JD Hawley is CTO of Convention Data Services. He has more than 20 years of experience as a software architect and technology manager.
Four Easy Steps To Make Your Registration Data Work For You
Throughout the registration process of an event, show management has the opportunity to collect an incredible amount of data about their show’s attendees. This data – registration and attendance patterns, demographics, region and registration classification – is a rich source of information.
Taking data and making it work for you is about more than just capturing information. Data needs to be analyzed and used to produce a successful event.
With so much data available, making decisions about what to do with it can be a daunting challenge. Where do you begin?
Before you can create and implement a data strategy, partner with a registration company that goes beyond data collection. A great partner provides advice, offers data analysis tools, and provides user-friendly reports that help you with the following steps:
1. Determine your event goals
Deciding what you want to do with the data is the first step in developing a solid data strategy. Before diving too deep into the mechanics of data collection, decide what event problems you want to solve or enhanced value you are looking to create. Are your goals to create new sessions, develop new content or increase traffic in your expo hall? With this information, decisions can be made on the category and timeframe of data needed to fulfill these event goals.
2. Identify and consolidate your data and its sources
Identify all the pieces of data you need and where each data element lives, typically in membership or CRM systems, registration company databases or with housing vendors. Evaluate each system for its potential reporting, analytics and marketing capabilities, and then consolidate the data for easier analysis. By integrating and consolidating data, you will see and understand attendees and their behavior.
3. Analyze your data
Having a flexible analytics tool is necessary in order to interpret your consolidated data. Analyzing broad-based attendee behavior provides more than just a marketing benefit. The information can also be used for your event planning decisions and to provide a rich event experience for your attendees. Data analytics can help identify your next venue, evaluate sessions and conferences to draw more attendees, assist with exhibitor sales and attendee marketing, and find sponsorship opportunities.
4. Personalize your marketing campaigns
Personalization helps create a deeper connection with your target audience and is the foundation of a successful event. Identify attendee attributes and habits such as attendance history, purchasing power, location and educational objectives. Then, design targeted marketing campaigns around those specific interests. For example, from your data, you learn that a segment of attendees with high purchasing power registered for a particular session. Use this information to create a targeted campaign to upsell a related session to that segment.
Creating a comprehensive data strategy allows you to use the information collected to create strategies and achieve your event goals. Most important, a comprehensive data strategy and effective analysis help you evaluate ways to increase attendance and exhibitor ROI through an enhanced event experience.