Measuring your event with quantitative metrics is without a doubt the most accurate way to know if you’ve hit your event goals. If your event can’t be measured and expressed in concrete metrics, its success is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Any event organizer or marketer knows that events are investments. You don’t just create an event like a trade show for nothing; you do it because you want to build your brand as an organizer, or want to encourage exhibitors and attendees to join you in your next event.
Reaching these goals means setting benchmarks and targets, hence the importance of measuring metrics and key performance indicators. If you want to know how your event is performing on the day of, or perhaps want to be smarter about how you’re spending money on your trade shows, then keep an eye on your event analytics data.
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to track event success, with successful marketers and organizers using a variety of technologies such as RFID and Bluetooth to collect information on attendee behavior. Below are a few examples of methods to capture and track important analytics on the day of your event.
1. Push Notification Responses
Mobile apps are no longer just a trend. They’re here to stay, and they’re quickly changing the way people join events. But apps aren’t just convenient for event attendees, they’re also a potential goldmine for understanding their behavior.
App push notifications, for example, can be used to drive attendees to make certain measurable actions. You could offer rewards for check-ins on your app, which will encourage user interaction with the app and give you hard data on how much people are using it.
A few more examples of strategies using push notifications include:
• Announcing speakers or performers
• Pushing alerts for sessions and other notable activities
• Pushing polls after each session to gauge interest and satisfaction
• Asking attendees to rate the event—this is about as straightforward as you can get
A word of caution though: push notifications can be annoying when they’re used incorrectly. Be sure to send the right messages and space them out. You don’t want to annoy attendees, which will only kill your event app’s adoption.
2. Heat Mapping
Beacons are easily one of the most significant game-changers in the events organizing business. When interfaced with mobile apps, beacons allow you to capture real-time data on where your attendees are. This generates a heat map, which tells you what parts of your floor are where people congregate the most.
Heat maps and beacons are also a great way to direct attendees to desired location at your event For example, when a keynote is about to begin or is in session, you can send push notifications to attendees as they pass by the session hall.
The key with heat maps is to use them as a tool to engage attendees during your events, making sure that they get the most out of the event experience. You can even use beacons to alert you when certain parts of the floor are overcrowded and others don’t get any foot traffic—a useful ability when you want exhibitors to get the most out of their money when joining your event.
3. Contest Engagement
Holding contests at your event, a trend also known as gamification, is a strategy worth looking into if you want to engage your audience at live events. Games are a great way to build excitement, and if they’re designed around your exhibitors and speakers, the hype can transfer to them.
A few examples of great games to hold include:
• Scavenger hunts – Organize attendees into teams and watch as they cooperate to win prizes. This will also create networking opportunities, driving up your event satisfaction.
• Photo challenges – Photo challenges and quests not only generate interest and engagement, they also generate online mentions, especially on social media. Be sure to include the use of your event hashtag as part of the rules when uploading photos on social media. This will allow you track mentions much faster.
• Check-in games and rewards – As mentioned earlier, social check-ins are a great way to drive app usage. They also increase your social media mentions.
• Networking games – Icebreakers are great if one of your event goals is to create as many matches as possible. And what better way to encourage people to network than to incentivize getting to know each other? Think “Bring Me’” challenges (first person to bring 50 business cards) or calls for the first attendee to generate a target number of Twitter followers.
These 3 examples should give you a solid understanding of what metrics or analytics data to capture at your next event, and how they can be leveraged to understand your audience and create better events in the future. If you focus on creating a terrific event experience for your attendees, the metrics should follow, waiting for you to track them.
Written by Tabitha Naylor
Learn more about how event app performance can provide key insights to the success of your events, and our partnership with the best event app company in the biz, Core-apps.