In a digital world where the credentials, interests and preferences of individuals are being used to target the content and communications served to them, it’s no wonder that the concept of personalisation is becoming more prevalent in the planning and execution of live events.
There’s a growing expectation and requirement from delegates to have an experience carved out that is customised just for them. The one size fits all approach is no longer valid, so if you’re looking to create engaged attendees that convert into loyal brand advocates then read on…
The difference is data
Advances in event technology are not only helping to create more immersive and engaging delegate experiences, but they are supporting event planners in their quest to collect valuable data on their attendees. It is this insight into attendee likes, dislikes, job roles, previous event behaviours and their individual requirements, that is helping to drive the personalisation of events.
Having information about your target audiences and those you wish to connect with throughout the event process, is helping to provide the means to create event marketing campaigns and experiences within live events that are more targeted and relevant to the delegate as they move through their event journey with your brand.
Personalising with Purpose
Understanding from the offset how you want to personalise your delegates event journey is key to knowing what data you can pull from previously collected information stored in your marketing systems and CRMs.
If you don’t already have the intel you need to execute your personalisation strategy, then considering how to collect this information during your attendees’ interactions with your event is crucial and can help build profiles that can be used for your current and future events.
It’s important when looking to personalise experiences that your end user is truly in mind. Personalisation should add real value for your guests and help to build a positive affinity with your brand on the lead up to, during and after your event. It shouldn’t be used as a method to simply bombard your audience with marketing and content just because you can; this approach could detract from your event and give participants cause to withdraw their personal data for future use.
With the implementation of GDPR legislation earlier this year, individuals are far more aware of their personal data and where it is stored and who is using it. Keep this in mind and plan what data is really required in order to personalise experiences. Highlight the reasons behind requesting the information too – your audience are far more likely to consent to you using their details if they feel they will benefit and not have their privacy invaded.
Adding the personal touch
Due to the abundance of technology available, adding personal touches and developing individualised experiences is becoming more achievable. From basic personalisation, through to more complex and sophisticated interactions, let’s take a look at some of the tools being used that could benefit your event:
Registration platforms – segmenting your delegates and creating registration paths that are bespoke to your audience can present a two- fold benefit: attendees feel valued and considered (bonus), plus you can collect information that is specific to each of the categories, which can help support further personalisation efforts.
Email campaigns – can be tailored to drive attendance levels and promote awareness and interest with focused communications and specially selected event content; sent pre and post event.
Live event applications – create personalised agendas, highlight networking opportunities, present exclusive offers and send relevant content and push notifications to help delegates use their time efficiently and increase engagement levels.
The options don’t end there: targeted ads and social promotion, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), gamification, wearable tech and facial recognition are all tools that are being utilised to push personal experiences to the next level for delegates. Of course, the options that you opt for will most likely be guided by the budget that you have available and the extent you want to personalise attendee experiences.
Does it pay to add value?
Although it’s a growing trend and expectation from event attendees, in some instance it’s considered difficult to measure the ROI from some forms of personalisation activity. Many of the tools used to contribute to the personalised journey are becoming more cost effective, but without being able to tangibly ascertain what monetary value they are recouping, it can be difficult to justify the financial outlay.
That being said, a well-thought out personalisation plan shouldn’t be discounted, as the advantages it creates can help underpin the success of your event by driving attendance, fostering favourable perceptions, generating good feeling towards your brand and enhancing delegate journeys – all of which can help deliver an overall ROI for your event. Not to mention that the personalisation tools, used correctly, can harvest vital data that can:
Build upon your ability to personalise for future events
Assist in the creation of lead nurturing strategies
Provide metrics that can help measure predefined event objectives and whether or not they’ve been achieved.
Personalisation will continue to be a required necessity in the event landscape and the ways and means in which this will be achieved will evolve in-line with technological capabilities. Whilst working to overcome barriers that can inhibit personalisation occurring: budgetary constraints, internal resource, restricted timescales and GDPR can be challenging, it is important to understand, when planning your event, the powerful impact that delivering a customised experience, that reflects your delegates preferences and behaviours, can have.
Not sure where to start on your mission to getting personal with your event? In2Events are a specialist event management agency that have the experience, expertise and passion to create and deliver exceptional experiences that resonate on a personal level with your delegates’. Find out how we can help with your event needs by speaking to the team today. Call: 02392 320 581 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org