The success of a conference and corporate event depends on making sure the right people get through the door. Then, those people need to take certain actions which will fulfil the objectives of the event. One of the biggest trends in the event industry this year is the personalisation of the event experience. An Eventsforce survey shows that 82 percent of the senior event planners list personalising the event experience as one of their priorities for 2016.
Most events usually fall into the one-size fits all category, this would only be effective if the audience is highly niche, like “Surrey CEOs with companies who have 155 employees, who like to play golf on Saturday and love the colour pink”. Otherwise, it is difficult for an event planner to create an event experience that satisfies everyone in the audience.
One technique used to personalise an event experience is to capture data, before, during and after the event. This data can be used to deliver a more tangible experience. At first, this data will be basic and may include the person’s name and email address. During the run-up to the event and during the event, there will be more opportunities to collect data and provide further personalisation and marketing to the event experience.
Here are three factors that should be considered by event planners and organisers:
#1: The Registration Process
Try to avoid a lengthy registration process. If there are numerous fields to fill in, some potential attendees will abort their registration. They will also quit the registration process if the information requested is too intrusive or if the process takes too much time to complete. While you don’t want to intimidate potential attendees with too many questions, you do want to use this opportunity to segment your email list and learn a little more about your delegates.
If you use a simple registration form that requires a few additional details people will be more likely to complete it. In addition to the basic information, including their name, email address, and company name, you can also ask extra questions that may help you personalise your communications. These questions may be the size of their company, their role in the company and the sector they operate in. If you offer delegates the opportunity to register for specific seminars, workshops, and talks, this is another opportunity for personalising their experience.
After capturing these additional details, you can deliver personalised content to the delegate’s inbox. For example, if you know the role of the person within their organisation, then you can send an email suggesting relevant workshops that may interest them. You can also provide them with information about the talks or seminars they are registered for or send them reminders of these talks, during the event, in case they get side-tracked.
There are many tools that allow you to integrate social media into your event and make it more personal. You can use a simple plugin to show your social media contacts that you’ve registered for the event, which can help engage delegates. Knowing who will be attending can also provide an opportunity to schedule meetings, which will make your event more important for both parties.
You can explore the option of adding a social login to your event registration and login pages. This is a great benefit to the delegate because it offers them the ability to have a faster registration and login process. And it’s also beneficial to the event organiser. With a social login, you can gather permission-based data like email, place of work, location, interests and preferences.
Social event apps can also help attendees get more from your event. Delegates can use these apps while at the event to let other attendees know they are present. It can also provide an opportunity for delegates to reach out to potential business partners and speakers.
#3: NFC Lanyards, Wristbands and Event Apps
It would be useful if you were able to track the movement and interactions, during the event. This would allow you to provide them with personalised content. On a basic scale, you can have attendee swipe a wristband when they enter a particular area, like when they enter a theatre for a seminar. Knowing that the delegate has arrived at the event and has attended the seminar they registered for is useful information which can allow the event organiser to personalise future communications.
Another tactic used is gamification, where delegates are encouraged to perform certain activities, like visiting a particular stand or attend a speech, in order to earn prizes or privileges. All they would have to do is swipe their wristband at each location.
Event apps can be used for personalisation by tailoring the event experience for different audiences. These audiences can include the attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and VIPs. This helps to ensure that each individual has access to the most relevant information that pertains to their event experience. It also allows the event organiser to deliver personalised content to each type of audience throughout the event.
Personalisation of the event experience does not end when the attendees go home. You can use the data gathered throughout the event to continue to engage the delegates. The advantage of having this data is that it offers event organisers the opportunity to send highly personalised communications.
Also, if your event is a regular feature on the event calendar, then this information can help you to tailor each individual’s event experience for the next time.