Our lives have taken a turn for the digital. We spend more of our time than ever before online. From smartphones to social media, we’re generating enormous amounts of data in our lives, data which companies can leverage to provide expertly curated experiences for their customers.
When planning an event, this data can be put to profound uses. From personalizing welcome packages, analyzing mediums to maximize engagement and building on your success from year to year, data is now an indispensable tool in event planning, especially if you boost it with software like 15Five. Read on to see how you can use data and analytics to run better events than ever.
1. Analyze Competitor Events
You’re not the only one planning and holding events. Chances are your competitors have also been hosting similar events to the one you have planned. In the business world, knowing your competition is key, so building a benchmark for your event based on past events is the first step to getting ahead.
A “benchmark” is a template event based on an analysis of your competitors. You can use demographic data to identify the audiences they targeted and how many people they had in attendance. Then identify what their event was lacking, and see how your organization can step it up.
2. Set Objectives
To run a successful event, you have to have a definition of success—setting the objectives that you need your event to measure up to is an important place to start. Setting unrealistic objectives will mean you distribute resources in an unoptimized fashion, so when you start planning your event you have to have a way of gauging what your objectives should be.
Enter the data. Data you have gathered about competitor events and your own past events will indicate how many attendees you can expect. Analytics gives you an insight into the range of possibilities you’re working with so you can set, and meet, realistic targets.
3. Understand Your Attendees
Getting to know your audience is key to running a successful event, and data analytics can bring you closer to your attendees. You can cater your event more specifically to their needs and expectations, even personalizing elements through powerful analytics.
“If you’re running a small event with a curated audience, develop a personal profile for each individual,” says Norman Rossi, an analytics blogger at Writinity and Last Minute Writing. “You can then curate elements of your event to the individuals attending.” For larger events, developing a model of your average attendee will enable you to structure your program. Think about pain points for your attendees and build an event that runs smoothly and seamlessly.
4. Find The Right Medium For Your Audience
No matter what the purpose of your event, it is likely you need to impart some information onto your audience. If you’re promoting a new product or service, for example, maximizing audience engagement is going to have a direct impact on sales.
You can use data and analytics to determine the right medium for your presentations. For example, a young audience might be more tech savvy and so gamified sales material could see engagement rates soar. An older audience may have more barriers when approaching technology. Picking the wrong medium to engage your audience can turn off potential customers.
5. Learn From Your Mistakes
Using data gathered from previous events enables you to learn from your mistakes and capitalize on what went right. This means your events will grow year-on-year, encouraging a stronger business performance than ever before.
As well as capturing and analyzing your attendees’ responses to previous events, you can use Google Trends to identify the popular keywords that were searched before and after your event. This enables you to identify expectations and assess the impact of your event, tweaking it to be better targeted.
6. Capture Real Time Data
New technology is enabling businesses to adapt to real-time fluctuations in customer expectations, allowing you to run dynamic events that are acutely responsive to your customer’s needs.
“Maintain a flexible scheduling structure and capture real-time data about audience receptivity to previous seminars,” says Adele A. Williams, an event manager at DraftBeyond and Researchpapersuk. “You can then adjust and adapt your program based on your audience, providing a curated experience for your customers.”
7. Follow Up
Keep on capturing data after the event and begin planning for next year right away. Send every attendee home with a link to a questionnaire finding out what their likes and dislikes were—you can incentivize completion of these forms by offering discounts or bonuses. Further, track sales data as well as online searches to see the impact of your event.
Data and analytics are a powerful tool that allow you to curate your event to your audience. Dispense with the guesswork and use data to produce accurate objectives and personalized events. Your audience will thank you.
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Do My Assignment and Gumessays.com. When she isn’t writing, traveling and lecturing she likes spending the evenings under a warm blanket, binge-watching Breaking Bad.