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Personalising The Event Experience In A Digital World

Successful conferences and corporate events depend on getting the right people through the door, and for them to take the right actions that fulfil your event objectives. Personalising the event experience is one of the hottest trends in the event industry this year. In a survey for Eventsforce, 82% of senior event planners said the personalising the event experience is a priority for them in 2016.

In my experience, events fall down when they use a one-size-fits-all approach. Unless your audience is highly niche, for example ‘CEOs in Surrey, of companies with 155 employees, who play golf every Saturday morning and like the colour pink’, it’s very difficult to delivers an event experience that satisfies everyone.

One way to personalise the event experience – before, during and after the event – is to capture data and use it to deliver a more targeted experience. This data may start off as being fairly basic, for example a name and email address. However, during the run up to the event, and throughout the event itself there are lots of opportunities to collect more data, and therefore personalise the event experience further.

Here are 3 factors that event organisers should consider:

Personalising The Event Experience – 3 Ways

#1: Registration Process

A lengthy registration process with numerous fields to fill in can result in potential attendees aborting their attempt to register if the details requested are too intrusive, or takes up too much of their time. However it is also a good opportunity to segment your email lists and find out a little more about your delegates.

A simple registration form requesting just a few additional details is more likely to be completed. Along with the basics (name, email address, company name etc.), identify a couple of extra questions that will help you personalise your communications better. This might be the sector they operate in, the size of their company, or their role within that business. If delegates are also able to register for specific talks, workshops and seminars at your event, this is another opportunity to personalise their experience.

Having captured just a few additional details you can already deliver more personalised content to their inboxes. For example, knowing their role in the organisation means you can suggest relevant talks that will interest them; and with the information about the sessions they’re registered for, you can send reminders during the actual event to ensure they don’t get side-tracked.

#2: Social

There are a whole host of tools you can use to integrate social media into your event and make it more personal. A simply plugin that shows social media contacts that have also registered for the event, can engage delegates further. Knowing that ‘so and so’ is also going could provide them with an opportunity to schedule a meeting, making your event more important for both parties.

Using a social login is also an option to explore. This has benefits both to the delegate – a quicker registration or login process – and the event organiser. With social login the event organiser will be able to pull in permission-based data like email ID, location, place of work, preferences, interests etc.

Social event apps are another way to help attendees get more out of your event. Delegates can use them to let other attendees know they are at the event, or reach out to specific people like speakers or potential business partners.

#3: NFC Wristbands, Lanyards, Event Apps

During an event it can be useful to track your attendees movements and interactions, with the aim of providing them with more personalised content. On a relatively basic scale this might involve swiping a wristband on entering a particular area of the event, such as the theatre where a seminar is being held. Knowing that a delegate has not only arrived at your event, but also attended the seminar they signed up for is useful information that will enable you to personalise your communications further.

Other tactics could include gamification, where delegates are encouraged to visit a particular stand or keynote speech and earn privileges or even prizes by swiping their wristband.

Event apps can also be personalised further, tailored for different audiences such as speakers, exhibitors, attendees, sponsors and VIPs. This ensures that those individuals can always access the most relevant information for them, and the event organiser can deliver personalised content throughout the event.

Personalising the event experience does not end when everyone goes home. With all this insightful data there are plenty of opportunities to continue to engage delegates. The advantage of having this data is that event organisers can highly personalise communications and interactions, resulting in better outcomes all round.

Furthermore if your conference is a regular feature of your event calendar, you have even more opportunity to tailor the event experience to the individual next time.

Rob Edmonds

Author Rob Edmonds

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