Shaping a personalised event experience

Thought leadership
There is a lot we can learn from the data collected at events that inform the decisions we make as organisers about how to shape the content and format of an event to provide the best bespoke delegate experience. 

According to a survey conducted by Eventbrite the average no-show rate for free events is around 40%, while the no-show rate for paid events is typically lower, around 10–20%.

Whilst attendance figures for events have always fluctuated, there is a concern amongst organisers that we are witnessing a downward trend in audience numbers at events. There are multiple theories why this is now the case — including the pandemic which paved the way for watching events in the comfort of your own home and restrictions to business travel.

Think about the last event you attended in person – what was it that made you attend? Was it the connections you knew you would make or a keynote speaker that couldn’t be missed? 

There is a lot we can learn from the data collected at events that inform the decisions we make as organisers about how to shape the content and format of an event to provide the best delegate experience. 

Now more than ever, organisers need to be seen to be providing return on investment for stakeholders, whilst still creating a great experience for attendees, so what is the magic formula and how can organisers use data and personalisation of content to help create show stopping events?

Part of the solution is identifying the key aims and objectives at the start of the planning process, getting to know your audience and what they are looking to gain from their experience of attending your event. This can happen at every stage of the event planning process.

Pre event:

  • Collecting data about attendees’ preferences, interests, and behaviours is key to personalising their experience. This can be done through pre-event surveys and registration forms. Think of asking leading questions such as What topics are you most interested in learning more about?”
  • Once you have collected some data, use it to tailor the event experience. This could include recommending sessions, exhibitors, or networking opportunities based on attendees’ interests.
  • Provide attendees with personalised content, such as customised agendas or curated content based on their interests. This could also include personalised emails or push notifications.
  • Personalised menus: Why not use pre-event communications to request input from your delegates about what kind of food they would like at their event?
  • Inclusivity: Asking guests about their access needs, dietary requirements and how they would like to experience your event will help you to accommodate everyone.

During the event:

  • Provide attendees with networking opportunities that are relevant to their interests. For example, you could match attendees with similar interests or job titles and facilitate connections.
  • There are multiple opportunities to capture feedback and promote engagement during the event. Using QR codes is a simple and cost effective way to collect feedback following sessions or direct delegates to content they might be interested in – such as pre-recorded videos or presentation materials. 

Post event:

  • Keep the event experience going with the help of an effective communications campaign to capture feedback on the whole event.
  • What insights can be shared that would be of particular interest to your attendees?
  • Break up the key takeaways and reformat the content to expand into wider themes to be explored in podcasts, infographics or webinars that will keep the conversations going.

Creating a personalised event experience takes time and the shorter lead times we are all experiencing currently, makes planning and executing a successful communications campaign more difficult. Ultimately however, gaining a greater understanding of the needs of your audience will result in an engaging and more inclusive delegate experience, insightful content and a successful return on your investment. 

Get in touch to see how we can help you to harness data during the planning stages of your event and create more engaging experiences.