Event Planning/Management

Why Big Data is a Must for Event Planning & Preparation

By Jenna Dutcher

Events can seem like an unbreakable code. How do you consistently get the turnout and engagement you’re looking for? How do you make sure your events create the right kind of buzz for your company, bringing in new revenue and positive word of mouth? Events are an investment, and using the right tools can mean the difference between success and failure. Big data analysis is one great way to optimize event planning and preparation: not only can you learn more about what your audience wants, you can gain insight on what might be popular in the future, using predictive analytics.

The Importance of Big Data Analytics for Event Planning

It’s one thing to have an idea of what kind of events will do well; it’s quite another to know what events do well based on data analytics. While it’s best if you have your own data, many companies have to look to other sources initially to gain useful insights.

Big data analytics for event planning is important for focusing your resources and getting the most ROI (return on investment) from each event you sponsor. Using data, you can expand your existing audience, understand how to advertise effectively based on your audience’s preferred channels, and even make decisions about when and where to hold your event. Big data can help you determine what days and times are likely to be most popular, and even keywords that are being searched to find local events.

You should be diligent about collecting data on your own events moving forward, if you haven’t been already. It’s easy to do, now that most events have online registration or RFID chips in registration materials. Even better, you should be gaining as much ongoing information about each lead and customer so you can identify trends, and see what makes someone register for an event or try your product. There’s a lot of power and value in data, you just have to collect it and know how to use it!

How Insights Can Be Leveraged to Promote Events

Advertising to the proper audience is absolutely essential to a successful event. If you don’t promote to the right audience, attendance may be thin or engagement might be low. Use analytics to find out when your audience is most active on social media, how they like to be reached, and what kind of messaging they respond best to. You can accomplish this by using big data to track what your target audience responds to, then using those tactics to achieve your own event success. Aside from advertising, you can use the information you gain on your audience’s wants and needs to create the perfect event they’ll love. Customize and personalize both your event and your advertising for the most enthusiastic response!

How Big Data Can Inform Event Planners of Future Trends

Big data can see what we can’t, analyzing a massive number of factors that can allow it to make predictions about what will happen in the future. If you’re trying to figure out what will be popular in 6 months or even 2 years, predictive analytics could help management and leaders make a guess about future trends. While it’s easy to see what’s happening right now in your audience’s world, it’s harder to catch on to the topics that are primed for growth but not getting much attention at the moment. However, you can use tools like Google Trends to leverage data and see what your audience has been searching for. You can compare terms and get historical data that will help you predict future popularity. With this information, management and leadership should strive to pivot their initiatives to prepare and develop their organization so that by the time the future trend hits, their team is prepared to offer the most popular and, if all goes right, well-attended events of the season.

Get the Most Out of Your Events

Using big data analytics in event planning is a great way to get the most out of your events. It may seem like an extra step, but it can really help you target your event and end up with numbers your company can be proud of. If you really want to make events an effective part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start collecting and leveraging data for all your future events.

The above is a guest post by Ryan Ayers. Ayers has consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.

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