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Event marketing | 1 March 2017

Event Data: Advice from Hubspot, Wistia, Zapier and CMI

Brandon Rafalson

Pop Quiz!

If you could magically transfer relevant data from your event platform to your sales platform without relying on spread sheets, would you?


We may live in the data age, but getting the most out of event data isn’t always so simple. Modern event planners need to use a number of different platforms to plan, market, and manage their events. The savvy event organizer knows that each of these platforms creates valuable data. The trick is in finding a way to send this data from one platform to the other.

Enter: Data Integrations!

In brief, data integrations allow these many different platforms to talk with one another. In recent years, a number of apps, tools, and techniques have emerged to help event organizers integrate their data. But, as an event organizer, where do you start? What kinds of data should you be integrating? What sort of platforms are available to you? And how exactly should one go about integrating their data with best practices in mind?

We asked integration experts for tools and tips. Here’s what they had to say…

Roberta-Ocampo-Hubspot.pngRoberta Ocampo

Event & Field Marketing Manager, Hubspot

“At HubSpot, we integrate our event data between platforms because it makes the relationships between marketing and sales more efficient. We make sure that our event data and our marketing analytics sync with the HubSpot CRM so that our sales team has visibility into how we engage with attendees. This helps them follow up with context and hold valuable conversations that ultimately benefit both parties.

“My advice to event professionals would be to find platforms that allow for easy and seamless integrations. There is nothing more frustrating than having to go back and forth between platforms, exporting and importing data just to get information across. Finding the integration solution that works for you makes your job 10x times easier. Use it to your advantage and allow transparency between marketing and sales teams.”


ashley-hockney-zapier-1.pngAshley Hockney

Marketing, Zapier 

“The biggest thing for event professionals with integrated solutions to remember is that everything can be done. Really. If you’ve ever wished that “this information” was over in ‘that app,’ it’s likely Zapier can help you do this automatically and without writing a single line of code. Don’t feel confined to using one just one tool that doesn’t serve you. Wrangle in apps from dozens of tools to make your CRM fit you. 
“A good test for where you can apply automation is if you’re doing the same admin task more than twice. It can feel overwhelming but give it a Google, check out the Zapier blog, or send us an email ( and it’s likely you can create a workflow to automate that task so it’s done on autopilot and without human error.” 

cathy-mchillips-cmi-1.pngCathy McPhillips

VP of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute

“We mine our data in Salesforce by looking at topics/categories of interest in order to make our agenda relevant and timely to our attendees. We also can take our user data to not only reach out to alumni or certain segments of our audience by industry, job title and job function, but also by implied interest in which emails they’ve opened, blog posts they’ve read or ebooks they’ve downloaded. When our session tracks, speakers and session focuses all hit on the needs of our attendees, we are able to give them the best experience possible.
“What are your main goals? Set up your goals properly in Google Analytics or whatever tool you use, and work with partners that integrate with other solutions, or at least have APIs to make processes as automated as possible. Look at a vendor’s customer list – do they have customers in your industry, or someone who has the same goals as you?”

Alon_Circle.gifAlon Alroy

CMO & Co-founder, Bizzabo

“After working with thousands of event planners, I can say that the most successful ones make sure to identify the right KPIs for a successful event. Then, they make sure that they integrate their different systems to access those KPIs in a timely and efficient manner. It’s not about integrating everything with your platforms, it’s about identifying the specific KPIs that are relevant to your goals and then figuring out how you can get them to flow between your systems. A great flow of information between your systems will help you focus on the success of your event and not on managing it.”




Karla Franco 

Events and Marketing, Wistia

“Data is surprising useful with video. Make sure you use video, but don’t over-complicate it. I think some people get really nervous about presenting. They build it up a lot, they look at the video that we at Wistia create and think, “We can’t do that!” Your video doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s important to have it. People want to get a sense of the sort of environment that you’re creating at your event. It’s a marketing campaign: You want to resonate with the people who are going to attend. Once you have video content, then it’s time to draw meaningful insights from it. 
“With Wistia, you can use a lot of different integrations. For instance, we have integrations with Marketo, Pardot, and Hubspot. When someone fills out the Turnstile form—a lead generation feature that appears before a video—you are able to see all of that information in your Hubspot account. You don’t only get a list, you also get all sorts of viewer information. The best part about Turnstile is that it can be completely optional. It’s eye-opening to see that even when people have the option to skip it, they prefer to enter in their information. That’s an awesome sign that your video content is really speaking to your audience.” 
For an example of event video in action, check out the WistiaFest homepage

Wrapping Up: Main Takeaways

Properly integrated event data makes for smarter, better events. I could go on talking up the merits of data and app integrations, but it looks like there are already a number of qualified experts doing that for me. Let’s review their key takeaways:  
  • Use platforms that are integration friendly. It will make your job 10x easier. 
  • Everything can be done. That is, with the right set of tools. If the platforms you use don’t feature out-of-the-box integrations, try integration tools like Zapier, Webhooks, or IFTTT.
  • Set goals. All of the data in the world won’t help you unless you have clear goals that you are trying to achieve. You can track these in Google Analytics or elsewhere. 
  • Don’t integrate everything with your platforms. Identify the KPIs that are specific to your event goals and then determine how you can get them to flow between your systems.
  • Data is surprisingly useful with video! Find a video platform that allows you to track and integrate data insights with other platforms.

To learn about getting even more out of your event data, click the button below to access a free ebook.

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