One of the most powerful benefits of running a virtual (or hybrid) event rather than a conventional in-person one is the ability to gather and use data before, during, and after the event. You can use analytics to help you both provide every attendee with the best possible event experience and optimize your future events.
Not only can you gather analytics giving you insight into which elements of your event are the most (or least) popular among your audience as a whole, but you can zoom in on how an individual behaves over the course of the event. This way, you can gather information that can help you understand your customers and prospective customers better, so that you can raise the level of personalization that you deliver.
What kind of data should you gather, and how can you use it?
Gathering Data Before Your Event
The key is to begin by asking the questions that you would like your data to answer. Keep in mind that you can (and should) gather valuable information from the very first steps of the registration process all the way to the end of your post-event follow-up.
By asking (or even requiring) registrants to answer some questions about their interests, job title, industry, educational background, needs, and professional responsibilities, you can gain valuable information to help you personalize their experience.
And it can be especially useful to ask which country a given attendee lives in and what their preferred language is, both to help you personalize the content you offer them and to ensure that differences between time zones don’t hamper their experience.
Using Data During Your Event
Some of the information you gather can then help you to enhance an individual participant’s experience during your virtual event. Because you can collect and analyze participant analytics in real-time—and because of the availability of professional services that can help you interpret this data—it’s relatively easy to use this information to implement changes while your event is happening.
For example, if you see that a session is starting and its turnout is unexpectedly low, you could deploy a pop-up notification in your platform to drive traffic or immediately send some members of your team to this session to boost participation.
In many cases the most valuable data for you to consider is end-of-day analytics, which can give you key insights into how your audience responded to the sessions held throughout the day. Examining this data can help you draw conclusions about what worked well, what didn’t work as well, and what you can tell about your audience’s interests and needs. Most importantly, it can provide guidance to help you optimize the next day’s sessions
For example, if you see that a certain topic is attracting surprisingly small audiences and you know that you have more sessions on this topic planned for the following day, you could send an email to promote these sessions in order to boost attendance.
Applying Insights Post-Event
The relief of wrapping a huge event is often short-lived…because it’s often time to start planning for the next one. The slate of data and analytics available in your virtual events platform will prove invaluable as you conceptualize and plan future events.
Make sure to set aside time to process event data and surface insights in the weeks after your event is over. Applying learnings from attendance data, engagement metrics, and in-platform activity will help you home in on what works best for your particular audience. That way, you can design your next event to be as relevant for your targets as possible to increase registration/attendance rates and drive up your ROI.
Analyzing your event data will also be key to your marketing and sales follow-up. Robust analytics show you which attendees were most engaged, helping you prioritize your outreach. You can sync your event data with CRMs and marketing automation tools to make the hand-off to your marketing and sales teams seamless.
Questions to Answer with Your Virtual Event Data
- Which languages did many registrants choose as their preferred language?
- Where do attendees live/work?
- Which job titles are most common among registrants and attendees?
- Which attendees have a certain job title, interest, or other trait that should affect which sessions you recommend to them?
- Which sessions had the most participants signed up, and which sessions had the highest actual turnout?
- Which sessions had the highest levels of audience engagement?
- Which sessions had the most users who signed in but left in the middle?
- What types of individuals signed up for your event but did not attend any sessions?
- What type of attendees attended the most sessions?
- Which attendees participated in (or signed up to attend) lower-funnel sessions?
- Which sponsors were the most popular?
Finding the Right Virtual Events Vendor
Given the clear advantages of a data-centric events approach, you should choose a virtual events platform that will equip you with the full array of insights. Not every platform is created equally, so be sure you are asking providers the right questions, or you could be leaving value on the table. Kaltura Virtual Events delivers robust analytics and supports every type of event in a single platform. Learn more here.
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