The beauty of data is that it’s everywhere – you just need to know where to look. And the key to creating data-driven events lies in continuously mining all event data assets for these vital nuggets of information. If you’re not sure where to begin unearthing this precious data, read on. We’ll show you where – and how – to get the information you need to create engaging and relevant events.
1. Your past events
This may sound contrarian, but one of the best ways to set your future events up for success is by examining past events and their related touch points. After all, it’s only once you know where you’ve been that you can see where you’re going. Use this information a benchmark to measure the success of all subsequent events, by finding the answers to questions like: Who was invited? Who never showed up? What were attendance levels like? What sentiment was relayed via post-event surveys? and so on.
2. Your sales data
Depending on the nature of your events, examining your sales data prior to and after an event can give you insight into the scale of impact of your events. An event is ultimately a marketing exercise, and if you want to gauge whether or not this resulted in increased ROI, you should be keeping a close eye on your sales data. As well as looking at your sales figures, dig through data to uncover the following: Was there increased foot traffic to your stores? Did web traffic pick up? Did your call centre receive more enquiries?
3. Your social media channels
Thanks to social media and the associated analytics, brands can easily gauge the effectiveness of their marketing efforts – events included. We’ve written about harnessing the power of social media to amplify the reach of your event before, but even if you don’t have a dedicated event hashtag or event-driven social campaign, monitoring social media mentions, likes and follows pre and post your event is an informative exercise that can shed light on how your event was received, overall brand sentiment, and the people your event resonated with.
4. Your email invitations
Contrary to popular belief, your invitations don’t serve one purpose only. In fact, they’re one of the most potent data-collecting tools in your event management arsenal – but only if you’ve built them in a way that makes it as easy as possible for guests to share information with you. This is your opportunity to collect all sorts of information about your guests – from personal particulars and dietary requirements (important) to opinions and sentiments about your brand (just as important).
5. On-site surveys
Surveying guests while they’re immersed in your event is an effective way to gauge crowd sentiment and gather insights into individual attendees. The questions you ask are up to you and should be influenced by your event objectives. How did they find the check-in process? Is the venue easy to navigate? Did they experience the keynote? etc.
6. Your post-event surveys
Spending a substantial budget on an event, only to wonder whether it genuinely resonated with your guests is a massive waste of time, energy and money. Sending out a post-event report puts an end to this guesswork and gives you access to timely guest feedback. Just like your invitations, the data you gather is up to you: identify the burning questions you need answers to, and then pose them in a succinct way that makes answering super easy for attendees.
If combing through multiple sources of event data sounds like hard work, it isn’t. Or rather, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve built our ERM™ solution to collate the above and act as a central repository for all event data. Easy and intuitive to use, updated in real-time and secured by the cloud, our ERM™ solution makes harvesting crucial guest data simpler than ever before.