Importance of Data to Events
Numbers don’t lie. This is what makes data – and a strict analysis of data – a very powerful and useful information to have in planning and growing your events.
In this article, we’ll share with you the basics on event data plus three important reasons why data matters for your events, and how you can leverage data for maximum impact to your customer satisfaction and bottom line.
Related readings: Keen on numbers about virtual events? Check out our blog on Key Statistics to Guide your Virtual Event Planning in 2022
What is Event Data, and Why you Must Collect & Use it to your Advantage
Event data refers to the raw numbers and text collected about behaviors and experiences at any type of event that people attend virtually or in person. You can collect event data at any junction of the event cycle – from event planning and promotions to execution and post-event recap.
Event data may be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data refers to quantities, amounts or ranges. Meanwhile, qualitative data are non-numerical. They can be opinions, assessments, feedback or thoughts about a certain topic or area in your event. See below for examples of these two types of data:
Quantitative data gives you basic information such as how many or how much while qualitative data can give more in-depth insights – and sometimes even directions or suggestions – about your event.
But when does data become useful? If you received 100 event registrations in one day – is that a cause for joy or should you be worried? If 50 people gave negative feedback about the online conference, they recently attended – does it mean you should discontinue it?
Without aggregation and analysis, event data is just a collection of numbers or words. Event data is most valuable when it has critical mass (a size large enough to be considered important) and reveals relevant and actionable insights.
Below we list three reasons why it’s a must to collect and aggregate event data and analyze them to get actionable directions and insights.
Keep you on the Path to Success
How do you know you’ve staged a successful event whether it be virtual or in-person? Goal setting is an important part of event planning and usually involves collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data points. How does data analytics keep your eye on the prize?
- It allows you to set clear goals to aim for – Mature and long-running events should have in its arsenal a history of event data to help you set clear and achievable goals for your next event. Taking into consideration your past performance plus your outlook for the future (Are the market conditions favorable? Will you aggressively invest in event planning and promotions?), you may choose to set ambitious growth targets or manage expectations with a moderate goal.
If you’re staging a brand-new event, it is equally crucial to collect and analyze data to set your benchmarks for your next events. As for current target setting, you can look at events of similar nature – including competing events – to help you on your goal setting.
- It gives you fact-based support to give you confidence in your decision making – Is there a difference in management opinion regarding next steps to make in your event? You can turn to event data to break the impasse. Event data – whether it be your own, or from other industry events – provides you with objective, non-biased information to direct you to the correct course of action to take. This results to transparent, informed, confident – and quicker – decision making.
- It helps you keep your costs down – Event analytics allows you to keep stock of what is working in your event planning and marketing. From which conference topics and speakers were popular to which promotion channel is the most cost-effective. Eliminating a trial-and-error approach, you can direct your budget to the event practices and marketing channels that bring the most bang for your buck.
Improve your Customer Journey and Experience
Using event analytics allows you to gain insights about your customers (event attendees) and to then apply these insights to shorten their journey from event discovery and assessment to registration and attendance.
- It lets you know your customers’ preference – Data collected from registration, feedback and survey forms are very helpful in letting you understand who your customers are (demographics), what they like/need and why they are going to your event. Knowing this information helps you to customize your event planning and promotions to your target audience, thus making sure they are engaged, and their needs are met right at the start.
- It helps you anticipate roadblocks and chokepoints – Perhaps you’ve noted in your previous events that long registration forms have negative impact on the number of event registrations you get, or that staging webinars on weekends result to poor attendance count on your B2B topics. Thus, you shorten your registration forms by eliminating non-essential questions and you schedule B2B-related online conferences on early afternoons on weekdays. These insights – and resulting remedies – would not have been possible if you haven’t been tracking your event data and analyzing them via comparison with your previous performance.
- Net Promoter Score – NPS is the likelihood of your customer to recommend your event to their friends and colleagues. This data point is useful as an overall metric to assess if your event is improving or declining from your customers’ point of view. Taking it further, you can group your customers according to “promoters”, “passives” and “detractors” and action accordingly. For example, you may choose to give a small incentive to “promoters” if they are able to invite new registrations and attendees to your event. Or invite some of the “detractors” to a focus group discussion to delve deeper into their views and get inputs and suggestions on how you can improve your event.
Keep your Finger on the Pulse
It’s the day of the event – do you know how many will show up? The success (or failure) of your event would not be a complete surprise to you if you are keenly tracking and analyzing your event metrics.
For example, if your registration numbers are low then there is no reason to anticipate high attendance – unless you devote a lot of energy and resources on getting last-minute registrations and/or walk-in attendance. This can be via reminder calls (telemarketing), SMS blasts, social media callouts and/or newspaper advertising on the event day to drum up interest.
Ideally, one should be setting data milestones or mini-targets at key stages of the event planning and marketing. In this manner, you can make adjustments earlier if you notice that you are not hitting your mini-targets.
Your event metrics can also let you glean insight on trends and patterns that may develop over time – thus allowing you to make the appropriate response. For example, some topics are more popular for certain demographics, or some marketing channels are more effective in certain countries & territories. For tradeshows or expos, one may find that certain product categories are more in-demand and thus, the booth sales team might want to expand the area devoted to it on the show floorplan. During and post-pandemic, the industry has seen a noticeable trend towards more virtual or hybrid events – it will be foolish for event planners and organizers to disregard this trend.
Related reading: Read about some of the Event Trends to Watch in 2022 in our blog.
Data and analytics help you make smarter decisions. They take away guess-work, reduce risks and provide sound and solid guidance to your next steps.
To find out how Vootprint can help you make data more meaningful, visit https://vootprint.tech/modules-analytics/
Check out other GEN Blogs available at https://globalexpo-net.com/blog/ for more articles and tips about virtual events.