Asking the Right Questions

Event organizers have to tread a fine line when it comes to collecting information from their attendees. Ask for too much information and you risk potential attendees abandoning your registration form. Ask too little, and you don’t have enough information to ensure the attendee’s experience is customized to meet their needs. So how do you go about getting all the information you need, while still keeping the registration process quick and easy?

You first need to prioritize the information you are looking for, and make sure you are asking the right questions. You also need to know when and where to ask those questions.

 Prioritize 

You should have a list of information you want to collect from your attendees. There is must have information such as name, contact information, emergency contacts, ADA requirements, and special requirements such as dietary needs. Then there is information required to ensure your attendees have a great experience at your event. That might be topics are they interested in, product categories they are interested in seeing, people they are interested in meeting, and even their goals for the event. You also have the information your exhibitors and your organization would like to have for marketing purposes. That might be job titles, budgets, and purchasing time frames. You should prioritize all the data from most important to least important.

 Ask the Right Questions

So often we automatically ask for information without taking the time to ask ourselves is that the right information to be asking for? Take job titles for example. Do you need them? Once upon a time job titles were pretty straightforward and they told you a lot about the person behind them. Today, with job titles like Chief Inspiration Officer and Brand Evangelist, is a job title even important? Is it a job title you are looking for, or is it the level of authority or influence someone has?

 Collect Data At the Appropriate Time

Think about your attendees’ mental journey leading up to your event. While asking for contact information, special requirements, and payment methods seem perfectly reasonable during the registration process; other information requests such as goals for the event may require further reflection. As you get closer to the date of the event your attendees are going to be thinking about scheduling time with exhibitors and which sessions they want to attend. Have them add information about topics of interest and product categories of interest to their profiles at that time.

 Collect Data In the Appropriate Place

Where you collect attendee data is just as important. If you are using an event app for networking, collect data about who your attendees want to meet within the app. Information such as products or solutions your attendees are interested in seeing in your exhibit hall may be necessary to collect during the registration process to match buyers with sellers. Other details such as timelines for purchase and budget available could be collected by exhibitors at their booth.

 Instead of collecting all your data during the registration process, think of ways you can request information bit by bit between the time someone registers to when they arrive at your event. Every couple of weeks you could send an email covering a different theme and ask registered attendees for just two or three more pieces of information. When you are asking the right questions, at the right time, and on the right platform, your attendees will be more willing to part with their data.

Cross posted from our parent company blog Data Connect.