The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.
— Daniel Goleman

An attendee’s experience at an event will impact whether or not they return year after year, and whether or not they recommend the event to their peers and colleagues. You most likely have the key to creating a positive experience at your fingertips.

In an article on the use of big data in customer service Sean Madden writes, “[the customer] knows you’ve collected information on him for your own purposes and wondering why you don’t do something useful with it. Not useful to you—useful to him.”

While Madden is writing about customer service centers, that advice is just as effective when applied to events.

Think about how companies like Netflix uses your data to create a better viewing experience. Based on selections you’ve made in the past and titles you’ve browsed, Netflix serves up personalized recommendations. The data creates a better experience for the viewer because it uses Madden’s criteria of being applied for the usefulness to the customer.

Instead of wondering what to watch tonight and scrolling through thousands of titles, you immediately look at Netflix’s data-driven recommendations because you trust their relevancy.

Event organizers can use data in much the same way to help attendees select sessions they want to attend, network with other attendees, and find exhibitors that have products and services of interest to them. Your exhibitors can use that same data to guide the conversations they are having in their booth.

Using Data To Create a Personalized Event Experience

Instead of making attendees try to figure out what sessions and tracks would be right for them, why not give them a head start by suggesting topics based on their indicated interests and needs? Networking at large events can be overwhelming for your attendees. You can help by matching attendees with potential mentors, peers, and thought leaders. You can also help attendees get a jump-start on setting up appointments with exhibitors with some more data driven matchmaking. That has the advantage of being a value add not only for your attendees but your exhibitors as well.

Using Data To Drive More Productive Conversations In the Exhibit Hall

Many events have intense agendas and as a result attendees want to use their time on the exhibit floor wisely. They want to get the specific information they need to evaluate properly a potential purchase as quick as possible and then move on. When exhibitors know a bit more about who is walking into their booth, they can adapt their conversations to a more consultative approach as opposed to delivering a straight-up sales pitch. Less time is spent asking a litany of questions to qualify the booth visitor. Exhibitors can jump right into the details the attendee is most interested in. Using data for this purpose is a better use of everyone’s time.

Yes, event data can often help event organizers market and evaluate the success of their events. But make sure you are also collecting the right data so you can do something useful with it not just for you, but for your attendee as well. Give your attendees an experience they cannot get anywhere else and you’ll find they will keep coming back year after year.


See the types of clients we work with and how data provides key insights for all types of event industry professionals.


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