Spring clean your data

March 9, 2017 Matt Coyne

Spring, although it appears to have come a little bit late this year, is often associated with getting things in order for the coming summer months.

In the UK and NL we have two “bank holidays” or rather two days off for free in May, so a lot of people take that time to empty their garages (weirdly, some of my neighbours seem to do so every year), sort out paperwork, clean caravans, get rid of winter wardrobes or have a deep spring clean. Others take the extra day and have long weekends or short holidays to not use up their sacred holiday allowance.

Either way, spring is basically the time to take back control of your surroundings and get ready for months of sunshine ahead…or days, depends where you live. Spring is the time to take control.

Which is a perfect segway into events…or rather, taking control of them.  

Take control of my event you hear me ask?

Well yes. How much control do you have? Can you do anything everything yourself? Do you rely on third parties to deliver everything?  

Now, I’m not suggesting you retrain to become a stand fitter /electrician/carpet fitter to build the feature areas on your event, but what about those valuable nuggets of information you receive year round about your event that you can directly control, cleanse and re-purpose? You know, your event data? Do you have control of it? Is it time for a spring clean?

The level of interaction and the connected nature of data and technology today have created overwhelming levels of information. Have you got too much? What do you do with it?

Too much data? Not enough insight? Not enough time?

Sound familiar?

This spring, streamline processes and take control.

Where do you start?  Ask yourself this question; When was the last time you spring cleaned your data?  I’ll give just a couple of examples below of what you can look for when refreshing your data.

Did you check that the people you’ve been emailing constantly have ever attended or interacted once with your event? No? Maybe you should. Maybe you should spend some time sorting out and using the mountains of previous years of data you’ve collected.

As a marketer, I love to look at different ways I can segment what we own. As a suggestion, segment your data from those that have attended more than one edition of your event. Reward them, give them something new as spring breezes whoosh through the doors with smells of, well depends where you live, but I know the farm near me has been muck spreading recently…anyway, I digress.  If you know they’ve attended each year, they need something new, something different to keep them coming back. Offer it to them.

But then what about those that maybe attend every other year. Have you asked them why?

And those that always pre-register, but never attend? Don’t just send them the same old “exciting line up of speakers” content. Ask them – why have you never attended my event?  Be direct, engage a reaction.

And then what?

With registration software like ours, that enables you to take complete control of your registration process, you should be able to access and amend your forms or questions on the fly, much like you would expect to do with your website. So use that freshly segmented data and target your reg forms to specific requirements.

I’m not talking just splitting VIPS, speakers and general attendees here. Nor am I really talking about segmenting based on demographics. That’s for beginners.

I’m suggesting creating different forms based on different interactions with you and your event. From how many times they’ve attended to what their dwell time is each year. Do they see exhibitors or just sessions of content? This is all information that you should have readily accessible and could use to really, truly tailor their interaction with your event.

Here’s how it works, or rather, it could work for you. If you know that Joe Blogs attends every year, you already have his demographics so make it easy for him. Do you even need to know his demographics? Just ask him if he’s attending again, ask him to check his contact information and then maybe ask what he wants out of the event. You don’t need to know if he’s interested in car tyres again… because he has been kicking them for 20 years.  He’ll be happy because he’s had to spend less time completing your reg form this year and you’ll be happy because you’ve asked him what he wants out of attending your event. It gives you a better chance to deliver and prove your offering.

For a different group of event data, send them a pre-pop asking them if they’re attending or not this year…and that’s it. You’ve already got their data, so why make it hard for them?

Of course you need to test and testing is crucial to success. You need to understand how your data works, what they react to and there might be subsets within this data that interact differently again. All of this gives you better insight and better opportunities to interact with your customers in a more efficient way.

“But I don’t have the time!”

Ok, so it takes you a bit longer to get things set up, but think about automation. You don’t have to go all Amazon on your delegates, so even if you use those basic groups of data, in a new way, you could halve the time it takes you to do this manually every month. Deploy SaaS tools that make your life easier!

If you have complete control of your data and registration, you can control what your customers are seeing whenever you want. If you have a brainwave one night about #doingthingsdifferently you could try it yourself there and then. No need to wake anyone up or wait three days for a response, you can take control of your data NOW and test it yourself. Job done.

Spring, you were a little bit late this year and we’re all hoping summer will come in the next week or two, so it gives us not much time to take control, clean data, clean reg processes and clean our interactions with our customers.

Do something differently with your data this year. You never know, you might find something new that works and gives you excellent results.

About the Author

Matt  Coyne

Matt has been working in events & exhibitions for over 10 years. From organising, to design, to website, and onto registration and intelligent data services, Matt has extensive experience at every level. With a background in organisation, marketing and design Matt is able to cut through the technology and approach data and registration solutions with the end users in mind. As Technology Engagement Architect for GES and an active participant in the industry, Matt has been involved in a variety of industrywide research projects and is an expert in how to prove ROI and manage data effectively.

Follow on Twitter More Content by Matt Coyne
Previous Article
EN 30 Under Thirty
EN 30 Under Thirty

Next Article
Events and Facebook live
Events and Facebook live

Let Us Help Make Your Next Event, Exhibit or Show a Huge Success!

Talk To An Expert