Events create plenty of data collection opportunities for your organization. Information from participant registration, survey responses, and even virtual chats can make for valuable data to inform your next event. However, you probably didn't know that this data can also be useful to your marketing and sales teams. That's right, event data can offer invaluable insights for your marketing and sales team.
Unfortunately, few companies know how to use this data to improve sales and marketing beyond the event. Our webinar will teach you how to capture and use event data and other tips to enhance your marketing and sales. You need to measure, analyze, benchmark, and repeat. Learn to leverage the power of virtual event data with Chloe Richardson (VP of Senior Corporate Relations at Explori) and Florian Kühne (CEO of Sweap). The host for the webinar is Oliver, the Community Manager of the Happy Event Planner Slack Community.
Continue reading or watch the session to find out why event data is the golden ticket for marketing and sales teams.
Why Is Event Data Important
According to Florian Kuhne, the CEO and co-founder of Sweap, one of the main reasons you need event data is to grow your business. This is because you can gain valuable insights from your target audience on improving the overall performance of various aspects of your business.
People want to join communities and engage with others, and events are excellent platforms for this. Businesses can gather data on the attendance and engagements of attendees and use that data for decision-making. However, to gain the most from event data, businesses need to track robust, tangible metrics that determine their events' impact. The metrics should be able to track how the events affect people, communities, and businesses.
Why It's Important to Set Goals Before an Event
Events, both virtual and in-person, generate large volumes of data. Participants register, attend keynote sessions, network, send messages, ask questions, talk to staff, visit booths, and so on. But most often, event organizers, marketing, and sales teams struggle to make the most of this data. This is because organizations fail to set goals for interpreting the data.
Organizational leaders should work with their teams to determine the purpose of events. Is the event meant for thought leadership, brand recognition, or is it intended to help grow your customer base? Various stakeholders need to come together to determine what passes as a successful event. They should determine how an event fits into the bigger picture and how it supports the overall organizational objective. Only this way can they see the true value of the data they generate from the events.
How Events Can Help Integrate an Organization's Marketing and Sales Teams
The alignment of departmental goals and business goals is vital to business success. If every department genuinely has the business' overall objective at heart in everything they do, and every department puts attendees at the center of every decision they make, it is much easier to achieve the overall business goals.
Organizations should teach their marketing and sales departments to work as one team towards a common goal. For instance, this could entail teaching the sales team that events aren't only held for lead generation but other organizational goals can also be attained through these events. It could also entail teaching the marketing team the importance of connecting with the sales team to help them post events to engage with the audience and drive them down the funnel.
Organizations should also ensure that data silos don't exist. This is because data silos make it challenging to create a cohesive story where all departments understand the event attendees. Instead, there should be a single event data source to ensure that the various departments use the data as effectively as possible.
What Are the Different Types of Event Data, and How Can You Really Measure them
According to Chloe Richardson, the senior corporate relations VP at X Glory, there are three types of event data, namely:
Demographic Data: This data defines who your attendees are, their job titles, company names, locations, and more. Demographic data is collected pre-event, usually in a CRM or registration platform. This data isn't useful in itself and can't be used for decision-making.
Engagement Data: This type of event data tells you what people did at the event, where they went, who they visited, how they engaged, and what sessions they attended. While engagement data is essential, it isn't enough by itself—it doesn't give you a clear picture of whether your customers and attendees are really engaged.
Sentiment Data: This is the most important event data. It tells you why people did what they did. It is generally collected post-show or on-site to determine how engaged your attendees are. Sentiment data qualifies an event using behavioral and attitudinal impact and is usually collected via polls, surveys, or post-event feedback.
Tracking all three types of data is crucial. However, sentimental data can offer more valuable insights into the impactfulness of an event. Sentimental data can elevate marketing and sales teams by helping them truly understand your customers. It ensures that you eliminate time wasting and allows you to use internal resources as efficiently and productively as possible—it focuses on attendees who interact with your event or products and are invested in your brand.
That said, how can you ensure that people provide a true resemblance of their experience at your event, given people's tendency to give inaccurate information about their account of events?
For starters, you could anonymize feedback. By leveraging a faceless solution, you are more likely to get accurate information since people don't feel like they are stepping on your toe when offering honest answers anonymously. Alternatively, you could use an automation tool or get feedback from a different channel.
Ensure that you act on the feedback—this will make your attendees feel valued and are more likely to give you accurate information the next time they attend your events.
How to Communicate the Importance of Event Data to Your Marketing and Sales Team
There are different ways you can communicate the value of event data and why you should use robust metrics to determine its impactfulness. The first thing you should do is implement proper reporting systems.
You also need to determine what your objectives are. Ensure that when your event ends, you pull together all the demographic, engagement, and sentimental data you gathered into a visual story using dashboards, metrics, and analytics. These visuals should explain what you have seen and what you recommend your sales team do in order to make the best use of the insights from your data. Tell the story in a manner that your sales team not only hears but also understands it.
Key Takeaways From the Webinar
Events Provide Valuable Data
Event data is an essential part of the marketing plan for any company looking to excite its target market. The way the host connects to the audience provides insights into how the business can connect with the market and grow the business. This data can provide actionable insights for sales and marketing when well utilised.
You Should Measure the Impact of the Event
It is important to measure the impact of the event on meeting your goals. This is the reason data is important. This helps you to know to what extent you have met your goals. Then, how to plan your sales and marketing. Otherwise, it may be a waste of time and resources.
Create Tangible Metrics to Interpret the Data
You need to use robust, tangible metrics so that you can have valuable data that can demonstrate value and impact. Without the metrics, you collect so much data but cannot use it to achieve any goal as it is hard to interpret or make strategic decisions. Metrics provide a way to make sense of event data in line with expected outcomes.
Create SMART Goals for the Event
You should plan how to use data effectively once you have collected it. It makes no sense to have data that does not meet any goals. Determine what you need to achieve and use the data to get to that point.
Create goals that can be ascertained at the end of the event data. This could increase the customer base, increase product awareness, launch new products, or even build networks among the industry players. These objectives guide every step of the planning and execution of the event's various activities so that there are no deviations.
Key Quotes From the Guests
Chloe Richardson (VP of Senior Corporate Relations at Explori)
„Before you make any event strategy, you need to make sure that your event has its place within the wider business objectives.“
Business objectives are as important as the event itself. Before you start planning it, you should ensure that it meets the broader objectives you have set for the business. You should know how the business fits within these broad objectives.
Here is an example: You may be planning to increase brand recognition or loyalty as part of your business objective. Everything you do should be subtly geared toward achieving these objectives. Your event design, message, and activities that will be undertaken during the event should point towards increasing brand awareness and recognition or bringing more return customers.
Goal and objective setting are usually a headache for many companies. So, they tend to skip the step. Unfortunately, without the objectives or event data, it is usually very hard to determine if it was a success. The company also does not achieve anything, as nothing has been set forth for achievement.
Objectives are also the yardstick when you spend on events. It is not possible to know the impact of an event if there is nothing to measure it or a standard against which you check its success. Objectives are this standard and are very important when justifying the need to have one for the sake of sales and marketing.
Florian Kühne (CEO at Sweap)
„ The team should be part of the success story“
Everybody must be on board for the event to be a success. You want to have a success story where the whole team is part of it. The event development team should look beyond the people that attended the event. In many cases, lots of content generates from the event and can keep on engaging customers months down the line. The company should have these people in mind, even if they did not attend the actual event, which was created to meet certain objectives.
Different teams should also collaborate to ensure that the event is a success. The sales team should work with the marketing, event organisers, and other departments, such as public relations. Each team member should learn that they are part of the bigger picture and understand their roles in achieving wider goals.
For example, the sales team should know that the event goes beyond bringing new leads, while marketing should know that it's not all about pushing customers through the sales funnel. These teams should combine forces and complement each other so that they can achieve more goals in the long run with event data. When everyone is aware of the other team, they will likely go out of their way to achieve bigger goals.
Oliver Edwards (Head of Marketing @ Sweap)
The Speaker: After events, organisations should sit with their teams to evaluate the event.
It is important that teams sit down after the event to discuss how the event went. The organisation should always sit with the sales team and analyse the data from the event and how it fared in line with the set objectives. The evaluation should also check on areas that need to be improved or done differently. This drives collaboration and is an important step in ascertaining if the team has met its goals and knowing what needs to be done in the future to improve or better meet them.
Learn More About Using Your Event Data to Drive Sales and Marketing Goals
Events generate large volumes of data about attendees. However, this data usually makes less difference because it is not leveraged properly. By setting pre-event objectives, tracking various data types, and using robust metrics to track the data, marketing and sales teams are likely to be more streamlined and productive. After all, creating an event is art; measuring its impactfulness is science.
Are you an event planner, part of a sales team, or a company manager looking to improve your events to meet your goals? Join the Happy Event Planner community and unlock the full potential of your next events.
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