Leveraging the power of Attendee Intelligence

Aprilynne Pike
 

Drive attendee engagement and maximize your ROI

Table of contents

“Knowledge is power.” Francis Bacon


Once upon a time—or maybe just ten years ago—running an event with little to no data or reporting was normal. And no one blinked when you sent out generic emails to all of your attendees, with a wish and hope that maybe they’d come to your next event. But if you’re still trying to pull that off, you’re going to find yourself falling behind your competition. 

The ability to analyze both your attendees’ preferences and their interactions with your event is crucial to survival in today’s competitive events market. Whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid you need reliable and timely data in order to predict and optimize the future state of your events. Without this data, you risk performing on false assumptions or being swayed by bias. Instead, a trove of accurate, targeted analytics allows you to make decisions based on what actually happened, and to predict what will happen in upcoming events. 

By unlocking insights using what we call Attendee Intelligence, you can make data-driven decisions, and personalized recommendations, that will boost two of the most vital resources in the events management industry: customers and revenue.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

What is Attendee Intelligence?

Attendee Intelligence is a simple but extremely powerful concept: the combination of registration data and event activity data. That’s it. And without it, you’re running your event blindfolded from start to finish, and heading into your next event with zero insight.

Let’s break it down:

Registration data is information that’s collected from your attendee before the event. 

Registration data includes self-reported info such as job role, industry, business size, geographic location, high-level interests, etc. 

Event activity data is the attendee’s journey and their interactions through the entirety of your event.

Event activity data includes the attendee’s selected sessions, attended sessions, skipped sessions, booths visited, 1:1 meetings, downloads, clicked links, and more.  

Thinking you’ve heard of this before? You’re right. Each of these elements already exists; but if you’re not combining them and utilizing their synergy, you’re not making the most of your tools. These two types of data, combined together, equip marketing and education teams with the information they need to deliver more relevant content, craft personalized marketing messages, and attract the most effective sponsors.

Who’s this for? Anyone who runs events—especially if you’re looking for ways to grow. If you utilize your events to acquire customers, retain them, sell products or tickets, or up your sponsor revenue, then I bet we can help you do it better. That’s the beauty of Attendee Intelligence.

How to implement Attendee Intelligence

The magic of Attendee Intelligence is anything but actual magic. It takes planning and strategizing, all before your event starts. And step one is your registration form.

Plant your seeds with your registration form

Attendee Intelligence is all about collecting crucial data and building your next event bigger and better. But the groundwork for collecting that data has to be laid before your event. The key is to create a registration form that segments your audience, and collects specific information that will allow you to tailor messaging to each individual through a variety of personalized touchpoints.

Strategizing how to segment your audience allows you to put into place questions that capture the information you need to properly allocate audience members. It may sound obvious, but if you want to collect a particular type of data point, be sure to put it in your registration form

For example—if you want to segment your audience by industry, you’ll want to focus on industry queries in your registration form.  Geographical location? Make sure you get their address. How you decide to segment will depend on your overarching strategy. The more you can distinguish between your individual attendees, the more likely you’ll send them information that is truly valuable.

We recommend focusing on 3-5 of the most important data points in your registration form, keeping in mind that you’ll also be asking a lot of other necessary questions (think name, email, phone, choosing sessions, etc.) You don’t want your form to become tediously long.

Pro Tip: A great way to make forms feel less intimidating (while still collecting all of the data you need) is using conditional logic to make certain questions spawn others. For example, the answer “Other” could spawn an open text box for the registrant to provide clarity. This makes the form look manageable upfront, even while you’re being sneaky and asking a ton of questions. 

Harvest your crop with event activity data

“Give the customer what they want,” is a common refrain, but generally absent is guidance on how to figure that out. Attendee Intelligence makes it easy. The beauty of working with a robust event management platform that tracks audience behavior is that while you’re focused on throwing a stellar event, your data is rolling in all on its own. 

When your last attendee is gone and your final guest has been thanked, the real data magic begins. At this point you have your registrant information and their behavior reports sitting pretty in your event management platform. All that’s left to do is start drawing insights from the valuable data you’ve already collected. 

For instance, when using an event management platform with reporting like Swoogo Analytics, you can easily identify insights like:

Now that you know exactly what your audience is and isn’t interested in, you’ll begin to drive revenue when you apply your data to post-event communications . For example, if you know that most demand generation managers are interested in attribution modeling, you can send them emails focused on the piece of your product or event that helps them solve that pain. If you know the Danes don’t care about reducing healthcare costs, you can serve them ads focused on the benefits of your product that aren’t cost-related, like convenience or medical results. 

This type of targeting significantly increases your chances of converting those leads into customers. The Data & Marketing Association found that marketers see, on average, a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns—we think you’ll agree, that’s not a number to turn your nose up at. 

Using the segmentation laid out above, you can dive into what content performed for which piece of your audience. Then you can align your next event, or event’s content, around top-performing cohorts. If you know your ideal customer profile (ICP) is centered around tech companies, for example, and attendees from the tech industry were most attracted to content around data security, you can design your next event to center on that topic, or feature a smart track.

Maximizing your ROI with Attendee Intelligence

Revenue generation is one of the most tangible benefits of leveraging Attendee Intelligence within your event portfolio. Attendee Intelligence makes event attendees more likely to complete the journey from lead, to loyal customer. 

By implementing this double-edged data into your overall marketing strategy, your revenue-generating teams are equipped with a powerhouse of info that they can use to increase ticket sales, sponsorship opportunities, and/or retain customers. And of course help to maximize event ROI.

Create new revenue streams

Attendee Intelligence allows event marketers to attach insights to every single attendee, and this does an incredible amount of heavy lifting for your pre-sales, post-sales, and marketing teams. By analyzing Attendee Intelligence data from previous events, marketers can better understand how to improve their offerings event-to-event, foster repeat attendees, increase ticket sales, and retain and upsell customers.

Let’s look at ways your revenue-generating teams can leverage Attendee Intelligence data to turn cold leads into paying customers. 

Your team is probably already utilizing some registration data—like job role or industry—but by combining it with event activity data, they can go so much further. Equipped with powerful behavioral insights, they can utilize multiple layers of personalized data to craft targeted, paid media campaigns for after the event, produce relevant content, aid in list building, and drive lead-to-opportunity conversions more effectively than ever.

Pro Tip: If I know an attendee watched three sessions about marketing personalization, I’ll send them an email about using unlimited conditional logic to create personalized attendee experiences.

Personalization is king in marketing. So king, in fact, that by employing personalized marketing, you can increase conversion rates by up to 45%, according to Commerce Shop. By establishing a personalized connection with attendees, you’re providing them with high-quality, engaging content that directly impacts their decision-making process.

Drive engagement and upsells with customer-focused events

When we’re talking about customer engagement in the events industry, we probably mean one of two things: customers of a product and/or service, or event ticket sales. Regardless of which umbrella your customers fall under, the key concept remains—you want to keep them. Pause here and think about this for a moment: Why is it that marketers often place more emphasis on generating and converting new leads into buyers, than focusing on retaining their existing customers, even though retention has a higher success rate than cold conversion?

The truth is that before Attendee Intelligence entered the chat, there simply wasn’t an effective way to gather much measurable data on existing customers. That time is long gone.

Let’s look at a specific example, using our platform:

Ex: Imagine that an EDU is hosting a continuing education (CE) event for high school educators. If the EDU is utilizing Swoogo Analytics, they’ll be able to match registration data—such as what subject each attendee teaches—to their event activity data—which webinars they chose to attend. For example, maybe 40% of AP literature teachers attended, “The History of Shakespeare’s As You Like It,” but 15% of world history teachers also did. You can leverage this information to reach out to both of those groups with opportunities for more webinars about Shakespeare, rather than simply sending out generic history tracks to history teachers, and literature tracks literature teachers. A CE course that truly piques their interest is more likely to nudge them to sign up again.

It’s the added personal touch now that delivers loyalty later. 

Fully understanding how existing customers interact with your content helps CSMs and AMs (Account Managers) provide them with better help articles, strategic recommendations, and targeted messaging about relevant new releases. 

Francois Joubert, Customer Success Manager at Swoogo, and head of EMEA’s Customer Success division, shares how post-sales teams can utilize Attendee Intelligence data to provide better support for their existing customers:

“As a CSM, my bottom line is to be a facilitator of success to my customers, and that means making sure they’re equipped with the right set of solutions to get them there. The most important question at play is: How do we guide our customers to success? And the answer is deeply rooted in Attendee Intelligence. By providing our customers with this type of data, it offers them measurable results that allow us to provide strategic recommendations on things such as attendee engagement, registration flow, sponsor engagement, etc.”

Simply put, give your customers exactly what they want, and they’ll come back. Maybe they’ll bring a friend.

Increase sponsorship opportunities

You know all that marketing power you generated for your team by combining their registration data with event activity? You can deliver the same segmentation data to your event sponsors. Providing your sponsors with this kind of info instantly increases the overall value of sponsoring your next event. 

Caroline Billinson, Account Manager at Swoogo, shares how to utilize Attendee Intelligence to attract and keep sponsors. 

“I want my clients to be able to tell their sponsors how personalized and effective their sponsorship experience can be. One of the best ways is personalized sponsor visibility, which starts with registration data. Let’s say you’re holding a trade show featuring statewide industry in Iowa, and one of your sponsors is John Deere. If you set up your registration to ask which industries your attendees are interested in, you can then set your sponsor visibility parameters to only show the John Deere sponsorship elements to people who answered agriculture. Because probably the people only interested in the music industry aren’t buying tractors. Probably. Later, you can provide John Deere with click lists and page-visit reports from their sponsorship page, 1:1 meetings, and booths. All of which you gathered throughout the event with Swoogo Analytics. In those reports, you can include any registration data you chose: names, email addresses, company affiliations, etc. Then, when the sponsor is creating marketing emails or community outreach, they know they’re contacting people who are actually interested in their products. It saves everyone time and effort, including your attendees.”

But wait—there’s more! Even if your sponsors’ marketing efforts aren’t sophisticated enough to properly employ your event activity data, there’s another kernel here that adds significant value: click lists.

You may already be reporting on the overall traffic that each sponsor page receives, but by tracking individual attendees you can provide your sponsors with the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of each attendee who visited their booth (after obtaining consent of course.) Serve up this kind of valuable data to your sponsors and you can bet you’ll increase the odds of them signing on again next time.

Pro-Tip: Using Swoogo Analytics, marketers can generate new leads for sponsors by using click tracking. Plus, they can get a better understanding of whether they’re bringing in the best sponsors by monitoring attendee engagement across all sponsor booths. 

Just like you can’t grow a business through only current customers, simply retaining your existing sponsors isn’t enough either. By highlighting the type of value-filled data you can deliver to them post-event, you can use Attendee Intelligence to bait your hook to catch new sponsors. And is there anything better than new, shiny sponsors?

Wrap-up

Woof—that was a whole lot of information on Attendee Intelligence. Still hanging in there? Let’s recap:

Pro-Tip: Don’t silo your data. It’s imperative that you build an integrated martech stack that enables data to flow from your website or landing pages into a marketing automation tool, event management platform, and CRM. For example, if you’re using Hubspot, Swoogo, and Salesforce, there are already built-in integrations that can sync that data, so all of your data sources can live under one roof. Once you have all of your data together, you can pull reports that show you exactly how much revenue your event brought (and continues to bring) in.  

“Without data, you are blind and deaf in the middle of the freeway.” Geoffrey Moore 

I don’t know about you, but we don’t ever want to know what that feels like. Prior to Attendee Intelligence, marketers probably did feel this way when planning events—helpless and senseless, trapped in rush-hour traffic. But now that we’ve gotten a taste of the good life, there’s no going back. 

We hope that, having made it this far, you feel well-equipped to collect and employ insights from Attendee Intelligence and are ready to put that data to good use. So gather your info, analyze your findings, and make actionable decisions that drive conversions for future events.

And hey, as always, we’re here to help. If you’re a Swoogo customer, we encourage you to reach out to your Account Manager to make sure you’re optimizing your registration form and making the most of Swoogo Analytics. 

If you’ve yet to join Team Swoogo, we’d love to give you a personalized demo to show you how Swoogo can supercharge your next event with Attendee Intelligence. Say hi to our sales team—they don’t bite. 

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