Whenever data is mentioned to a group of event professionals you will almost immediately see the colour drain away from their faces as they stare back at you looking rather bemused, therefore, here at EWL London we thought this would be the perfect topical debate for our March coffee morning.
#Eventprofs from 8 Northumberland, The Meetings Club and Venue Scanner joined guest hosts Clemi Hardie, Head of Pencils at Noodle Live and Rebecca Hyson, The Event Raccoon Director who led a very interesting debate on this very important topic at etc.venues Prospero House.
The Key messages from the event were:
• We can’t be afraid to use data – perception around the world is that ‘data’ is off-putting
• Data needs to be useful and accessible to all stakeholders in the events chain –marketers, events specialists, suppliers, venues and the customer
• Data capture needs to be in a way that doesn’t make the customer feel bombarded – i.e. strategy that gives them a benefit/incentive for providing their details or means to an end i.e. by supplying your information you will get access to presentation slides
• We need to find ways of acting on the data immediately, and then prioritise the hot leads and follow up as often data captured at shows/exhibitions does not get followed up post event
• Data needs to be presented in an informative and simple way so people can get a snapshot analysis. Ask yourself – rather than getting bogged down with spreadsheets could we use dashboards?
• Importantly we need to track data to justify the ROI for the activities we are doing – we don’t do this enough and there is a huge lack of attribution
• We need to create a data strategy from the offset in planning – understanding why we are going to capture and how rather than the perception of it being an after thought
• Generally events/venue industry is behind in terms of data capturing and we are not effectively utilising what we have
• There is a general lack of resource in teams to be able to set up systems for data capture and then follow up effectively on leads/analysis of information
• We need to make sure data that we capture is accurate otherwise the process can become very messy and ineffective
What are your thoughts? Are you effectively using your data? Do you agree with the above and what changes do you think are necessary to drive the industry forward in terms of data collection and evaluation?
Leave us your thoughts and comments below…