Post authored by Valerie Cox, Manager, Business Analyst Group
One of the things I enjoy most about my role at Experient is the collaborative conversations I have with our clients. Often, we’ll gather a group of client and Experient “brains” on a call to identify new and effective ways to tackle challenges or advance on new goals.
From complex challenges to the small, unpredictable snags that can derail an otherwise well-executed event, when we include behavioral data to the collective wisdom at the table, that’s when the real magic happens.
Behavioral Data Drives More Purposeful Collaboration
When data enters the mix, these collaborative exchanges get even richer. It’s been two years since we launched eventBit, a beacon-enabled, behavioral data solution that incorporates wearables to help event organizers know exactly what each person is doing at their event, such as:
- Which booths, sessions, or activities are attendees spending more time at?
- Which ones are they dodging or ignoring?
- How can we fine-tune our plan to drive more of the behaviors our clients desire most?
That’s insight you can take to the bank and I continue to be amazed at the clever ways our clients are leveraging behavioral data to improve their events. For example, when you know more, you can:
Make corrections on-the-fly to prevent small problems from becoming big ones
Conference general sessions are often the experiences guests remember most. But as these memorable main-stage moments end, many are rushing to the door to get to their next appointment. Few take the time to provide meaningful feedback about the experience.
With eventBit, one client chose to send a brief thank-you message immediately following their morning general session and only to those who attended this session. The message included a three-question survey and nearly half of those attending responded. Minutes later, our client scanned the feedback and spotted an AV problem that could easily be fixed—long before the luncheon keynote in the same room would begin.
Recover lost revenue and increase upsell opportunities
For many events, there are multiple registration pricing tiers—with all-access badges carrying the highest fee—but policing these programs can be costly. Staff need to scan badges at every entry point, which means more expense plus longer lines for popular activities.
For one client, there was little to no policing going on, as they didn’t perceive this to be an issue.With eventBit, they learned that a substantial number of people were attending sessions without paying for the privilege. They now know exactly what this is costing their organization in lost revenue and who the violators are. With tighter reins in place for year two, supported by eventBit, they can now streamline badge monitoring, while teeing up new opportunities to upgrade more badges onsite.
Boost loyalty and reduce first-timer churn
First-time attendees is a segment that many of our clients are watching closely. In any given year, average first-timer attendance runs from 35-38% at most events. As our clients study the first-timer data, they’re often surprised to learn the behavioral pattern of new attendees.
Armed with this insight, our clients are better equipped to satisfy first-timer needs and convert more of these people into loyal fans. Experient has gone a step further, creating a first-timer report that compares behavior of first-timers with those attending two or more years.
Help exhibitors drive more value from their booth investment
At any point during a show, eventBit clients can view activity dashboards, with heat maps showing traffic flow across the entire exhibit floor. More clients are choosing to extend this visibility to their exhibitors, so they can see who’s in their booth and who’s nearby to improve lead capture.
At one show, as we scanned the heat maps, we noticed one booth wasn’t generating near the traffic that other similar-sized booths were getting. As we investigated further, we spotted equipment near this under-performing booth that was making it look less inviting. Once the equipment was removed, traffic rebounded and the exhibitor was thrilled.
Prove more (and make more)!
In the past, it’s been challenging for event organizers to pinpoint sponsorship ROI. They might merge a few data sets and make a few assumptions, but it was difficult to accurately measure ROI… until now.
With eventBit, our clients have richer and more credible data to back up sponsorship ROI calculations. One client managed to boost sponsorship spend by 15% in a single year with this stronger proof of performance.
Get more bang for your experience-design buck
There’s often a lot of guesswork going on behind the scenes for VIP receptions, as you strive to stretch every dollar to design dazzling experiences for these VIPs. We had one client use eventBit in a number of brilliant ways, starting with arrivals. In years past, guests would wait in line as staff verified their access privileges.
With eventBit, no verification is needed. They could open every entrance to improve flow and the lines vanished. More importantly, the eventBit data revealed which features at the reception were appreciated most. This client decided to trim back their VIP reception by 30 minutes the following year, because at this point, more than 75% of the VIP crowd was gone.
We’re All In This Together
Our clients are experts at knowing what matters to their audience and to their organization. On our end, Experient manages thousands of events each year. Between our combined resources, when a client puts a challenge or goal in front of us, the odds are high that we already have a story about how we helped another client successfully address that same issue.
Best-selling author Ken Blanchard (The One-Minute Manager and many others) has been known to share a favorite quote that applies well here:
“None of us is as smart as all of us.“
I’m fortunate to work for an organization where this concept isn’t just embraced — it’s embedded in nearly everything we do. I’m also very fortunate to work with amazing clients who appreciate and support this highly collaborative, continuous improvement model.
What plans do you have to step up collaboration and behavioral data capture to know more and do more? What roadblocks are getting in your way?