Event Data, A Love Story

Event Tech Brief

Event Data, A Love Story

01-Jan-2018

 

By Michelle Bruno

The romance that event organizers have with data is entering the third phase. Phase one involved collecting the data. Phase two addressed organizing the data. It’s now time for acting on the data. As with the first two stages of the love story, the attraction developed before the realities of the mission became clear. And so it is at this last phase. Organizers want desperately to recoup their data investments. The way to do it is just now becoming clear.

What event-data lovers are lacking

One obstacle preventing exhibition and conference organizers and corporate event hosts from making event data actionable is the number of disparate data sources, from websites, registration, and mobile apps to beacons, scanners, RFID, and others. While some technology providers can display data processed within their own platforms, it requires some integration magic to bring data from other best-of-breed providers into the same dashboard.

What the event industry needs to consummate the relationship it has with data is an agnostic audience-intelligence engine that consolidates data from multiple sources into a single dashboard. It also has to offer visibility at the event level (x number of attendees were interested in a certain topic), account level (x number of attendees from ACME were interested in a particular topic), and the attendee level (Joe Smith, CEO of ACME Corp., was interested in a specific topic).

A universal approach to event data

An audience-intelligence engine now exists. New York-based Vivastream expresses attendee behavioral data—surveys completed, sessions viewed, subjects bookmarked, booths visited, posts liked, demos attended, etc.—from multiple data sources (even those not associated with the event, if required) through a centralized dashboard. The platform assigns points to actions and using “engagement scores” surfaces the most (and least) engaged attendees and the topics that engage them.

Engagement scores are telling. For corporate event hosts, a low engagement score might relegate a specific attendee to the “unengaged” category and thus not worth pursuing. A high engagement score can help them identify high-value prospects. If a company organizes or exhibits in multiple events across the globe, Vivastream can help organizations assess individuals across all of its events worldwide, regardless of the different technologies used per event.

Topics make attendee data functional. During an event, Vivastream can deliver suggestions to attendees about other activities that align with their interests. It can export topic data to a company’s CRM or marketing automation platform for individualized post-event outreach: webinar invitations, specialized email offers, or informed conversations with account executives. Third-party organizers can analyze topics to improve programming or devise new revenue strategies.

Vivastream’s secret sauce

Vivastream consolidates data from multiple event-technology providers by normalizing it. It accepts data using application-programming interfaces (APIs), Excel spreadsheets, and .CSV- or JSON-formatted files. “We spent a lot of time and effort building out what we call a ‘normalizer’ that can ingest data via an API or from any files that any company can provide us with and our solution will deliver actionable insights,” explains Nick Fugaro, founder and CEO of Vivastream.

Vivastream surfaces topics in either of two ways. The organizer can supply a list of topics to Vivastream with instructions to track all of the engagement around those subjects. The platform can also automatically scan content provided through the various event technologies (registration, mobile apps, survey platforms) and develop the list of topics around which it can measure engagement. “We’ve had as few as two data sources and delivered eye-opening insights,” Fugaro says.

Vivastream enlists attendees to activate data through “trip reports.” The reports, delivered through personalized URLs, provide an attendee with an overview of his or her engagement history. They also detail the solutions, topics, and themes around which the attendee engaged. The organizer or its sponsors can embed links to relevant content (a potential revenue stream) in the reports, which attendees can share on social networks.

Redefining a relationship

Vivastream has the potential to replace hunches, history, even revelations that come to the CEO in a dream with a data-driven decision-making process. Having worked out how to consolidate, visualize, and automate insights across multiple information sources, Vivastream’s audience-intelligence engine is now state of the art for event-data analytics. It can transform what was becoming a love-hate relationship (born of frustration and overwhelm) between organizers and data into the highly anticipated marriage of technology and opportunity.

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