Event Planning/Management

3 Ways to Master the Art of Personalizing Event Experiences

With the prominence of experiential marketing, attendees today have higher expectations and demand premier experiences at events. Meet their expectations by catering to your audience through personalization before, during and after your event. It doesn’t just make your attendees happier and feel special, but personalization can also lead to higher conversion rates and brand loyalty.

Check out these three tips to learn how to master the art of personalizing the attendee event experience.

1. Leverage data to make customized recommendations

Data is the gift that keeps on giving — but only if you leverage it correctly. Use it to find out who your attendees are, what they’re interested in, and then act on it by providing an experience they will value.

Despite having over 6,000 separate events during their annual music, film and interactive festival, SXSW Go App, used its festival’s mobile app to help attendees get the most out of their experience through recommendations.

The app’s algorithm looks at the following details before making a recommendation:

  • GPS — where you’re located
  • What events you’ve favorited
  • Other events you’ve attended
  • Time of day

Events aren’t as much fun if attendees are too overwhelmed or struggle to find an appealing session or activity. The Go App helps everyone, from SXSW veterans to newbies, make the most of their experience.

In your marketing — leverage iBeacons within your mobile app to send attendees session info or activities based on attendee responses during a pre-event survey. You can also look at past attendee data to email attendees customized recommendations the day before.

2. Use wearable technology to adjust the event environment 

Wearable technology is as close as you can get to knowing exactly what your attendees are thinking and feeling. For events where the mood and atmosphere is integral to your success, consider investing in this technology.

Products such as Lightwave will show you real-time data on audience movement, temperatures and sound levels. You can use this data to change the energy at an experience, such as by turning down the lights or having the DJ spin different music.

By knowing the mood of your attendees you can improve their experience, so they stay longer, have more fun, and engage more with your brand.

3. Take your event follow up to the next level

Experiences don’t have to end when your last attendee leaves your event. Take your email follow up to the next level by including specialized content based on what sessions your audience attended. The Bonnaroo Music Festival sends attendees a Spotify playlist containing the bands who performed during the festival that year.

In addition to supplying attendees with follow up content, you can also recommend a follow up experience to keep the party going.

After your main event, consider using mobile trucks to travel to a few key major cities to extend your campaign. Reconnect with any attendees who live in any of those key cities and invite them to join the fun. This allows your brand an additional opportunity to strengthen relationships with attendees.

Converse brand ambassadors turned a van into a mobile portrait studio and traveled to New York City and Los Angeles. They invited locals to get their picture taken, which they later transformed into an outdoor ad campaign.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to tell your audience why you think they’d get a kick out of attending your next mini event. Remember, keep your follow up as personalized as possible. Look to using marketing automation and CRM tools to help you keep track of attendee information and customize your outreach.

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