published on Jun 15, '16
Just like any other task in life, event organization and promotion must evolve with technology. There's just zero chance of your event being great if you're sporting an 8-track player for entertainment and market the event in a newspaper. Because honestly, who reads the newspaper? One technological evolution that event organizers seriously need to pay attention to, though, is big data.
Big data refers to the vast amount of information that's now available for businesses to utilize. This can range from consumer trends to personal information about those likely to attend your event. This data is handled and analyzed in many ways, but as an event organizer or promoter, you need only understand how this data can make your event a success.
If an event professional suddenly knew exactly how to improve their next job, they'd probably react like a teenage girl on prom night. And we don't mean Carrie. Luckily, though, this is exactly what big data does.
By utilizing big data techniques, you can garner information on the activities of event staff, event attendees, speakers and even your partners. With this data, adjusting every aspect of your event in a way that increases satisfaction even attendance is simple.
When it comes down to it, even the worst event organizer in the world can improve by using big data. You hopefully don't fall into that category, but just in case, here are some big data techniques you should definitely look into.
Successfully utilizing big data involves the ability to analyze. Of course, you can't count your chickens before they hatch, so you must first gather the data. Luckily, there are a host of data sources for event professionals.
One of the best ways to gather data from party attendees, consumers and even those who display slight interest in an event is to utilize email marketing. Since 77% of consumers stated that email was their preferred permission-based marketing technique, this is perfect.
Event marketers can utilize analytics such as open rates, devices where emails were opened, individual recipient behavior and much more. Those attempting to make an event successful use this data to adjust their email marketing strategy to be more effective.
Email marketing can improve event promotion on the fly. Using RFID chips, though, can help you analyze data from your party and use it to improve planning and hosting for future events. Simply having attendees equipped with an RFID chip upon entry can do wonders, and no, surgical implantation isn't necessary.
Instead of surgical implants a la The X-Files, RFID chips can be placed in cards, identification badges, wristbands or any number of products given to guests at an event. These items can have a variety of uses that also gather data:
With this technology, event organizers and promoters can gain insight on everything their attendees did while at an event. This includes purchase decisions, individual preferences in activities and whether something at the event actually caught people's attention for an extended period of time.
Social media runs everything else in the world, so why not big data and event promotion as well? You already know that creating event pages and getting shared by thought leaders on social media can do wonders, but the information that can be garnered on these sites is also invaluable to event professionals.
Unlike some data gathering sources, though, social media sites already combine analytics. For event organizers with a Facebook page, it's easy to see follower information such as age, location, gender and other demographics that can prove invaluable to creating and marketing an event. The real tool in social media marketing when it comes to big data, though, is what you can't see.
When promoting an event or post on Facebook, you can target specific subsets of the population. Want to get the attention of individuals in a specific city who like a certain band? No problem. Looking for potential attendees under 25 who attended a similar event recently? Easy peasy. Want to make sure no guests' crazy exes show up?
That could be more difficult. Still, what you can pull off is substantial. Utilize Facebook's big data to make your event successful.
Since social media is rare in the fact that it has data gathering and analytics rolled into one, you'll need a few tools at your side for other data gathering techniques. Fortunately, most of these are easy to come across. Many email marketing tools, for instance, MailChimp being a prime example, gather and display the data you'll need to alter your strategy and get more people to open your messages.
When it comes to RFID chips, however, it's not as easy as getting an online subscription to email marketing tools. You'll need chip readers, items with embedded chips created along with a host of other considerations. As they say, though, you have to spend money to make money. And when it comes down to it, this is a great way for event professionals to make money.
All the nuances to big data might be difficult to understand, but come on - do any of us really know how a smartphone works? Of course not. We just know that it does. By using the current tools of big data, you can take advantage of the technology even if you don't fully understand it.