Event Data 2.0— Practical Strategies for Event Planners and Marketers

Earlier this month, we launched Attendify Audiences, a data platform built specifically for the event industry. Attendify Audiences unlocks the vast potential of engagement data from live events and helps planners and marketers put their data to work.

Conversations about the importance of event data started years ago when mobile event apps began replacing printed guides. At the time Attendify stayed on the sidelines, it wasn’t worth talking about data if there were no practical, accessible ways to act on it. 18 months ago, we set out to build a flexible platform that helps planners and marketers personalize outreach and grow their events.

Since rolling out the beta version of Attendify Audiences, demoing it to customers for the first time, and gathering feedback, we’ve been documenting the many ways Audiences helps deliver more value to attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. This post is all about the ways you can put your event data to work, a journey that starts with…

Making Event Data Actionable
Mobile event apps are by far the most cost-effective and scalable way to collect attendee engagement data. The missing link has always been a turn-key solution for harnessing that data, which is the core problem we’re solving with Attendify Audiences.

When we started designing Audiences, we thought about the ways planners and marketers would want to use their data and took those use cases to reverse engineer a simple, accessible data platform. We focused on several practical ways to put event data to work that we felt were most important for event organizers and marketers:

  • List building and segmentation
  • Creating custom audiences for online advertising
  • Targeted email outreach
  • Event personalization
  • Sales support campaigns
  • Sponsor & exhibitor ROI

The Foundation: List Building & Segmentation
Gathering all your event data in one place, building lists and segmenting them is the foundation of any data platform. Whether you run a handful of events a year or hundreds, having access to a comprehensive audience pool across events is essential to creating targeted and individualized experiences.

Attendify Audiences solves that problem elegantly by serving as a warehouse that accesses data from event apps, your registration system, CRM, or virtually any other source. If you’re already running events using Attendify’s mobile event apps, your data is already and immediately available in our system…

Having all the data in one place is a big step, but what happens next? The ability to filter that data across any parameter to build custom segments makes the data truly actionable, and that’s where we went all out. Attendify Audiences empowers you to create segments based on demographics, social activity, sponsor engagement, event content consumption and so much more.

Custom Audiences for Online Advertising
When we start to explore the potential of custom audience segments to power digital advertising campaigns, things get really interesting. The bedrock of any successful digital campaign is the ability to reach the right audience with the right message.

Let’s look at a few simple examples, we mocked up two banners for the same event. The first features a logo for a fictional event and a bold “Buy Tickets” button. It’s not bad; it’s attractive, features the brand prominently, has a simple CTA and is relatively easy to target. The only problem with this approach is that it’s so easy to ignore…

There’s a better way to target ads, and it starts with leveraging engagement data from your events. Whether you’re looking to cross-sell tickets to attendees from different events, drive repeat attendees to the same event, or reactivate attendees who haven’t attended in a few years, you’ve got options. You can target attendees that rated a specific speaker highly, highlight exciting new sessions that are likely to resonate or promote networking opportunities to attendees who made great use of them last year. These are just a small sample of the types of campaigns you can run:

Ask yourself, if you saw that second set of banners, how much more likely are you to click? The generic ad, or the one featuring a few of the speakers you rated 5 stars last year? Advertising is a battle for attention, and personalization is the best way to differentiate your ads. With Attendify Audiences you can run personalized ads on Facebook, Twitter or Google AdWords to boost your conversion rates and bring down your customer acquisition/retention costs.

Attendify is also working on simple tracking code (pixel) that you can install on your website to instantly power retargeting campaigns to help drive new attendees to your events. More on that in Q1 of 2018 :)

Hyper-Personal Email Campaigns
If you can target personalized ads, you can work the same magic with your email campaigns. Whether you use MailChimp, Marketo or any other email marketing tool, Attendify Audiences can help you deliver highly targeted messages to keep attendees engaged year-round.

There’s no limit to the ways you can personalize campaigns, but we happen to think that delivering content after the event, and throughout the year are huge opportunities. Using data about the content attendees engaged with, such as speakers viewed, sessions favorited, ratings or notes, you can begin to deliver additional content that’s highly relevant. Send links to videos or slides from specific sessions, provide additional content from the most popular speakers, or deliver content from sessions attendees didn’t have a chance to attend.

Personalized Event Experiences at Scale
Marketing your event to current and prospective attendees is essential, but personalizing their event experiences can be a game changer for many events. It may sound like a big and complex undertaking, but personalization can be easy when you have scores of engagement data at your fingertips.

You can also start with simple tactics like sending timely push notifications, helping connect attendees with similar interests, or suggesting sessions that attendees may have overlooked on the schedule.

As you gather more data you can start to adjust your event to cater to attendee sentiment, tastes and preferences. You can better align the mix of content and networking sessions, use social data to select session topics for next year, and connect attendees with sponsors and exhibitors to create more meaningful relationships.

Contextual Sales Support Campaign
As long as the list is vetted and pre-qualified, outbound calling campaigns can garner serious results. For example, if your organization produces events and also sells direct to that same audience, cross-pollination using your event data can achieve the ultimate in event marketing, turning attendees into paying customers.

Smart segmentation can result in a list of non-customers who have attended marketing sessions in the past and rated those sessions positively. With that target market, your sales reps can reach out to follow up on their event attendance to gather additional sentiment information in addition to pitching them a new marketing product that they’re sure to be interested in.

Join the Beta
If you want to experience Attendify Audiences first-hand, sign up for our beta and we’ll give you early access as soon as slots open up. If you prefer to see a demo, a member of our team will be happy to walk you through a hands-on product tour.

The beta launch of Attendify Audiences is only the first step in helping event planners and marketers realize the incredible potential of their event data. We’re continuing to work on new ways to capture event data and put it to work by personalizing marketing campaigns and event experiences. Stay tuned for more as we share what we’re planning and developing!