The Black Hole of Event Data

From the minute you identify someone as a potential attendee for your event, marketing technology allows you to track many of their interactions with your brand. From the amount of visits on your website, through the registration process, open-rates on upsell emails pre-conference, to the onsite badging and registration process.

Tom Dally, July 13, 2017

Then, using event apps, you are able to follow every step they take once at your conference, what booths they visited and who they met.

Now you have them! The day of the event, the speaker is on stage, the attendees are in their seats and the AV set up looks perfect. Success! Everyone's ready to listen, learn and engage. Yet at this point, the data collection stops.

We call this the black hole of event marketing data.


All of this effort to get your attendees in the the room to hear what the speakers have to say, yet this is the one place the feedback loop is momentarily broken.

Sure, once they leave you can send a few emails asking for the post-event survey to be filled out, and if you're lucky you get a 20% response rate.  The event seems like an age ago, and business as usual has already taken over. The opportunity has passed.

What are you missing out on?

Data. Valuable audience engagement data.

Many businesses use tools like HubSpot or Marketo to track interactions with their brand, particularly online, to help qualify leads and opportunities. This data helps reduce the noise and allows brands to focus on who they should be putting their time, energy and budgets into.

This data is powerful and impactful, so why not apply the same level of audience engagement tracking to your audiences "in real life". Conference sessions are a perfect platform to gather more of this valuable data - your audience has taken the time to attend your event, they're vested in your brand, they want to maximise the effectiveness of their time out of the office, and it's all  measureable...

How can we capture session engagement data?

Solutions like Glisser take digital Q&A and polling to the next level, and turn your attendee interactions into a tidal wave of useful data. We often we see audience participation used to make the session a bit more fun, but the real opportunity is to gain useful, meaningful insights from your audience. 

Here's how...

1. Polling

Be smart about what you ask. While polling the audience on what they had for breakfast might be a fun icebreaker it doesn't help your marketing team understand their needs, business challenges or buying intentions. Think about what data would be valuable to your business and ask the questions that will uncover it. Maybe you want to hear about their priorities for the year, maybe your sales team would like to know who will be receptive to a call, maybe just basic segmentation and qualification will allow you and your marketing team to better serve their needs.

Ask smart questions - get useful answers.

2. Q&A

Here’s an idea; take the question feed from your presentations or panel sessions, have your experts answer them (particularly those that didn't get covered in the session) and turn it into an on-topic FAQ guide to send as a follow up to your delegates, or to your marketing database.

Q&A sessions are rich pockets of content that you know your audience care about, because they asked in the first place! Now that technology like Glisser can capture this digitally, extend it's usefulness and life beyond the room.

3. Surveys

The audience members are still in their seats, the topic is top of mind, and they have a few minutes before the next speaker starts. A perfect time to ask to for speaker feedback, or other survey questions. Use polls or Glisser 'Slide Likes' to give the speakers and sponsors the insights they want, or drop your survey questions in 'little and often' over the course of the day. The audience is already interacting with the session on their phones so timing is perfect - a far higher response rate is almost certain.

You're generating data on an individual attendee level, for personalized and targeted follow up, and group data from the audience, that makes for great infographics or to create social buzz on Twitter.

But, before we finish, one important rule to follow...

If you want your attendees to give you something (data) it helps if you give them a reason to do so, and good coffee won't always cut it. Our customers have found the benefit of using Glisser is quite simple: the audience get the slides... immediately. They can take notes and download the content. 

Don't underestimate how useful this is for attendees.

No more running up to the speaker when they are done and giving them your business card, or taking photos of key slides. By giving the audience the content, you'll have far more people interact with your sessions, and engagement levels go up, up, up! And more engagement means more data.

So what can you do with all of this wonderful data?

  • Brand engagement and lead qualification scoring
  • Do you have a paying sponsor? I bet they’d like it
  • More feedback, faster and not in three different systems (or on paper, ouch!)
  • It can feed into your Event ROI calculations (a few ideas here on the four Rs of Event ROI and how to put your data to use...)


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