The Value of an App Is in the Data

May 25, 2014

With so many event apps on the market today, how is an event organizer to choose which one is right for their event?

Just about every app will offer what are now considered the basics. Those being a schedule, exhibitor list, show information, social media connectivity and some type of networking tool.

To stand out, app providers are constantly upping their game with add-ons. Some of the new tools being offered are enhancements to the attendee experience, such as gamification. Other providers are offering tools that benefit the organizer and exhibitors.

An example of a tool within an app that benefits the organizer and exhibitors, is BusyEvent’s DataKeys.

Brian Slawin, co-founder of BusyEvent says, “DataKeys] observes and then reports on a specific action that an attendee takes relative to the event. For exhibitors, rather than getting a name, what they are getting is about 25 distinct data points that tell them specifically what an attendee did relative to their product or service information.”

The actions that DataKeys report on are not only actions taken during the two or three days of the show. Because their app is made for both desktop and mobile devices, attendees are taking action and interacting with exhibitors as they plan their time in the weeks leading up to the show from their desktop. They are also accessing exhibitor profiles and information provided long after the event.

BusyEvent’s other co-founder, David J. Schenberg says, “the value is in the data.”

So how do exhibitors get access to all that data? First it’s important to point out that BusyEvent has set this up to be an option for exhibitors. If they don’t want to buy the data, they don’t have to.

To help make that purchase decision, exhibitors can see just how many attendees have been interacting with their profile and registering on those 25 data points. If they decide it’s worth getting all the details on those interactions they can simply click on the “Make Money” button and purchase the data. The show organizer sets the value.

Keith Johnson, managing partner at PlannerWire and i3 Events who has used BusyEvent for his clients’ events, advises event organizers to price that data accordingly. “You’ll have some exhibitors that get a lot of traffic to their booth and some that don’t. You need to set expectations.”

It’s important to note, the buying decision can be made at any time over the course of the year as attendees continue to interact with the app.

Slawin says, “This after event revenue stream, we’re the only one providing profitability and revenue even after your event is over. Our system is live from the moment the event producer activates to one year after the event. Our system generates revenue even after you’ve gone home.”

For his part Johnson said, “[DataKeys] was an unexpected bonus. A lot of exhibitors did request the feature.”

What stood out in Johnson’s mind was the level of service from BusyEvent. “What sets them apart, we had an exhibitor that did have an issue getting their information in. They [BusyEvent] actually went in an attacked the problem. They reached out to the exhibitors to ensure they were happy. That’s one of the reasons the client will work with them again.”

As for the attendee experience, Johnson said that the app was very intuitive. Only one attendee had a question on how to use it and they had about a 90 percent adoption rate.

Addressing the amount of work for the show organizer Johnson said, “The key is, it worked and it worked well with a minimum amount of fuss. Getting the data in there was so simple, a simple CSV upload. It took about an hour and a half.”

And that is where that “Make Money” button comes in. For smaller events that do not have the resources available to upsell exhibitors on buying the data, that one button essentially means the DataKeys option sells itself. Something many show organizers would welcome.

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