One of the many lauded benefits of digital events over physical, is the access to the sheer amount of data now abundantly available from virtual platforms and tools alike. For many, this is seen as a new benefit of events and a key factor in persuading a wider audience to dip their toes in the waters of the events world.
But event performance analysis tools have been a key part of the most successful event strategies long before digital became the main player. For example, brand awareness metrics such as share of voice and media coverage have been used to measure the impact of PR stunts or experiential marketing, whilst event engagement metrics such as number of questions asked in keynote sessions, and badges scanned (and follow up deals made), helped determine the success and commercial viability of conferences, tradeshows and corporate festivals.
The acceleration of digitalisation over the past few months has led to increased willingness from participants to interact digitally, to create more authentic and valuable online experiences. This increase in digital interactions and consumption has not only helped generate more granular event data, but also provided event organisers with an expanded set of data touch points and the opportunity to learn more about their audience. Digital data touch points will be more commonplace in physical events in the post-Corona era, cementing hybrid events as the future of live experience.
But with many viewing this increase in audience data as a ‘brave new world’ for events, how do you ensure you’re focusing on the most valuable data points? And how do you use them?
This is all linked to your event objectives; at the very beginning of the planning process, before anything else, clearly outline what you’re trying to achieve with your activation – how will you measure whether your event was a success? These objectives then underpin the strategy for your event, the content and delivery method.
Ensure your event provides ample branded sharable content moments; capitalise on the broader digital audience available to extend the reach of your event content across social media and blogs. Or, if your event is more of an exclusive affair, use influencer marketing (both for B2B or B2C) to get heightened exposure and reinforce invite exclusivity – for example a product launch or preview.
To double down on your ROI targets, social listening platforms will shed light on how impactful your event was on key elements such as: brand perception, brand sentiment and share of voice. Use this enhanced digital presence to garner a larger pool of online conversation to analyse, paying specific attention to key topics referenced, the volume of conversation on your brand vs. your competitors and key influencers/media publications leading that online conversation.