Are you using your event data efficiently? If you’re looking for better ways to use your budget, manage your event, and boost your ROI, your event data is a great place to start. If you’re using a registration platform, ticketing software, or even a mobile even app, there’s a wellspring of data waiting to be used- you just need to know what to look and how it applies to your event’s success.
Here are just a few ways you can use data you may already have to your advantage.
- Pay Close Attention to How and Where You Promote Your Event
One of the most important aspects of boosting ROI is getting more attendees in the door. This means a combination of retaining past attendees and gaining new ones. If you don’t have concrete data on how your attendees are finding your event online, you may be spending more on promotion than necessary. For example, if the majority of your attendees are registering for your event via Facebook but you spend the bulk of your ad budget on another platform, you’re not allocating your money to where it matters most. Never base your marketing decisions on assumptions about which platforms are the “most popular” or have the most users (ie: “everybody I know uses Facebook therefore it should generate the most sales”). This is an easy mistake to make and doesn’t actually rely on actionable data generated directly from your attendees.
Most registration platforms can provide you with information on registration by date and time, by ticket/pass type, and by source. From these three figures alone, you’ll be able to re-allocate your budget as needed and watch your ROI soar.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder
Technology can be your best friend if you use it correctly. If your attendees don’t have a seamless experience before and during your event, they might choose not to attend in the future. It’s important to monitor attendee activity in any way possible, but you want to do this in the most streamlined way possible so you spend your valuable time and attention on the things that can’t be automated.
If you have an event app, you should be able to view which performers, speakers, sessions, and content was the most popular at your last event. This will give you hard evidence on which attractions were the most or least popular, allowing you to plan accordingly for your next event. Was one of your most anticipated speakers a total flop? Did you schedule one of your most expensive acts during your most popular performers? Was there an attraction that garnered more attention than expected but you hit capacity early on? Knowing these things can help you plan your event better on your next go around, which can result in a more streamlined experience for everyone and a more profitable event overall.
- Pay Attention to Check In Data
if attendees have to wait in a long line just to check in, you’re losing out on time (and money) they can spend at your event. It can also sour an otherwise sweet event experience before attendees set foot in your venue. Do you scan tickets at multiple entrances or have guests check in and get some sort of wristband or credential? Identifying where any check-in bottlenecks may be can greatly reduce wait times and increase the profitability of your event.
- Identify New vs. Returning Attendees
If most of your attendees are returning, you may not be doing enough to attract new people (or you might be promoting your event to the wrong people). Losing some attendees over time is common- people move away, can’t make the date, or just get bored by going to the same event year in and year out. That being said, if the overwhelming majority of your attendees are first-timers, this could be an indication that your event isn’t doing so well because attendees don’t want to come back. Knowing your mix of new vs. returning attendees can help your ROI in the long run because it typically costs more to generate new attendees than to retain old ones.
- Know Your Top Spenders and Top Performers
If you offer various levels of tickets or passes, pay close attention to how each one performs. For example, if you find that your Early Bird tickets don’t sell well but you have a high level of group sales, you may want to allocate more resources to group sales. If you find that your VIP packages, extra add-ons, or experiences aren’t selling too well, try to find out why people just aren’t biting. It could be the price point, or it could be that you’re offering something your attendees simply don’t value.
It’s also important to note that not all attendees are created equal. Some attendees are going to buy more tickets, spend more at the event, or bring more friends via word of mouth than others. If you can identify these top spenders, keep track of them like they’re VIPs and market to them directly.
These are just a few examples of how you can use event data to your advantage. If you’re not already using a registration platform, ticketing service, or event app, consider taking the plunge so you can start gathering useful info on your attendees and the overall health of your event. Most event planners find that, once they take the plunge, the actionable data you gain is worth the investment upfront.