The Power of Data in Virtual Events
The world belongs to Virtual Events now; this is an undisputed fact. With the downturn in the event industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual Events are long proving to be the saving grace for a lot of industries.
The year 2020 saw a huge number of Virtual Events across all industries & niches.
Granted, with such a humongous number of events, there was an even larger number of attendees that participated in these Virtual events.
With such a massive number of people, there was a colossal amount of data that was generated during each of these events.
If you’re an avid event planner, organization, techie, or even an informed citizen of the current times, you know just what the most enviable superpower in today’s times is.
It is the ability to collect, sort, analyze, & draw meaningful conclusions from, a sizable amount of relevant data.
One of the most prominent reasons organizations & businesses plan & host events of any kind is to collect & analyze data from their attendees.
This data collection & ensuing analysis helps businesses stay on top of the latest trends, and gives them an edge on customer happiness & satisfaction.
With Virtual Events, practically everything becomes data.
Right from event registration forms, attendee details, interests, digital footprints, & activity logs; you have all the data at your fingertips.
We don’t need to tell you how valuable data is.
Just ask the top tech companies of the world, who have been braving challenging seas of legal battles & government sanctions in order to gather huge volumes of data.
According to this very informative blog by Samaaro, data in today’s times is comparable to oil in the 18th century.
Having huge reserves of oil in your possession at that time meant sure riches & financial superiority. The very roles are being played by data in the current scenario.
Data holds the same importance as oil did back then, perhaps even more so, because data, unlike oil, is a non-exhaustible resource.
Data not only helps decide the power equations in any industry, but it also helps businesses make informed decisions about their strategies.
Data has proven valuable for almost every industry in the current world. The event industry, however, can really shine with proper, cutting-edge data analysis tools in place.
Data analytics in the event industry is of great importance, as events are very dynamic in nature(Virtual Events being more so!)
Event planners & organizers can make really informed decisions based on the patterns observed in previous events, & reach proper strategies by crunching the relevant data collected.
In this article, we tell you exactly what event analytics is. Next, we’ll tackle how event organizers & planners can utilize the power of data to plan flawless Virtual Events for their clients & attendees.
What is Data Analytics?
Talking in layman terms, data analytics is the process of studying, understanding, processing, & deriving relevant insights from the data at hand.
This ‘analysis’ is then used to form logical conclusions from the data, which people/businesses/organizations can then use to form relevant strategies for their business.
In the current world, we live in a data-driven environment. From the mobile phones that we use to the various internet-enabled devices that find a place somewhere in our homes; data is collected at every step.
Figuring out a way to sort this data into relevant categories & analyzing only the data which is useful, takes a lot of planning & strategizing.
This part of the data crunching process is what is known as Data Analytics.
What is the importance of Data Analytics in Virtual Events?
Although data has always been around in one way or another, data analytics only began finding a place in the mainstream areas of event tech recently.
The shift began happening when more & more companies realized the importance of properly crunching the data they were collecting.
It wasn’t long before event planners & hosts realized that event data could come in handy for them in planning specific event strategies for attendee satisfaction.
Seeing the trend of data analytics establishing a stronghold in the realm of Virtual Events, Virtual Event platforms quickly caught on to the wave.
Pretty soon, Virtual Event platforms came up with state-of-the-art in-built analytics dashboards that help event planners & organizers collect, visualize, & interpret data successfully.
Right from improving customer engagement, to designing & presenting data in a more accessible way, data analytics help event planners put their best foot forward.
What is the data that can be collected during Virtual Events?
There are two types of data that can be collected in Virtual Events. They are classified below:
Active Data Collection: Active Data collection is also known as ‘Explicit Data Collection’. It is the process of collecting the attendees’ thoughts & preferences about an event. It is considered the most authentic form of data collection, as it comes directly from the attendees.
Some examples of Active Data Collection in an event include:
- Name of the attendee
- Address of the attendee
- Preferences of the attendees
- Session Feedback from the attendees
Passive Data Collection: Passive data collection is also called ‘Implicit Data’. It is basically data collected from the event without the direct input of attendees.
Below are some examples of passive data collection during an event:
- Audience demographics, which can be visualized by studying the types of people that attended the event. This data can include everything from age, income bracket, location, marital status, gender, or professional designations. This data helps you better understand your audience, & design the events in a way that’s better suited to them.
- Psychographics, which can be defined as the study of audience psychology. It can include data pointers like the audience’s motivation, their job profiles, their aspirations, & their psychological conditions. This information can help event planners/organizers better plan events to make their attendees feel happy & satisfied.
- Audience engagement rate: Audience Engagement rate can help event planners/organizers understand just how well the audience is engaging with their Virtual Event. This helps them see where they are losing audience interest, & just what they can do to improve audience engagement & retention.
- Audience Sentiment analysis: Audience sentiment analysis is defined as just how well your audience interacts with your event. It is a study to understand what parts of the event helped your audience feel happy, what parts made your audience feel excited, & so forth.
This helps event planners & organizers better design events in a way that makes the audience feel engaged & excited throughout the event.
- Audience footprinting: This is data collection that helps the event planners/organizers understand what parts of the event the attendees interacted most with. It also lets them see where their attendees spent the most time, & where they were the most active.
Knowing this can help event planners & organizers understand just which part of the event are driving audience engagement, & replicate them in the next event.
When choosing the perfect Virtual Event Platform, ensure that you go for the one which has an interactive data analytics dashboard.
This helps you better sort out active & passive data from your Virtual Event, & make decisions based on an adequate analysis drawn from those.
What data insights can be derived from a Virtual Event?
As you might have seen from the above discussion, it’s easy to collect, sort, & analyze event data. All you need is the right Virtual Event platform that has the right data analysis tools integrated.
However, even though data collection from virtual events is pretty simple, it’s a whole different story when it comes to converting this data into actionable items.
However, this is the very part that defines the whole purpose of data analytics in Virtual Events. Turning data items into action calls & actual event activities can help event planners design events that are more customer-centric, & also drive higher customer engagement.
This can help the event become overall more successful, & also give the organizers a better chance to solidify the event’s purpose.
That being said, there are a ton of highly specific metrics that can easily be derived from data analytics in Virtual Events. These metrics can help the event planners & organizers get a better understanding of the entire virtual event, & help them make better, more informed decisions about the next event.
These metrics include:
- Networking connections made throughout the event in numbers,
- The number of meetings scheduled during & after the event,
- The most visited places/chat rooms/exhibition halls in the entire Virtual Event,
- The sessions that were the most impactful & engaging,
- The resource/information brochure/event guide/document that was downloaded the most, &
- The videos that were viewed the most throughout the entire virtual event
Here is how you can actually use these data pointers for your next Virtual Event:
Mastering event analytics is a must for event planners & organizes looking to host successful, engaging Virtual Events.
This is especially true if one considers the fact that each Virtual Event produces a mine of highly relevant, useful data which when ‘mined’ properly, can lead to fruitful results.
Here are the top 5 ways in which event planners & organizers can utilize the data insights from Virtual Events to strategize for their next Virtual Event:
- Devise strategies that lead to an improvement in audience engagement during the entire Virtual Event,
- Personalize & customize the event according to the data insights received from data analytics tools in a Virtual Event platform,
- Discovering new trends & patterns to help the event planners & organizers implement new strategies to design Virtual Events,
- Understanding audience behaviour during & after the event. This helps event planners form better strategies to keep audiences engaged & excited throughout the event.
- Measuring & improving Return On Investment (ROI) of Virtual Events.
Data isn’t a new term. We have been collecting, sorting, & analyzing data for a long time now. With Virtual Events taking over the event center stage by a long shot now, event panners/organizers are constantly looking for ways to engage & keep the audience interested.
With proper data collection & analytics tools in place, you can adequately crunch data from your Virtual Event, & turn it into smart strategies for a highly successful Virtual Event the next time around.
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