The CX Manifesto: Are You Designing Event Experiences with a Blindfold On?

customer experiencePost authored by Jeff Fugate, SVP, Strategic Sales & Marketing

There’s been much talk about data, especially in the context of event marketing and experience design, but talk is cheap. It’s time to advance from talking to doing.


Event guest expectations are skyrocketing and their experience palates are growing more sophisticated by the day. Yet many event organizers rely on sketchy data, observations, and even gut hunches to identify the event experiences they believe will satisfy these more discerning audiences.

Where’s the evidence? Where’s the proof? How can you be sure the investments you make in experience design will be noticed, consumed and appreciated?

To achieve that level of certainty, you’ll need a richer data intelligence map to guide you.

Customer Experience (CX): Your Best Route to Grow Attendance, Loyalty and Revenue  

Is stepping up your data strategy still a wish list item? Something you’re talking about, but not acting upon? CX initiatives will sputter and fail if they’re not guided by credible and actionable data insights.

Consider this:

  • In 2016, 89% of companies called out the customer experience (CX) as their primary battlefield to compete. Four years ago, only 36% identified CX as a priority. (Gartner)
  • By 2020, customer experience (CX) will overtake price and product as a key B2B brand differentiator. (Walker/Customers 2020)
  • Scanning three years out, B2B marketers identified CX, personalization, and big data as the most effective strategies to accelerate growth and increase market share. (Adobe).

You’re likely collecting and analyzing quite a bit of data already. This might include registration data, session attendance, exhibitor leads, website activity, email metrics, post-event surveys, and so on.

That’s a solid start, but there are dangerous blind spots, because you lack one of the most crucial data points of all, especially in the context of enhancing CX: Event Behavioral Insight.

customer experience

Event Behavioral Insight: The Unknowable Becomes Knowable

Event guests vote with their feet and they’re getting bolder in doing so these days. If they attend an education session or visit a booth and they’re not satisfied quickly, they’ll move on.

Yet those disappointments are rarely—if ever—known by the event organizer. Badge scans might show you who entered, but not necessarily who exited and when.

That degree of priceless insight has been unknowable… until now.

New technology has given rise to products like eventBit™, allowing events to accurately capture and analyze a wealth of behavioral data to know and serve their event guests the experiences they crave. Leveraging a breakthrough in Bluetooth beacon technology, we can now uncover an unmatched level of data intelligence.

With this type of knowledge, you can streamline and improve your CX by:

  • Knowing exactly who stayed for the duration of each education session
    Whether they stayed or left, you can use this statistical evidence to improve topic and speaker selection for future events. This same drill applies to receptions and other networking-amplified activities. Identify the winners and focus more attention on replicating and extending those proven event assets.
  • Seeing booth lead slippage more clearly
    Who spent a significant amount of time in or near a booth that matched this exhibitor’s buyer profile, but didn’t get scanned as a lead? Working through data like this can help planners gauge future exhibit hall traffic more accurately, helping exhibitors improve their booth strategy, location, and staffing for future shows.
  • Making event marketing more personalized
    What were the top three things that delighted guests at your last event? Using these personal insights can help create more effective marketing campaigns that lock in on these most treasured experiences to win them back. Armed with this data, you can also spot “tribes” who enjoy similar experiences – people who might appreciate an invitation to gather at a lounge or some other activity.
  • Speaking of “tribes,” imagine if you could extend your event value prop by connecting people with common interests later
    Imagine you’re an event guest and a month after the event, you receive an email that allows you to connect with the people whose interests closely match yours. These are the people who attended the same sessions and visited the same or similar exhibitors, but you don’t know them. Now you have an opportunity to connect and engage in conversations with them following the event. These like-minded connections could be the strongest draw to bring you back again next year.

When it comes to using behavioral data to build a better experience, the number of “imagine if” scenarios is endless. These statistical insights can be used to introduce new and more relevant sponsorship opportunities, backed by stronger ROI data proof.

Are you ready to rip off the blindfold and access the data intelligence you need to design remarkable event CX moments? Find out how you can take these ideas and bring them to life at your event or trade show.

Want to see what you can do with behavioral data in the middle of your event? Click to download this success story on how one conference used this technology to their advantage in real time.EDUCAUSE-cover-1-1.jpg


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