When it comes to holding an association event, there are a lot of things you don’t want to leave to chance. From your keynote speakers to the flow of traffic, predictive analytics can give your organization a better experience by making sure that your members are getting what they want from every session of your event.
Just because things seem to be going back to a business-as-usual status doesn’t mean that associations have stopped having events. Even though there has been a necessitated shift toward online events rather than in-person, this is a huge part of many associations’ marketing and membership strategy. More than 97% of marketing professionals believe that hybrid events are here to stay, with another 71% planning to continue maintaining a virtual audience once they return to physical events. And even online-only association events, like SURGE from Sidecar, saw huge numbers in 2020—over 1600 attendees.
The goal with either style—online or in-person events—is to create a positive experience that brings value to your members. And the best way to do this is by using your data effectively to identify the motivations, needs, and interests of your membership.
Because so many associations have been forced into virtual or hybrid events, there is a lot of data that has been collected—maybe more data than you know what to do with. Consider all the places where your membership has engaged with you over the past year. This might include:
But what exactly can you do with this data to make your event better? There are actually several areas where good data can create a better event experience for both you and your members.
How can you make sure that you are inspiring the right people to come to your event unless you know what motivates them? Through good data analysis, you can begin to break down your membership into cohorts that will help you better target you marketing to both new and existing members.
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Take a look at your historical information from past conferences. Which were the most attended? Which speakers had the best reviews? Which sessions had the most social media engagement (both on your social accounts and across the social media sphere)? This information will give you a good idea of the high-quality content you should offer this year.
It’s a simple thing to look at how many people attended and shoot for that same number, but using your data wisely means looking at what didn’t happen and solving the problems of those that didn’t attend. For example, if you see a huge number of people that attended in 2019 but not 2020, or noticed that people who hadn't purchased anything from you in 3 months are much less likely to register, this allows you to create personally targeted campaigns to focus on those who are likely to register or may be more on the fence than others.
As you move back to in-person or hybrid events, historical data from previous in-person event years can help you structurally organize your showroom area and other key meeting spaces. For example, if your data highlights vendor demand for a certain area of your exhibition hall, you can consider making that priority placing and price accordingly. If some yearly speakers saw huge numbers of participants, it’s vital to get ahead of that traffic concern now and place them in spaces that are not only large enough, but provide members access to membership renewal or purchase opportunities.
Even though things are slowly allowing us to connect with members face-to-face, there are a number of considerations that need to be made when preparing for events in the coming year. Your data, when leveraged correctly, can give you the leg up to provide the best event experience—both online and offline—that lead to better engagement and membership retention.
If you’re interested in how Tasio works with association leaders to use data to solve problems, or are interested to find out what kind of data you need to solve problems like these, check out our webinar “Is My Data Good Enough?”
You can also contact us directly here.