How to Leverage Big Data for Events

17 January 2017

Sales is alive and bristling with data. Thanks to increased connectivity and the explosion of internet-enabled devices (first one to make a Samsung joke wins), data that leaders couldn’t have dreamed of just a few years ago can now be logged, analysed, and used to streamline pricing strategies in commodity-driven industries, drive service engagement, create robust, high-conversion pipelines, shape territory planning and add value the length and breadth of the sales cycle.

Forecasters estimate there will be 50 billion internet-connected devices worldwide by 2020, and the incredible boom in key Internet of Things verticals (wearable tech, cars, smart buildings and more) will create ever-increasing volumes of data to help leaders shape, make and justify decisions.

Data plays a vital role in the modern events landscape. The same game-changing, industry disrupting tech that has allowed events to break the confines of fixed places, spaces and timeframes can be leveraged for invaluable insight that helps to enhance attendee experience, streamline costs, justify budgets and boost ROI. Leveraging big data for events is big news. Let's take a closer look.

Big Data for Unreal Engagement

'Data capture' for events used to mean logging the names, companies and job titles of attendees. These days there are some truly exceptional attendee engagement and event management platforms out there, and data capture can be minutely tailored for specific events, objectives or attendee demographics.

Attendee data from these platforms can help organisers initiate targeted conversations that extend an event's lifecycle, build relationships, and generate valuable insight into expectations and experience. Back-end reporting can be customised, laser-focused and automated, allowing organisers to commit more time and energy to delivering a show-stopping, attendee-focused event. Live surveys and social feedback opportunities can encourage a sense of attendee buy-in, and create opportunities to improve attendee experience in real time.

Big Data for Real-Time Adjustments

You can't please all the people all of the time, but you can harness data on attendee satisfaction, resource adoption, responses to key CTAs and more to tweak an event in real time. Using data in this way allows organisers to be proactive and responsive, creating a positive, dynamic delegate experience.

At a conference and noticed a presentation CTA that isn't getting the traction or action you expected? Split test two variants of the wording, analyse the results and make the necessary changes, all in real time. Want your ski trip group to hit a particular slope early morning to see a spectacular sunrise? Arrange to view live traffic, footfall and usage data with your resort, then take the lowest-traffic route to make it an experience to remember.

Big Data for Crowd Flow & Layout

A commonly overlooked aspect of planning for large events, crowd flow can also be one of the hardest to predict. Collecting data on crowd movement and delegate locations using RFID or other radio location tags allows organisers to quickly review and address crowd density issues, bottlenecks and more. Meet up locations, key timings and direction of footfall can then be managed and altered accordingly. This can greatly improve engagement rates between attendees, leadership and sponsors across an event, and allow for rolling optimisation of event safety.

Big Data for Events Budgets & Business Cases

Justifying budget and building an ongoing business case for events and travel rewards have been revolutionised by the accessibility of big data. Strip away the smoke and mirrors, and establish a set of systems and processes that measure your event’s ROI against key objectives – then let the data become the decision.

Inspired? So are we. Big data for events means that there has never been a more exciting time to plan a corporate event, and it has never been easier to build an event your attendees won’t forget.

We would love to talk to you about how we can help your organisation deliver a focussed, finessed event planned around key business objectives, shaped by hard metrics and able to deliver significant, quantifiable ROI. Get in touch now by calling +44 (0)161 482 8222, or reach out via the Contact page.