According to Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends Report, 80% of marketers believe that events are the single most effective marketing channel. What makes an event successful? How are audience numbers measured? How do marketers plan their events? Technology and data changes everything.
Forrester Research reports that events make up more than 24% of the B2B marketing budget. As marketers continue to battle for consumer attention and attempt to stand out from the clutter of advertising, events present the ideal opportunity to isolate and captivate audiences.
Events also give marketers the unique opportunity to learn more about their ideal customers. With audiences more connected than ever before, event organisers can now access audience data that goes beyond registration reports.
Digitising Event Measurement
Event success is measured by several metrics including the number of registrations, revenue generated, and perceived attendee satisfaction. The increasing integration of digital media to these events - live streams, social conversations, and event apps - brings some digital metrics into play as well. For example, the number of social posts made related to the event.
However, marketers are missing out on a wealth of insights about the people at their event and how they interact with the space.
Registrations don't tell you how long someone spent at an event or where they spent most of their time.
The solution is to implement a location analytics solution that measures people movement within defined spaces. This can be done by deploying physical hardware like cameras and IoT sensors and combining this with location-based digital data.
The insights derived from these has implications for marketers at both pre-event and post-event stages.
Smarter Event Planning
Where should an event take place? Before considering logistical factors and exact venues, it is important to identify the right location. Where is your target audience? Where is the conversation about your type of product or service high in volume? For some, this could simply be "Where can I attract the highest number of visitors?"
Then there's the data from previous events. Which locations attracted the highest number of visitors? Which days were more popular than others?
By keeping a handle on these key metrics, marketers are able to plan more effective events based on audience data and past performance. This is only possible once marketers implement standard event analytics across their entire portfolio.
Case Study: Measuring Event Performance
Transparency and accountability dominate marketing. A majority of media channels are now measured digitally and can be tracked in real time. Events are no different.
Apart from audience numbers, marketers can map movement patterns to understand attention magnets and optimise these for future events.
We recently deployed our analytics solution at The Saudi International Motor Show:
Our client wanted to measure the overall effectiveness of their showcase - how many people they engaged, visitor profiles, and popularity of their vehicle models
We used a combination of hardware sensors, video analytics, and social data to provide rich insights for every vehicle zone for the entire length of the event.
Event marketers are competing for the same marketing budgets as digital media. These channels are already moving to offline attribution models to help marketers understand the impact of advertising on people movement.
Events held in physical spaces already hold the advantage of being able to measure a specific type of physical audience - one that has shown interest in and interacted with the brand. It's time event marketers used location analytics to measure, reach, and influence this audience.