Event data collection helps you and your clients understand whether the event was a success or not. And being backed up by data from your past events builds your credibility as an event planner.
When prospective clients come to you, they don’t just want to see photos or videos of your past events. They want to see reports that show the success of your past events, looking specifically at indicators like engagement, sales, and brand awareness. Naturally, the more data you collect, the more insights you gain. You get a better understanding of your attendees’ behavior and how you can improve your events in the future.
You can collect data from all aspects of an event, from social media interactions, website traffic, and registrations to the demographics of your attendees and feedback after the event. Collecting all of it could potentially be overwhelming. Therefore, when collecting event data events, employ a funneling process to narrow the focus of your data. It will help you have targets or specific reasons for your data collection to extract data from the appropriate areas in your event.
Why Event Data Collection Matters
1. To understand attendee engagement
You can collect the following data to see the engagement of your attendees in your event:
Leads – Get the number of sales made and/or sign-ups secured during the event. You can also collect the number of views or inquiries into the business, staff, or the business’s production process. You can also measure the number of reactions to the paid promotions you run during the event.
Brand awareness – Measure the number of new followers, friend requests, subscriptions, likes, and reposts that the event got on social media. If you offer digital offerings like eBooks, templates, or other branded content, track the number of downloads, views, likes, and comments on those offerings.
Physical engagement – Get exact timeframes of how long your attendees were in the event and/or the amounts of time they spent in the different sessions of the event. You also want to measure the number of responses to your polls, surveys, or quizzes and how many people participated in challenges or giveaways.
2. To prove Return on Investment
The concept of Return on Investment or “Return on Event” is important in events, more so now as the event industry is recovering from the pandemic. Event success is measured in the same way as sales and marketing. As an event planner, you must show how your event has met its revenue targets. To illustrate this, often, you will have to compile a report for your clients. And in that report, you must show the insights from your data collection and calculate ROI. You can also use those insights when you pitch events to prospective clients to show them why certain event ideas work and are worth investing in.
3. To track event attendee behavior
You can get valuable insights to improve the event as it happens by collecting data from your event’s registration system, the event website, or the event mobile app. This data will show your attendees’ behavior during the event. For example, you can look at the check-ins on your mobile app to see which spaces, stalls, or booths have the least amount of people. You can then modify your social media posts or send prompts to attendees on the mobile app to get them to engage more where you need it.
Methods Of Event Data Collection
1. Registration systems
One of the few good things that we have the pandemic to thank for is the complete move to digital registrations and sign-ups. There are no longer attendees standing in long queues at entrances waiting to be registered at the counter. Attendees now register at home on event websites or mobile apps.
Registration forms can bring you segmented data like the ages of your attendees, their locations, their payment methods, and their reasons for attending. You can measure whether they’re coming for educational, socializing, or networking purposes. This kind of data can give you insights into who your target market actually is and what purpose your events fulfill for them. Then you can leverage this information to plan future events that draw them in even more.
2. Social media analytics
Some social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, give you the analytics of your reach and the demographics of the audience you are reaching. You can also use external social media tools to compare your activity across all your platforms and see where you get the most interaction. You’ll see your conversion rates on each platform. The one with the highest conversion rates is ultimately the one you must double down on for future events. Inversely, the ones with the lesser conversion rates will require different content or a different marketing strategy altogether.
3. Website analytics
You can get your event website analytics from your website host or use external tools like Google Analytics. This data will show you the traffic on your website and other patterns, such as where most people abandon the registration process and what pages are most viewed. Using this data, you can get insights on whether your website is effective, easy to navigate, and how to improve it to make the attendees’ experience better.
4. Mobile apps
Mobile apps are a great way of collecting behavioral data because the attendees can use them at their own leisure throughout the event. If your app has booking and check-in features, you can also see which sessions or speakers got the most attention and what products were the most purchased. All this data offers insight into what your attendees actually enjoy and what you can improve.
5. Event management software
Ideally, you want your event management software to record as much data as possible. It should have all the event details and be used by the event team to monitor the number of attendees who have arrived and those still expected. The most advanced event management software will even perform financial functions such as calculating the money coming in as sales occur.
6. Post-event surveys
Many tools can be used for post-event surveys to ask attendees about their personal experience of the event, from SurveyMonkey to Google Forms. Surveys are great because you can ask specific questions instead of “Did you enjoy this event, yes or no?”
You can ask about the content, the quality of the delivery, i.e., the speakers and performers, the catering, the sponsors, and the venue. You can create a survey with the kind of questions that will give you the data you want to collect. Although reading and summarising survey responses will be time-consuming, you will gain specific and valuable insights from synthesizing that data.
While chatbots may not be as staple a feature as the rest of these data collection methods, they are rapidly growing in popularity. Chatbots allow anyone on your website to have a conversation in real-time with a member of your staff.
Now, as detailed as your website may be, there can always be a blind spot where you could lose prospective attendees. Also, people may just be curious about things that aren’t on your website. You can analyze all the queries to the chatbot and see where there is a communication gap and what details you need to clarify. The data you collect can be grouped by topics in conversation, users, external link clicks, and the messaging channels used.
Privacy Matters With Event Data Collection
The most important thing to remember with data collection is that you must prioritize the privacy of your attendees. You must let your attendees know that you are collecting the information they put in their registration forms and other admin they fill out. You must also disclose why you are collecting the data and who you will be sharing that data with.
It is also paramount that you make the option to opt-out of your data collection available and honor those who request to not have their data collected. An excellent strategy to minimize the number of attendees who opt-out is to make them feel safe by using secure and reputable registration systems and website hosts.