Event data is a new approach to measuring the success of an event using various measurements. In a virtual world, data is everything.
It powers everything from how we design an event or website to what you select for your entertainment. Event data can help you make and refine your event into triumph.
Read on below to learn about the different measurements we use in the virtual world and how to apply it to planning your next virtual event.
Every audience has a set of demographic data points that are measured across the internet. We place these similar audiences into groups and, thanks to decades of research, can apply assumptions based on the groups typical behavior. What websites they frequent, how often, how long they spend on them is something that can be assumed based on age, gender, location and interests. It is important to note that these assumptions are generalizations and not necessary a reflection on any one individual. T
hat being said, a lot can be learned to apply to your event from this data. For example, how intuitive the group will be to a website/virtual event’s controls vs another. Generally, a younger generation is more intuitive to controls online than an older generation – but if that older generation is in the Technology group (such as interest groups may show) you can safely assume they may have overcome this challenge. This may mean the difference between adding “how-tos”, extra training for presenters, and other assisting cues to your virtual event.
If you are planning a company conference or otherwise already know your group, discuss their demographics with your event planner so they can provide you with the best virtual platform and support for your group. If you are unsure, consider an RSVP or event website (or webpage) that can gather this data prior to your event for your use.
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Now that your virtual event is planned and ready to go-live (congrats!), there is still data you can gather to measure the success of your marketing and planning efforts. The sessions and content measurements consider how many “visits” your guests made to the event (similar to attendance at an in-person event, with the added benefit that guests can “re attend” with recorded events) as well as what media your guests interacted with. If your event is a simple video presentation, you may measure how many attendees clicked “play”. Or you might measure how long they remained on the webpage, suggesting engagementment. The longer the better for video presentations!
In event data, we find the first three minutes of any event are the single most important. If your guests attend past the three minute mark, they are far more likely to attend the entire event. If they leave in the first three minutes, there are a number of changes you may want to make for next time (or to your recording). The first may be HOW they are attending, meaning with what device. If they are attending on mobile devices (something we can measure in the Sessions), you may need to implement fall-back messages, optimize for mobile and load times and perhaps even cut videos into shorter segments for better load times. Likewise a message regarding which device is preferred (such as desktop) may be added to manage expectations on non-prefered devices.
Assuming all of these things are addressed, look at the message in the first three minutes. Is the presentation engaging and clear? If your first three minutes is a musical “waiting period” you may want to change this to something more engaging to waiting audiences. Capture their attention immediately to reduce “drop offs”.
If your event has a lot of content (or media), you may want to measure what content best grabs attention. Examples of content are video clips, word or pdf files, images, and other downloadable or clickable elements. These “actions”, such as a click, can be measured. Number of downloads are a great measurement for interest and engagement. Polls, quizzes and voting are another good measuring tool that is engaging and interactive.
Discuss your event content with your event planner to create a plan of what elements you want measured so they can be incorporated into your event.
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Like Sessions and Content measurements, attendee engagement measures elements that suggest the level of interest (and interactive element) your guests have with your event. Some events will not have a lot of measurements for this data point. Video presentations, for example, may only have a few data points to measure attendee engagement. In these cases, the only real measurement will be “Play” and “Time” or length of session.
If your event includes a Q & A or a poll, quiz, vote, or other element such as a file (certificate of compilation, worksheet, content e-card, or supportive documents) to download these can all be measured as well. Any action, such as a click, can be programmed to be measured and counted, giving you important insights into your event’s success or failure.
For public and social events, even social media shares (such as with hashtags) can be measured and are considered an engagement cue. All attendee engagement data points come from the goal of your event, and so it is important you speak with your event planner in detail on how and what your event’s success looks like.In some cases, your meeting may include a tech or web developer to help you reach and measure those goals.
Nearly all events, virtual or in-person, have some aspect of networking that is inherent to the event itself. Events are meant to be social, after all. Whether you are networking with a group of internal staff or are including sponsors and exhibitors in your virtual conference, the key to a successful event is the ability to communicate.
A highly successful event will build this into the platform (such as a chat feature) in some way to allow immediate and real time communication between the attendees and/or presenters/sponsors/partners/exhibitors. Most platforms include some form of chat that can be used throughout the event. More sophisticated events will take this a step further and allow “breakout” or “private” chats between two or more persons. They may also allow face-to-face video chats, allow scheduling “mini” events for presentations in smaller groups (also know as breakout rooms), or may send “e-business cards” that are added to the person’s contacts by email and/or phone upon receipt.
Communication does not end at the compilation of the virtual event, therefore methods of networking on virtual events that allow for easy “click” transfers of contact details are the most successful. These methods, however, do need time to build and put in place prior to your event so be sure to discuss it with your event planner to allow them to be set up (and successfully measured) for your event.
To add value to your sponsors and exhibitors participation in your convention or conference, it helps to know statistics for sessions, content, networking activities and other engagement cues. These measurements help you and them see just how valuable your event is, allowing you to charge appropriately. It also helps place value on event “space” (such as booth placement) allowing you to provide premium placement for your top tier sponsors and exhibit booths.
We’ve designed our convention and conference virtual venues with this data in mind. We’ve used eye mapping tools to help place high value spaces (or booths) to help take the guess work out for you.
If you want to drive more attendance, gain better engagement, sell higher tickets and otherwise make your virtual event more valuable – data is your key. Our virtual events are designed around data points and our event planners work closely with producers, directors and developers to ensure your event is a triumph experience unlike any other. Start planning your victory today!
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