It used to be enough to get high satisfaction ratings from attendees and call an event successful. But as meetings have gotten more expensive, executives have higher expectations. They want to know how those satisfaction ratings translate into pipeline and return on investment.
That’s where event marketing technology can help.
Today, event marketing technology can make you an event hero. It can help you track and measure results, improve event registration and attendance, increase the productivity of event staff, generate feedback and interaction during the event, and help you plan an even better event next time. It can even tell you how much business your event generated down the line.
And that makes your boss—and their boss—happy.
Here are eight steps to use event marketing technology to gather better insights for more productive and profitable conferences, meetings and shows.
1. Get strategic
Before you collect any data, decide what you need to know. Identify the goals and objectives of your event. Once you do that, it’s easier to decide what you want to measure.
2. Slice and dice
Your audience isn’t one big pie. It’s made of slices. So create profiles of each different audience subset. Ask yourself what each audience segment wants from the event. How do you want them to think and feel, before and after the event? What do you ultimately want them to do? Pull all this into a template or worksheet. This becomes a powerful visual tool with basic information on the event, audiences, objectives and tactics.
3. Pick your data types
Some good types include:
- Event ROI. This bottom-of-the-funnel metric tells you what your investment produced. You might measure perception—for example, how customers felt about the company or product before and after the event. Many event marketers measure ROI by pipeline produced, isolating the impact of the event on sales. (See our online event ROI calculator for help.)
- In-event evaluation scores. Event tech allows you to capture fresh feedback immediately after speaker presentations. Focus questions on the quality and value of the speaker’s content, organization and presentation.
- Net Promoter Score®. NPS measures customer experience and predicts business growth. Calculate NPS by asking attendees to rate this question on a 10-point scale: “How likely is it that you would recommend (your brand/event) to a friend or colleague?”
4. Source it
Now that you know what kind of data you want, pinpoint where you’ll find it. Segment the data by categories such as role, geography, industry and company size. Rich datasets help you make events more personalized and relevant.
- Pre- and post-event surveys. Before and after the event, ask attendees to evaluate speakers, seminar topics, session and track themes, exhibitors, sponsors, venue and overall experience. Focus on whether attendees found value in the event, whether it was worth their time and money, and whether they would return.
- Focus groups. On the final day of the conference, invite a representative group to a breakfast or lunch session for qualitative feedback.
- Social media. If you want to hear what people are dishing, social media sites like Twitter and Instagram will tell you what people are really saying about your event—good, bad and everything between.
- Event mobile app. The event app contains a jackpot of attendee activity that you can use to procure data-driven insights.
- Badge scans. Use Bluetooth LE or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track on-site behavior.
- Event website. The website can tell you what sessions, session types and tracks get the most traffic.
Pull all your data into one hub. To minimize duplication of effort, use a platform that works well with other applications. That allows you to leverage the tools you already use, such as customer relationship management (e.g., Salesforce, Zendesk), social media, content marketing and web analytics, to extract, share and analyze data.
Drill down into the data to identify patterns and trends.
Put your key data into charts, tables and graphs using Excel or data visualization tools like PowerBI or Tableau. Then bring it all together in a PowerPoint presentation to tell the story of what happened and why.
Use your insights to plan a better, more productive and profitable event next time.
Used smartly, event marketing technology and data help you understand business impact and ROI. In just a few slides, you can say what you wanted to do, where you won and where you need to improve.
Contact Hubb to learn more about how event marketing technology can help you create more meaningful, relevant and dynamic experiences for your next meeting—and prove its value.