Today, event planners are capturing data before, during and after the event. A decade ago, event data would have consisted of basic attendee information collected from registration forms, such as name, age, address or data collected from surveys. As technology has advanced, so has the complexity of the data – it is now known as Big Data.
Nowadays, you can collect information to discover which online campaigns are influencing registration or being discussed on social media. You can also track the movements of attendees with Wi-Fi, GPS, iBeacons, or low-energy Bluetooth to see which events or booths they’re visiting. Or, you can send out second-screen solutions to discover the actions and thoughts of audience members before, during, and after an event.
When used properly, big data can help you make your events smarter, provide you with business intelligence so that you can save on costs, improve operational efficiency, increase engagement with optimised marketing campaigns and overall enhance the attendee experience. However with the massive amounts of data generated by tools and systems, it is easy to lose sight of the information you actually need to select and analyse.
Here are 4 common mistakes meeting planners need to look out for when using big data to plan their events:
- Compiling too much data: yes, we can access data and a lot of it, but be aware of “data collection overdrive mode”. There is no value in amassing too much information that simply can’t be processed (due to lack of resources), or may not even be required.
- Collecting data that isn’t aligned with business objectives: events are in nature one tactic into your marketing strategy and should always bring back to the fundamental question – How will that serve my business objectives?
- Using unattractive tools of collection: forget about traditional surveys, data should be collected in a fun, interactive and meaningful way. Easy to use and attractive technology is key to successfully engage with your audience and obtain the data you truly need. (Take a look at our previous article for tips here)
- Ignoring the results collected from the data: it is all about understanding what the data is telling you. The more you get to know your attendees, the more you will understand their needs and their business. Only by listening to them can you improve your meetings and event management.