• Review your event data to see which segments actually attended. Compare pre-registration segments to actual attendees, and adjust future marketing to also reach those less likely to show up.
• Ask your registration partner for exhibitor lead-retrieval data, which provides valuable insight about attendee behavior on the show floor. Leverage that for exhibitor retention and selling to new exhibitors.
are always looking for ways to drive more value from their demographic event data. This information is critical for creating marketing campaigns, education sessions and content for an event. As national sales application manager at Convention Data Services (cdsreg.com), I regularly consult with show managers to help them analyze and understand their data throughout the registration process, to create personalized and targeted marketing campaigns. Following are some key points on how to do so.REVIEW PAST DEMOGRAPHIC DATA•
Look for upward and downward trends over the past two to three years. What stands out?•
What are your strongest segments of attendees? How can you tailor campaigns to them?•
Which education sessions at your event received the highest attendance? Are your planned sessions for your current event still meeting the needs of your attendees? Are there sessions you're better off eliminating due to lack of interest?•
Based on your review of your data, determine if you should drop some questions or create new ones. Many show managers don't know why they ask certain questions; if you can't monetize the demographic responses to provide value to your organization, sponsors and exhibitors, then drop the question from your list! Ask a new and different question that will directly impact your event and one that is relevant to improving your event ROI.
UPDATE BASIC QUESTIONS•
Review these each year and don't just copy and paste; these questions will help define marketing segments and benefits.•
Consider requesting these basic parameters, which provide an important profile: industry, title, purchasing power, product interest and affiliation with related organizations.CREATE A TARGETED MARKETING PLAN
Segment the data you've collected from your past events to determine how to market to each attendee segment. Create your plan to include:•
Geographic marketing. For events that are on rotation or held in multiple regions, this information becomes vital. Sending geographically relevant information to your alumni shows that you know their attendance preferences. If your event moves to a new region, make sure to perform a thorough search of your data history from past events to capture alumni names for the new location.•
Targeted marketing messages. Base marketing emails on your attendees' past spending habits and average number of attendance days. You are more likely to get a positive response if you send relevant information. •
Education sessions profile. Offer session options based on attendees' past interests. Provide the opportunity to purchase conference packages and à la carte choices for similar or related courses that might be of interest. CREATE UP-SELLING OPPORTUNITIES•
On your registration pages, create up-selling offers in your programming based on the registrant's buying profile, e.g., type of registrant or job function.•
Offer sponsorships based on demographic profiles. Can you target specific banner advertising based on a certain demographic question or answer set? Monetize that real estate on your website in multiple ways. ON-SITE•
Send out a "Sorry We Missed You" email after the close of your first day to pre-registrants who haven't yet attended. Use your past and regional data to target those who are most likely to show on day 2 or 3. Tell them what you have in store for the next day, and offer a special promotion to bring a colleague.