Events and trade fairs present marketing specialists with major challenges. Although events are well-established advertising assets, they lack detailed data collection and analysis capabilities found in other marketing tools, such as email campaigns and websites. Much of what happened at the event or fair will remain at the event or fair!
However, this is changing at the moment.
With the recent explosion of data capture and analysis tools on the ground, events will no longer be the “black hole” of marketing analytics. Events and fairs are beginning to provide a treasure trove of data that captures participants’ preferences, interests, movements and interactions. This data can help event planners make corrections to existing events and improve future events during the event; They can offer exhibitors a much higher added value; They can provide participants with a much richer and more personalized experience.
By integrating sales automation tools and CRM systems, customer behavior at events can now be understood in detail. Analytics of Events takes center stage in the marketing mix and can help planners sit around a table with sales and marketing executives using these tools. Event managers and marketing professionals can work together to improve the event and create a much more detailed profile of the interests and desires of the participants (clients), while highlighting the importance of events within the organization.
There are three trends that make this possible
1. The explosion of data collection tools on site
Over the last few years, local data collection tools have improved and new ones have been added:
Mobile Event Apps: Mobile event apps have become commonplace in many events, providing participants with detailed information about the event and a range of networking tools. Since every touch in the app is understandable, a wealth of data about user interests, likes, dislikes, and interactions can be read. Mobile app providers are beginning to refine data analytics within their products to provide significant marketing insights.
Fixed beacons: BLE devices (known as iBeacons) that work with mobile event apps can measure the mass flow and movement of individual participants. Interactions are based on the location. With this new technology not only every touch is comprehensible, but every movement can be included in the tracking. Some of the possibilities are:
Heat Maps: Measuring the flow of visitors through an exhibition hall to see where the hot spots are and where they are not.
Dwell times: Beacons measure the time a participant spends in front of a booth – if a participant spends 15 minutes at a booth, they are more likely to be more interested in the product than by passing by, for example. This list of booth visitors who have shown interest is very valuable to the exhibitor, but it also brings benefits to the visitor. In hindsight, visitors can better understand what exactly interests them and whether they want more information.
Continuing Education Units (CEU) Tracking: This is very important for medical and pharmaceutical events as well as financial events. Of course, any other event offers the training as part of the event experience.
Networking: This technology allows participants to identify people with similar interests who are around them. This enables relevant networking processes to be initiated and adds value to each and every visitor to the event.
Portable Beacons: Wearable beacons can do everything a fixed beacon can do and more. About the size of a stamp, they are inserted or attached in badges and can work independently of mobile apps. The subscriber does not have to download a special app and use his mobile device via Bluetooth to do his work constantly. So a very easy way. The result is often a significantly higher utilization, but at a higher cost. This should be considered in the cost calculation.
Mobile Survey, Survey, and Social Q & A Applications: Mobile event apps and standalone programs have made surveys much easier and less expensive for an event manager … at a small fraction of the cost of hiring their own survey stations, or trained ones Personnel would incur. The results can give planners and speakers immediate feedback on the thoughts and feelings of the participants. Social Q & A tools, where participants ask questions, facilitate group interaction and show the audience what matters.
Gamification: Gamification tools, increasingly found as part of a mobile event application, create better and more meaningful experiences. These data generated by the Gamification Features are also very useful for completing participant profiles. Since participants are encouraged to provide a particularly large amount of data directly digitally and measurably.
NFC Badges and NFC USB Sticks: Although NFC (Near Field Communication Technology) has been around for some time, the ability to quickly share contact and other data between attendees and exhibitors is extremely helpful for marketing. The myriad of the data collection tools listed above provide very accurate details about the actions, behaviors, and interests of the participants. This is the beginning of a result-oriented usability. This is achieved by combining targeted analytical methods with CRM and marketing software (see the following sections).
2. The rise of data integration
Data management systems are increasingly becoming systems where the integration of data across different areas has become much easier. With state-of-the-art, cloud-based event technology systems and advanced Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), it’s now possible to capture, analyze, and link data with CRM tools such as Salesforce – and close the loop, from a marketing perspective.
Interoperability is at the heart of things, and change is happening to a great extent.
This rich interoperability greatly facilitates the analysis of data and its return to CRM systems. Customer behaviors and interests generated at events can be tied to customer profiles, enabling better marketing value creation and more personalized sales communication.
3. Advances in analytics and marketing automation
The term marketing automation refers to technologies designed to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows to increase operational efficiency and revenue. Various companies have developed more and more powerful automation products in recent years.
With advances in cloud-based computing and APIs, subscriber management companies can connect with these marketing companies to significantly improve marketing efficiency. We now have the technology to make data usable. Events and trade fairs can be integrated into a uniform marketing program. This is a great development for event managers.
4. Future trends
Financial services companies, pharmaceutical, and technology companies are among the most important vertical industries that are pushing the boundaries of event analytics. And the efforts are paying off! Meter-to-meter tracking of event participants and inclusion of data in customer profiles or in the CRM tool enables more accurate measurement of event ROI and helps companies make marketing decisions that better understand customer needs and preferences. As the above trends are still in the development stage, costs will continue to decline and become available to a wider range of event managers in the future.
In addition, new technologies such as artificial intelligence and resulting analytics (which will produce statistical behavioral predictions through the analysis of current and past behavior) will be available. Event planners and marketing professionals can use the data to make the best decisions.
As event managers are often closely involved in purchasing on-site technology for use, they can help increase the impact of event marketing with the right technology decisions in a positive way. This is an area that is changing rapidly, but there is now a chance to be one of the first to make many right decisions for the future. And to gain a head start. Event managers should use these new on-site data collection, integration, and analysis tools to find out which tools are best for their events. And after analyzing the benefits of each application, use them regularly for their events.