Are we on the cusp of data-driven events?


Our MD, Chris Elmitt, discusses wearable event technology with Conference & Incentive Travel magazine's Charlotte Flach, to read the full article please visit the C&IT website or read below.

We are on the cusp on data-driven events thanks to breakthrough technology which allows us to better understand event attendees and capture deeper levels of insight into their behaviour, according to Chris Elmitt, MD at Crystal Interactive.

Wearable tech which gathers data and has location intelligence capabilities can offer real-time insight, which Elmitt believes is invaluable for event planners and conference organisers.

Event professionals lack the insights they need to make a difference

Research undertaken by Forrester shows that events occupy the largest share of B2B marketing budgets (14%), but only 34% of marketers use new referrals, quality of leads, deal closure, value of sales, and cross-sell/upsell opportunities to measure event ROI.

Many event planners still rely on traditional methods of data collection such as registration and surveys to monitor attendance and gather feedback. 

"Because of a lack of data, event professionals don't have a seat at the marketing top table," explains Elmitt. "Harnessed correctly, event data will provide them with the ammunition to properly participate in marketing strategy decision-making."

Wearable tech can change this

Wearable technology is set to change this, with platforms such as Klik. Traditional show staples such as registration and lead retrieval are now becoming strategic inputs for data for event planners.  

Wearable tech can communicate with bluetooth hubs which can be placed in different zones across the event space. This will offer the opportunity to monitor who attended seminars, how effective breakout and networking sessions were and help to build a detailed picture of where, when and how attendees are interacting. The result is the ability for much more targeted marketing post show.  

"We have reached a point where the data collected is akin to Google Analytics, but for offline events," says Elmitt. "We can see where people are sticking, how long they are there for and where they are bouncing.  

"The more we know about the attendee, the more we can personalise the experience for them, during the event and after, and continue the cycle of engagement.  We can take these deeper insights and feed it back into our marketing strategies, design a far better event, improve the effectiveness of sponsorships and do a much better job of exceeding everyone’s expectations."  

But what does this large volume of data mean for event managers and organisers?   

Event managers who are able to embrace large volumes of data will have a massive advantage that the level of detail it provides offers. Learning rather than asking what attendees really want will provide genuine insights by observing their real behaviour.   

Elmitt explains, "We will start to see patterns and create segmentations with different types of attendees, allowing us to give the attendee the best event possible.  

"Knowing who they are, what they’re doing, who they’re connecting with... we’re able to recommend who they should network with, what sessions they should attend and make relevant and timely follow ups.  Event managers need to be disciplined about reviewing data and keep coming back to it," he says.

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