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Event Data & Analytics
19 February 2024 

How to use post-event data to supercharge your event strategy in 2024 & beyond

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Chaviva Gordon-Bennett
How to use post-event data to supercharge your event strategy in 2024 & beyond

The best events teams are powered by data. 

To help event professionals learn how to use data to accelerate event strategy and get better outcomes with each B2B conference, we recently hosted a new webinar — No data left behind: Strategies for transforming post-event data into 2024 event success — featuring Nicola Kastner, founder of The Event Strategist, and Jon Wolff, global events manager at Lenovo.

At a high level, the webinar outlined some ways events teams should analyze and use event data, methods for data interpretation, tips on leveraging AI tools to improve events, and how to turn data insights into a future-proofed event strategy.

If you couldn’t make it, here’s a quick recap of what we covered.

Why event data matters

As the saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

In our digital age, it’s easier than ever for teams to collect event data. By collecting this valuable information regularly, teams can begin to set benchmarks, figure out what’s working and what could be improved upon, and get a better idea of what the future might look like.

However, with 150+ data points at any event, Kastner says it’s essential for events teams to understand the most critical data to meet their objectives.

“Define success,” she said. “That leads you to the right things to measure.”

The more granular you can get with your data, the better.

“Take data and segment it to persona and industry levels,” she added. “Segmentation gives you great insights — those are the things you can use to advance in your career.”

As you continue to collect data over time at every event, it’s essential to make sure you’re standardizing the data so it’s consistent. That way, you can make apples-to-apples comparisons, Wolff says. Once you begin amassing historical data and ensuring it’s standardized, you can use it to inform your future strategies.

“We’re setting the process, we’re setting the foundation so we have a tool in place for us to be able to have that historical data to use as that benchmark to improve,” Wolff said.

Using artificial intelligence to put on better events

While AI has been around for a long time — it powers your Netflix recommendations, the Uber app, and autocompletion on web searchers — the ubiquitous accessibility of generative AI is a brand-new occurrence. 

“Organizations don’t know how to use it yet,” Kastner said. “It’s like when the internet came out in the early ’90s, people were not allowed to use it. In many cases, people in corporations aren’t allowed to use ChatGPT to support them.” 

While there are concerns about using generative AI — including security and privacy considerations — events teams should be testing the new technology because their competitors already are.

As Kastner sees it, AI can help drive efficiency and productivity pre-event, deliver personalized experiences during the event, and speed up reporting afterward.

“We just need to be very careful because it’s so new,” she said, adding that the events industry is not behind any other industry in adoption. “Nobody knows how to use it effectively on an enterprise level. It’s not widely embraced at the enterprise level, but it will be. The more you take the time to learn, understand, and embrace [the technology], the more you’ll be ahead.”  

Wolff encourages fellow events professionals to get familiar with generative AI and make it another tool in their proverbial toolbox. At the same time, he cautions folks to avoid suffering the same fate as Samsung, which inadvertently leaked proprietary data to the public using ChatGPT.

“Make sure the security is there for you and the company,” he said.

Although ChatGPT has been all over the headlines over the past year, Wolff suggests using a tool called Gamma — aka ChatGPT for slideshows. 

New to generative AI and not sure where to get started? Check out our free guide: 100+ AI chatbot prompts for event professionals.

Translating event data into strategy success

Improving your event strategy with data is only possible when you understand its importance and treat it accordingly.

“The red flag that I’ve seen is the we know better attitude — when event planners brush off data with a confident wave,” Wolff said. “Applying the same event strategy event after event regardless of what the data is saying” is another behavior to avoid. 

When the data tells you it’s time to make a change, you need to listen — however uncomfortable that might be.

“We did an event in London, and we were sold that the event would bring in this result. When we got the data post-event, only 25% of attendees were our target audience,” Wolff said. “This was not going to work for us, so we cut the loss right there.” 

After each event, he suggests putting together a post-event report featuring the highlights and the lowlights. 

Watch the webinar for more post-event data strategy tips

Ultimately, events teams can no longer run on gut instinct.

Quote
Events teams have to lean into the data. If they can’t do it themselves, find partners in their organization that can help them or find partners externally that can help them and build it in as a line item in the budget. Saying you don’t have time can’t be an excuse anymore.” 
Nicola Kastner
Founder
The Event Strategist

For more tips on using post-event data to put on better events, watch the webinar on-demand.

post-event strategy and AI webinar

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