There is a growing interest in using data to create business value, but with it comes a double-edged risk.

On one hand, you, the event organiser, may lose out on key audience and exhibitor insights and fall behind in the competition if you ignore their data – on the other hand, you could end up with a failed analytics project if you do not have an analytics-driven data strategy in place. If you cultivate a “Culture of Curiosity” in your organisation, getting a cohesive strategy in place in regards to your event data can become easier, with a defined and aligned business outcome. 

Once the analytics programme is defined, it becomes easier to pinpoint the data required to achieve key milestones. There is more than enough data available from multiple sources – and for event organisers, we can classify these data sources into four simple types:

* Contact Data in Event Registration systems, website visitor data, purchased Marketing lists etc

* Transactional Data from CRM, website clickstreams, videos, case studies view/download, onsite badges and lead scans, event mobile apps and iBeacons

* Commercial Data from independent data aggregators or syndicates like D&B etc

* Social Data from LinkedIn, Twitter and, again, event mobile apps

There is value in each of these sources, (and remember these key sources need to be GDPR compliant)  but again, prioritisation of which data needs to be prepared and enriched in order to achieve the Audience/Exhibitor analytics objectives is an ongoing process. Don’t get carried away with the data. If you feel unsure of what you need, then use your defined programme and project outcomes as a guiding light to remove unwanted distractions on data and data sources.

As an Event Professional, you will often ask: which business questions and insights that we have started out to achieve in the current milestone can be answered by integrating, merging and correlating these data sets?

We have helped our clients ask and answer very critical questions like:

* What content on our website contributes and leads to event registrations?

* How can we personalise our promotions based on audience and prospect behaviours?

* How can we engage with them beyond the event based on their topics and speakers of interest?

* Which exhibitors were most popular at a show?

* Which speakers were real hits (or misses) based on actual audience activity on the show floor?

* Who are positive influencers for our shows? How many registrations did they bring in?

All these can be answered with a different combination of data sources discussed above.

So what should drive how you react to the “Urge to Merge”? Here are two takeaway questions you can use to guide your project:

  1. What insights and business value can we derive from this data, and can we justify the costs to collect, integrate and analyse it?
  2. Once the insight is generated, do you know how to use and action the insights?

Answers to these questions which will help you get the insight you need to succeed when it comes to event data.