The Events Industry has been hit hard in the last couple of years and the lack of live activations has had a knock-on effect on brands. We all know magic happens when consumers get to experience a product IRL, but a lack of face-to-face connection during the pandemic period has seen people switching brands and losing loyalty. With restrictions easing, in-person events will once again become key. However, recent International research shows the industry needs to up its data game or risk losing its place in the marketing mix.
So how can data make a difference?
Report the metrics that brands truly value
Live events are vital for brands. They can change consumer perceptions, support a marketing campaign and let people get up close and personal to a product for the first time. But our research, with over 500 event decision makers, revealed they don’t get the crucial data the business needs: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Total Purchase Value (TPV) and Visitor Satisfaction Score are rarely collected at live events. The opportunity to unlock incredible consumer insights exists but game-changing data is being left behind. It’s time to gather these missing metrics and give brands what they are crying out for.
Making the user experience more creative
Data reporting is generally a bit dull and this needs to change. The research showed that we lack some of the professionalism and engagement that other marketing departments bring to life through reporting. Remember, Events are often vying for the same budget pot, which means they must prove they’re worthy. Any data output must have superior UX and use charts, graphics and dashboards that are clear, navigable and engaging. Good analytics make it easy for everyone in the organisation to see the true impact of live activations.
Prove Event value through benchmarking
Historically, it has been difficult to measure Event activation against other marketing activity. Our research shows this now must change. By asking the same brand performance questions and tracking the same metrics, we can prove the power of face-to-face interactions for brands and the impact on consumer behaviour, preference and purchasing. This is really useful in competitive sectors like tech where keeping up with the innovations and specifications of rivals is crucial.
Trial new on-site technology to measure what’s really going on
There are some exciting developments in Event tech that can offer new levels of insight into how people really feel about products. From the research, there were several innovations that were prized. Facial recognition technology gives brands a deeper, emotional understanding of their customers – for the beauty world, this is an opportunity for much-prized personalisation. Automation will be a game-changer for large-scale events and free staff from manual tasks, like counting footfall or estimating event dwell time. And for those all-important engagement moments, traffic flow heatmapping can illuminate customer interactions at every touchpoint.
Reboot the data-mindset of your on-site event teams
How you get your data is just as important as what you get. Your brand ambassadors and field event staff need to be skilled in observation, body language reading and consumer behaviour. Do they know how to approach people? Are they asking questions the correct way? Can they judge what kind of information will be too sensitive to ask? Make sure your staff understand the importance of the data they are gathering and how crucial they are to the success of the event. Invest in data training to drive consistency across all the surveys you take and to use event information to predict future outcomes, not just collect data for the sake of it.
It’s crunch time for the live events industry and data is its secret superpower. Let’s change the way data and analysis is collected, bring together the missing metrics and prove the power of live activations for brands.
Want to know more? Download our exclusive Impact Research, which brings to life the views of over 500 event decision makers across Alcohol, Beauty, FMCG, Retail and Technology.