By Corbin Ball, Corbin Ball & Co. ©2016

Big data analytics (the ability to analyze large volumes of data from many sources) are making headway into events.

There has been an explosion of data collection sources before, during and after events:  mobile event apps (where every touch is trackable), beacon technology, twitter feeds, polling, a range of social media input, live streaming, exhibit hall heat maps, procurement databases and much more.

Fortunately, several technology companies are stepping up to address this blizzard of data with the goal of improving event ROI, improving the attendee experience and making better events and exhibition decisions.

Vista Equity Partners (owners Lanyon and Cvent – the world’s two largest event technology firms) purchase of marketing automation firm Marketo for US$1.8 billion is an example of how the big players are recognizing that live events are a significant component of a broader marketing landscape. The ability to wed live event data with customer (attendee) profiles is a major step forward for combining the data flow from all sources to provide a much more targeted relationship. Ties to marketing automation platforms and CRM systems is a natural step forward.

In addition, there are a few companies have recently released new data analytic tools:

Etouches has recently rolled out its Event Data & ROI Platform which provides event organizers an expanded view of the value their events generate. It measures and quantifies event ROI (return on investment) in real-time against established goals. Throughout the event lifecycle, the platform collects, integrates and analyzes a broad range of event data and performance metrics against trends, benchmarks and best practices. A visual dashboards provide the essential transparency and insight needed to take action and optimize the event value.

Features include:

  • user customizable templates to define event’s success criteria (goals)
  • link the goals to related metrics from a range of data sources including registration data, the mobile event app, iBeacons, surveys and more
  • quick insight into actions and optimize the overall event value
  • during the event, drill down to identify areas requiring attention and take action using the integrated knowledge base
  • assess the event’s performance in real-time
  • visual, drillable dashboards rapidly expose issues
  • get contextual advice and use the integrated knowledge base to further improve your event ROI
  • unique big data driven technology
  • use the event ROI data to define areas to focus on for future events

DoubleDutch.me, one of the top mobile event app companies, has recently moved into the data analytics space with its “Live Engagement Marketing” platform.

 

They offer a range of engagement tools including Smart Recommendations. Through advanced algorithms, attendees can get personalized recommendations on other attendees they may want to connect with and relevant sessions they may find interesting. Attendees can also schedule meetings seamlessly right in app. Attendees can easily request a meeting, choose from mutual availabilities, accept or decline meetings, view schedule, and get timely reminders

The above interactions and a range of other including lead exchange, polling, social media activity and other real-time event data can be transferred into marketing automation and CRM systems, such as Marketo, Eloqua, and Salesforce. By automatically transferring attendee signals captured in the event app, marketing and event teams can now enable timely and relevant follow-up by scoring attendee leads, setting up personalized trigger campaigns, and delivering real-time alerts for sales teams.

Cvent, with its huge volume of hotel procurement data (planners sent $9.8B worth of eRFPs in 2015 alone!) has just released its Group Business Trend Tool which explores over four years of Cvent’s planner and hotelier data providing insight into trends for future strategies.

These are just some of the data analytics opportunities available for meeting professionals. Much more is on the way to help improve events.


Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site Corbin Ball & Co. - Meetings Technology Headquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball.

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