Practically, Use Your Event Data

Big data is a popular conversation these days amongst event organizers. Professional Convention Management Association reports, “Fifty-five percent of respondents” in a Center for Exhibition Industry Research study “are already active in analytics, and over the next year, an additional 13 percent have plans to sort, filter and study the information that their shows generate.”

Perhaps you are part of the 13 percent who want to start culling through all their event data, but are not sure where to focus your efforts. On the other hand, maybe you are part of the remaining 32 percent who still need a bit of convincing. Aside from being able to spout statistics at your next planning meeting, what can you do with the information?

Let us take a look at a couple common goals that event organizers have, attendee acquisition and exhibit and sponsorship sales, and how your data might help you achieve those goals.

Attendee Acquisition

Where to start digging: 
Event Registration Data
Digital Event Registration Data (webinars, online training, virtual events)
Study and White Paper Download Data
Exhibitor Survey Data

Data to pull:
Demographic information such as job titles/responsibilities and years in the industry.
The types of buyers exhibitors want to see at the show.

How to use the data:
You discover C-level executives are attending webinars and downloading studies and white papers regularly, but a high percentage of those same executives are not attending your live events. You also know, via your survey data that your exhibitors want to see more C-level attendees at your trade shows. Are you offering the same level of content at your live events that your are offering in your webinars and white papers? If not, consider adding a C-level education track at your next live event. You can also consider adding a VIP registration package to attract these key attendees. 

Where to start digging:
Surveys
Event App
Registration Data

Data to pull:
Attendees’ indicated areas of interest.

How to use the data:
Using the data from your registration system, event app, and surveys, find topics and activities in which large portions of your attendees show interest. Create attendee persona groups using that information. You may find you have a group of attendees that are most interested in the education provided at the event while another group is more interested in networking opportunities. Use that information to create targeted marketing messages that resonate with each audience to promote your next event. 

Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales

Where to start digging:
Registration Information
Lead Retrieval Stats
Exhibitor Downloads/Visits (Website and Event App)
Surveys

Data to pull:
Attendee demographic data such as purchase plans, buying authority, roles/titles.
Attendee demographic data such as products and topics of interest.
Determine which exhibitors are getting the most traffic both online and in the exhibit hall. Then, group those exhibitors by product or service category, booth size, and sponsorship levels.

How to use the data:
Now that you have the numbers, you can show potential exhibitors that your attendees are not only interested in what they have to offer, but that your attendees have the authority to sign a deal. When talking to exhibitors, understand they are more interested in numbers not percentages. Knowing that twenty percent of your attendees are interested in their product category does not really help them. To justify the investment they need to know that percentage translates to say, one thousand buyers. 


If you can show a significant increase in buyer attention in 20’ x 20’ booths vs. 10’ x 20’ booths, you may be able to convince some exhibitors to increase their footprint. Perhaps your data shows you that exhibitors who also sponsor certain activities see far more activity in appointment setting and digital downloads. You can use that information to turn and longtime exhibitor into a sponsor. 

Cross posted from our parent company blog, Data Connect.