibitor can see how many leads they generated and how relevant they are to what they do.

Leverage Your Event Platform Data

When measuring your event’s success and strategizing, event technology truly is your best friend. In fact, 92% of marketers believe event software makes it easier to achieve their business outcomes. 

Your event platform has been gathering data insights from registration and throughout the entire event. Now it’s time to analyze them and use them to plan your next event successfully. Most event platforms can integrate with email marketing platforms, CRMs, social media channels, and other business management tools.

The amount of event data depends on the platform’s features. For example, Pathable offers data analytics about lead retrieval, metrics for exhibitors, CE tracking, and other important engagement metrics.

leverage event data - key takeaways

Event Data: Key Takeaways

We explained how to use data insights collected before, after, and during your event to improve the overall experience for your attendees and stakeholders, increase your ROI, and plan better events.

Below are the key takeaways:

  • Event technology solutions offer many data insights that can help you inform your event success and future event strategy,
  • Use registration data, pre-event surveys, and marketing data to gather as much information as possible about your attendees and exhibitors before the event,
  • Event platforms and RFID technology can collect various metrics during your event, from lead retrieval to audience engagement,
  • Use captured analytics and metrics to measure your event ROI and determine whether your event was successful.

How are you leveraging event data to set yourself up for success? Comment and let us know!