Updates, announcements and articles you need from the Explori—all in one place.
Ahead of her education session at IMEX Frankfurt month, we asked Chloe Richardson, VP Corporate Relations to give us a sneak peek into what attendees can expect from her session. IMEX Frankfurt, one of the MICE industry largest events, returns next month, and the Explori team will be there! Chloe Richardson, VP Corporate Relations at Explori, will be taking to the stage on Wednesday 24 May to discuss the importance of data and measurement within corporate events. Ahead of IMEX Frankfurt, we asked Chloe to give us a sneak peek into what attendees can expect from her session. *** “It has been years of uncertainty for the meetings and events industry, and with an upcoming recession, increasingly time-critical sustainability expectations and a talent shortage unlike any we’ve seen before – it isn’t going to get any easier for corporate event leaders. In fact, our organizations are already looking for quick ways to tighten the purse strings. Where can we cut budgets? How can we redistribute resources? Which department is most dispensable? And let’s face it – meetings and events functions have not always prioritized how to present performance in a way that the wider business understands. We’ve been so busy doing our day jobs – juggling a multitude of skills for stakeholders whilst drowning in irregular working hours and travel schedules that defy time zones -- that we’ve yet to really leverage the most important thing when it comes to evidencing value and impact – the science. Sure, we’ve GOT data. Even too much of it perhaps. With an accelerated worldwide digital transformation and the increase in event technology platforms, obtaining data is no longer the challenge. The struggle is collecting the RIGHT data, and then effectively interpreting it to evidence that events are a valuable business channel. In fact, in an Explori study into the long-term challenges faced by event planners, measuring (and thus communicating) event performance came top with 68%. With case studies from corporate event leads, practical tips and actionable insights, this session has been designed to help you make sure you’re collecting and using the right data to win arguments.” *** Don’t miss Chloe’s session Data wins arguments: What should corporate event leaders be collecting to evidence the impact of their program?taking place at 13:00 on Wednesday, 24 May at the Research Pod. Can’t wait until May? Book a discovery call with Chloe today. Chloe Richardson VP Senior Corporate Relations
Event Leaders Exchange, an Explori-backed initiative, has announced the latest upcoming in-person event, ELX @ IMEX Frankfurt, May 22 - 23, 2023, where ELX members will reconvene to tackle pressing matters faced by the event industry and for immediate actionable measures to enhance their event programs. Corporate leaders will come together on Monday, May 22, from 1pm, for a half day of in-person discussion groups and collaborative learning sessions. Followed by an evening experience for the event leaders to relax and be inspired. And reconvene on the opening morning for more content rounding off at 1pm giving ELX members plenty of time to enjoy IMEX Frankfurt and connect with the wider industry. Founders and members of Event Leaders Exchange are calling for leading global event professionals to join them at ELX @ IMEX Frankfurt to unleash your event programs' potential through thought-provoking conversations and collective intelligence. Learn more about ELX@IMEX Frankfurt.
Made to Measure is Explori’s new live series that delivers a hit of digestible event insight directly into your ears once a month. Hosted by the Explori team members, who among them have over 40+ years of event experience, Made to Measure tackles some of the most common questions we receive from our clients and event professionals. It’s all part of our continued goal to serve the events industry. With two episodes under our belt, a round-up of the conversations so far was in order. What have I missed? Event surveys are important tools for gathering feedback essential for the success of future events, but not knowing the facts about surveys and how to execute them can backfire. The first episode in the Made to Measure podcast series, hosted by Chloe Richardson and Alex Temple, reveals some common myths about surveys and how best to get the important feedback you need. The second episode, hosted by Alex Temple and Richard Kensett, looks at the Net Promoter Score (NPS), an important metric used to measure events, and what makes it a useful but potentially dangerous tool. Survey Myths People don’t complete surveys. If people didn’t complete them, they wouldn’t be such a robust tool and common research methodology. Only the lovers and haters complete surveys. Research shows that in the case of post-show online surveys, the majority of responses actually come from those who have neither strong positive nor negative reactions. In-person feedback is better than online survey feedback. For many reasons, this is not true, including the fact that people will often temper their opinions when speaking to a live interviewer and that it’s best to get feedback from people not during but after they have experienced an entire event. Survey data isn’t useful. If the methodology is done properly, the data can give in-depth insights on how the audience experienced the event and enable you to create a framework to benchmark your company’s event program. Survey Best Practices Market the survey and let people know why their feedback matters Put the survey out not immediately after but within a week of the event Encourage survey participation with a gift card or other incentive that makes sense for the particular audience Follow e-mail best practices, including a clear subject line Send out reminders, as sometimes people need an extra nudge What is NPS? The Net Promoter Score was developed two decades ago as a way to measure customer loyalty and the likelihood that customers will advocate the use of a product to others. For events, NPS offers valuable insight into customer sentiment and whether the show is poised for growth or decline. It can tell you if your event team is swimming with or against the tide. However, there are pitfalls to be aware of. Although NPS surveys are easy to conduct and are great tools for benchmarking, there can be problems when businesses don’t understand NPS limitations or how to put the scores in context. These two episodes will show how to get the most out of surveys and effectively use and interpret NPS to ensure successful events. Catch up now available here Don't miss episode three
Industry-leading organisations come together to fuel new, invitation-only, global community of event leaders from the world’s largest brands Event Leaders Exchange (ELX), an Explori-backed initiative and The Opus Group, a powerhouse global agency network and partner for the world’s most influential brands, announced a new sponsorship deal that will provide ELX members with an agency perspective on experience design and strategy. ELX, an invitation-only community of global event leaders, strives to evolve and drive positive change within the industry. Facilitated by veterans Kimberly Meyer, David Kliman, Chloe Richardson, and Mark Brewster, the network is experiencing significant growth. The group consists of more than 60 c-suite global heads of events from such companies as Allianz, Cisco, Google, Siemens, T-Mobile and Walmart, who come together to share ideas, receive industry insights, solve problems, and engage in strategic, actionable conversations. The Opus Group will consult and collaborate with the ELX community throughout 2023. “We’re thrilled to be part of this community of global event leaders,” comments Kim Kopetz, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Opus Group. “Our agency network is built for the modern era of marketing, in which brands are looking to inspire action and drive change through events and experiences. ELX is composed of like-minded professionals, and we are eager to share and gain insights with this community.” The Opus Group will host a group discussion at the inaugural ELX Annual Congress, which takes place February 1-3, 2023, in Chicago, and, throughout the partnership, will engage with peers and share thought leadership in the ELX community platform. Chloe Richardson, Managing Director of ELX, adds, “When we launched ELX, it was the dream of the steering committee to partner with industry leaders. We’re thrilled to join forces with The Opus Group. Its team brings a wealth of experience and a positive reputation within the events industry. By having leading event partners on board, such as The Opus Group, we’re able to offer the community opportunities like never before to grow and support event leaders, continue to share insights, and ultimately look to better event programs across the world.” About The Opus Group The Opus Group is a purpose-built network with a shared mission: creating experiences that drive action for the world’s most influential brands. Across three industry-renowned, highly-awarded agencies, Opus Agency, MAS, and TENCUE, The Opus Group is a trusted partner for over 70 global companies, including the world’s most influential brands. To see the results our teams drive for Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and many other global leaders, visit theopusgroup.com. *** Find out more about ELX - eventleaders.com
The effect of the pandemic on the events industry has been well-charted; you would be forgiven for thinking you knew the whole story. Explori has access to event feedback data collected from attendees and exhibitors at 4,000 trade shows in 50 countries, a dataset that is representative of 200 million trade show experiences. This data tells the story of thousands of individual events, but at an aggregate level it also provides an unparalleled view of just how the pandemic has shaped the industry – for better and for worse. All of Explori’s post-event surveys collect attendee and exhibitor data to create key benchmarking metrics. These benchmarks allow event teams to compare individual events against industry standards, and to track the progress of their own events over time. So what can these metrics reveal about how the industry has changed – and how should this knowledge inform event strategy? Post-pandemic, NPS is on the up One of Explori’s key benchmarks is the event’s Net Promoter Score, or NPS score, which measures how likely a participant in a particular trade show is to recommend the event to a friend or colleague. In previous years, the average NPS score for trade shows remained relatively static, moving by a few points at most year-on-year. From 2021, however, when events began to take place in person once again, the NPS average shot up by almost 20 points. Good news? It’s not quite so simple… The complicated role of event importance When a previously stable datapoint changes dramatically, it’s a clear sign that something is happening behind the scenes. After years of pandemic-induced disruption, professionals in every industry looked forward to the return of business-as-usual trade shows. Some events began to return, tentatively, to in-person formats. The importance of these events – another of Explori’s benchmarks – was increased by the scarcity of the last few years, with each event representing a rare opportunity to connect with colleagues in-person. We all want our events to be thought of as important – right? Well – yes. But the importance isn’t always a dependable metric. A show might be rated as important by attendees one year because its only competitor was cancelled, or because – hypothetically – it’s the first time the show is going ahead after, say, an unprecedented global pandemic shut down in-person events for two years. That benefits the show in that particular year – but what about the year after, or the year after that? Analysis by Explori found evidence of an ‘importance bump’, meaning that enhanced importance scores can inflate the NPS of events with lower satisfaction scores, another Explori benchmark. Events with high importance scores and low satisfaction scores tend to pull in ‘hostage’ attendees, who are there in the absence of a better option – leaving the event vulnerable to disruption. The reality is that NPS scores should not be considered in isolation – we need to be looking at what’s going on under the hood. Higher NPS scores may be indicative of a post-pandemic bubble, rather than telling us that events are back and better than ever. In fact, a closer look at the data tells us that attendee and exhibitor needs have changed significantly in this new era. Redefining success: Quality over quantity What do you imagine when you picture a successful trade show? Walkways thronged with people; a rising swell of conversation; meetings at stands, in lounges, over lunches. Understandably, many of us equate high attendance with success. And yet Explori’s data suggests that there is no correlation between the number of visitors and exhibitor satisfaction scores. Four in five exhibitors say that visitor quality has a strong influence on their decision to exhibit at a given show, compared to three in five who say the same for visitor quantity. Creating a positive exhibitor experience is clearly integral to the success of a show, and Explori’s analysis has found that higher exhibitor NPS scores lead to higher spend. So what else are exhibitors looking for? Post-pandemic, exhibitors are more likely to give an event a high NPS score if they feel they were able to meet with existing customers and launch new products into the market. Conversely, generating new sales leads and taking orders were less likely to correlate with high NPS scores, indicating that sales-based objectives have taken a backseat. Attendees, too, are keen to meet disruptive exhibitors bringing new products into the market. Post-pandemic, successfully discovering innovative products and solutions is the biggest driver of attendee satisfaction. What does this mean for event organizers? Exhibitor satisfaction is crucial. Trade show organizers should work closely with their exhibitors to understand their objectives and take the time to train them so they can work at their best. Organizers should shift their focus, prioritising quality of attendees and exhibitors over quantity. Armed with the data, event organizers should feel bold enough to attract fewer, higher-quality visitors. The exhibitor mix is also incredibly important. Attendees report higher satisfaction when they attend trade shows that introduce them to new, market-disrupting suppliers and products. The most nimble, disruptive exhibitors tend to be smaller, newer organizations, with smaller marketing budgets. Alternative pricing models that moved away from a strict price-per-square-metre format could make it much more attractive for these organizations to exhibit.
Regardless of what many corporate event planners think, post-event and meetings surveys alone are not enough to give you the kind of event data you need to understand attendee behavior and engagement. Instead, planners looking for real insight on customers and prospects should be turning to a variety of tools to source event data and make the most of its value. What are these tools and what can they do? Mitch Deeming, head of operations and customer success for Explori, identifies several that are valuable and explains how best to use them. Not all of these tools will be relevant for all events. Understanding your attendees’ objectives and your own will help you decide which are right for yours. 1. CRM A place where many event professionals and marketers will already have data on customers and prospects is the customer management platform (usually shortened to CRM). Records are generated in the CRM when customers engage with the company brand in ways that include signing up for something, purchasing a product or attending an event. Deeming recommends that planners continually populate and update their CRMs with relevant information, thereby gaining better understanding of customers and the segments they fall into. Important information for segmenting customers include how this person came to appear in the CRM; points of engagement you’ve already had with them, such as whether they have appeared at your events and in what capacity; their annual budget and the sector they work in. 2. Registration Platforms The event registration platform, which should be one that integrates with your CRM, is another important tool. Registration is valuable for collecting demographic data that enriches customer records and contributes to meaningful segmentation of customers, attendees and other stakeholders. It can answer such questions as why people came to the event—was it primarily for networking, educational content or purchasing? Which sessions did they sign up for? Deeming advises planners to be conscious of the customer data they already have in the CRM and to avoid making the registration form too long by asking for information they already have. He also advises planners to make sure the registration form is relevant to the event—should it have separate pages for buyers or VIPs? Another consideration is awareness of relevant data privacy laws in the event location. 3. Virtual Event Platforms Virtual event platforms are a valuable new source of engagement data. They can track which sessions people attended and for how they long they stayed. They also capture live chats, which are a useful source of feedback, and questions from the audience, which can be helpful in creating future content. Engagement metrics such as “likes” and sessions attended are available in real-time, enabling planners to report and act on them quickly. Virtual event platforms come with some caveats, however. Deeming cautions that engagement with sponsored content is often low, recommending that it be incorporated into the main content to ensure the audience views it. Other things to be aware of is who actually owns the audience data and whether the format of the data exported will be consistent with other platforms. 4. Mobile Event Apps & Event Websites While registration will tell you who your customers are, a mobile event app and event website (if you use a platform that allows) can help you determine what they’re actually doing at the event and their level of engagement. Mobile apps and websites can give you “passive” engagement data from just the way people are interacting with the platforms and “active” engagement data through activations and activities within the app itself. Apps also support other types of data collection by prompting users to complete surveys and providing instant feedback on various event elements. Specifically, apps enable you to gather data on what sessions and speakers attendees preferred, which exhibitors they visited and which attendees they connected with through the app. Apps with note-taking functions even allow you to see which sessions prompted the most note-taking. Many also support a suite of measurable activations within the app, including session polls and gamification. The major consideration with event apps is that their adoption rate is often low. Because of the valuable information apps provide, Deeming believes it is well worth encouraging adoption through support, promotions and incentives. 5. Surveys Sentiment data, which is key to understanding the hearts and minds of customers, is primarily collected through surveys. While surveys are traditionally done after an event, Deeming recommends also using them during the planning process, a useful way to determine the types of content and networking opportunities to provide. Among the benefits of surveys are their ability to provide direct feedback from customers. They can provide answers to important questions such as how your event compares with other channels for learning, purchasing and networking within the industry sector. Surveys are also useful for filling in gaps in the CRM on the information you may not already have. For effective surveys, it’s important to make sure that questions are consistent between events in order to allow for comparisons. Good response rates are often highly dependent on repeated promotion and intelligent survey design. More Tips On How To Use Event Data To Build Valuable Insights? Like this? Want more know tips and advice on how to maximize your event data to build valuable insights? Download our Event Impact Playbook designed specifically for corporate event professionals.
At IMEX Las Vegas, the Event Leaders Exchange (ELX) community announced immediate, practical initiatives designed to help event professionals, suppliers and the industry as a whole deliver event environments that allow all people to thrive and engage our industry in embracing DEIB. These include The Neu Project, originating at Google, which encourages new practical tactics of inclusion for neurodivergent communities, starting with event spaces and programming, workplaces and beyond. Phase one of The Neu Project provides foundational education and enablement resources for event professionals to speak the language of neurodiversity and empowers them to promote acceptance and advocacy within their teams and organizations. Practical tools such as “An Event Professional’s Guide to Neuroinclusion” explore the topic of neurodiversity, its benefits, and the significance of creating events that consider neuro differences, and “The Neuroinclusive Event Checklist” a framework to help event professionals make inclusive choices at every phase of an event lifecycle. Both are now available at www.theneuproject.com Megan Henshall, strategic solutions lead for event solutions at Google and project lead on this initiative said: “Learning about neurodiversity and partnering on this work has not only empowered me to be a better event professional and strategist, it has given me such permission to be a fuller and more authentic version of myself. My dream is that The Neu Project will give those gifts to as many people as possible in our industry.” The event also marks the announcement of a new supplier framework developed by ELX participants to bring transparency and urgency around DEIB throughout the supply chain, launching for consultation at IMEX. Developed by event leaders in conjunction with the supplier community, the framework aims to create positive change in months not years. It will be made freely available to the wider events community to help raise awareness of the importance of this topic to the industry. Kate Scully, global business travel manager at Howden Group Holdings and member of the ELX Steering Committee added: “Projects like NEU and the DEIB framework show just what is possible when groups of event professionals come together to create active change. That’s where initiatives like the ELX community have a huge value. I can combine my voice with my peers, harnessing the power of decades of industry experience and focus on changing things for the future and encourage and welcome new talent and new ideas to the industry.” *** More information about the framework and the wider work of the ELX community can be found at eventleaders.com
Originally created for Association Meetings International read the full article here One of the ongoing challenges facing many event professionals operating within associations, networks and membership organizations is the ability to implement change. This is particularly an issue when looking to modify a significant element of the event such as the format in which it’s delivered, location or frequency. Many businesses collect vast amounts of data post event but fail to put the results to use. In a recent podcast, the vice president of Meta, Nicola Mendelsohn, spoke to the challenge of change: “I’m open to change my mind if I see evidence and data. There’s a poster on the [office] wall ‘Data Wins Arguments’. I like that because I think it’s true. Data allows you to really look at something and know if something isn’t going well to stop it.” Effecting change can be difficult, with time, resources and inclination being three of the prevalent blockers. At Explori, we believe framing the data and insights garnered from your events in a proactive and productive way can help influence change and overcome many obstacles, particularly amongst your most senior stakeholders. Know your audience Being able to play the data back to your stakeholders in a way that engages them, and more importantly, encourages them to act on the insight, is vital. From the beginning, your event data strategy should speak to the wider organizational goals and objectives and be agreed by all parties. What does success look like for a given event or portfolio of events, and what data points are therefore central to measuring performance against this success criteria? You should also detail how the findings will be communicated back to the different stakeholders involved with the event and how will the findings be acted on. These elements are interlinked – the more apposite the communication of the findings, the more likely they will be acted on. Communication is key You can have the best data strategy and collection process in the world, but if the findings are poorly played back to the event’s stakeholder group, then the effort risks being largely wasted. At the heart of this, the key mantra is that one size absolutely does not fit all. Each of your stakeholders with have different levels of seniority, with different business focusses and insight needs. Some will respond well to granular details whilst others will want headline statistics. Others will enjoy a more visual presentation; others simply want the numbers! A fundament task when mapping out the stakeholders for your data project is to fully understand who your stakeholders are and how they like to be communicated to. For example, it’s unlikely that the C-Suite level stakeholders are going to want to be presented with a 10,000-row spreadsheet with raw data. Whilst those in an operational role, who are perhaps more likely to have a remit to implement day-to-day changes on the back of the data, will find a 'Top 3 takeaways’ summary insufficient. However, both groups will be reassured that the other type of output exists – the C-Suite, that there is a detailed data analysis underpinning the key messages, and for the operational stakeholders, the takeaways provide an initial steer into the data that they can follow-up on with the more granular outputs. Here are some top things to consider when presenting insights: Think about the optimal timing of the playback session. All day is likely to be too long and difficult to keep focus, and from an organizational perspective, very tricky to coordinate calendars and get everyone together. One hour? Likely to be too short. Think about what you want the outcomes to be, then use an estimate of how long you think each section will take to determine the optimal meeting length Be as engaging and interactive as possible. Be clear, visual and pitched at a level that can be understood by the whole group. Try: “What do we think about this?” “Can we shed any light on it?” Talk to them personally For example, “I know you felt there was a problem with the app. Here’s what we found re. the extent of the problem, and some suggested solutions from users. Do we believe any of these would work?” Qualitative findings can help engage the audience, building on any quant data. Hearing customers’ voices directly adds colour to the quantitative findings. Additionally, look to get your stakeholders involved in recommending customers to participate in the research process - this enhances their engagement and buy-in from the start of the process and they will be particularly keen to hear the results from their nominated contacts. Act Accordingly The next critical step is gaining buy-in to ACT on the findings. In other words, what will come of all the efforts that have been expended to collate the data? This is partly empowerment – ensuring (again, ideally provided from the outset) that team members have authority to implement changes on the back of the findings. But it also once more comes down to communication approaches. You will likely have brought all your stakeholders together to agree a data strategy based on your organization or event’s specific goals and objectives. It’s now time for you to reconvene this group and determine an action plan based on the results. Be clear here on priorities and make sure the number of actions is kept to a manageable number – particularly for an individual stakeholder/team. Some actions may be small, however some of the more significant changes will involve engaging third parties and may not be ready to action immediately. Don’t kick these into the long grass, instead look to reschedule a meeting to review these changes on a regular basis and allocate a time in which they will be addressed. Documenting this process is key to engendering accountability amongst those involved and overall, ensuring the insights successfully leads to actions. In conclusion Change within business can be tricky to navigate. At times it can feel like an uphill task, particularly when your faced with multiple stakeholders. Remember, it’s human nature to resist change and can make some individuals feel vulnerable or nervous. Having a good data strategy in place, well-delivered insights, and a measurable action plan will help alleviate many fears and give your organization a solid foundation on which to build a positive customer-centric future. *** Like this? Download your free copy of The Power of Data Insights for Associations - Turning Insight into Revenue.
BPA Worldwide, a leading global assurance provider of media, technology, events and sustainability standards compliance today announced the acquisition of VSef, the global data format for the digital events industry. VSef was launched in early 2021, as a response to the rising uptake of digital event platforms and the increase in virtual event experiences. Its goal of creating a global standardized data format for digital events received backing from many world-leading organizers and platforms, including Informa Markets, Reed Exhibitions, Tarsus Group, Emerald Expositions, Clarion Events, Grip, Balluun, Notified, Swapcard, Accelevents, ExpoPlatform, and many more. Within a short time, VSef recruited the support of the event industry’s leading strategic partners, including the Events Industry Council (EIC), UFI, Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which were keen to assist in expanding the global reach of the initiative. The lack of data standardization was an issue simultaneously identified by BPA, which launched the Reporting Standards for Digital Events (RSDE) initiative with the support of its own working group. Over the next nine months, BPA and VSef began a collaboration with the goal of creating a single industry standard for digital events. Richard Murphy, President and CEO of BPA Worldwide, commented, “Digital events and digital components of in-person events are important elements of an event organizer’s portfolio. After levelling off after pandemic highs, we expect the digital channel to grow. The ability to gather, process, and share data efficiently is critical to achieving scale.” Murphy continued, “We want to recognize the excellent work of Explori and the VSef team to mobilize industry support and develop this data format. We are excited to take the lead and continue the journey. We will work with the industry associations and industry leaders to increase awareness, adoption and advancement of digital events, and digital events data solutions.” Mark Brewster, Founder and CEO of Explori and VSef, added, “The pandemic saw the formidable emergence of digital events and the positive effect that this has had on the digitization of the events industry both in-person and online. The platform market has developed more rapidly than it has ever done in the past. It became clear that a data standard for digital events was essential in enabling event organizers to have consistent data and insights across the plethora of digital event technologies used. “It has been a pleasure to work on such a progressive initiative for the industry,” Brewster continued. “Data is key to the evolution of the events industry and to ensure the betterment of our sector. Under Explori’s leadership, the VSef initiative was launched and now we believe that BPA is the perfect party to continue with this work into the future, drive awareness and increase adoption of common data standards.” David Audrain, CEO of ExpoDavCo and SISO, commented, “Data standardization is an incredibly valuable resource for all of the industry as it provides efficiencies, time and cost savings to both providers and users, as well as better quality data, which is the ultimate goal of all. The industry has been well served by the efforts of Explori in creating VSef, and we look forward to further success under BPA.” Next steps will be announced by BPA in the coming months, including a licensing opportunity for audit bodies to offer certification to the standard. To find out more about VSef visit www.VSef.io. To learn more about RSDE, please visit www.RSDEGlobal.org.
Why does your association need an event data strategy and what are the risks of not having one? Event data—and being able to use and interpret it effectively—is essential for associations to understand the impact that events have on their members. It’s equally essential for ensuring that this impact grows rather than fades over time, that events stay front of mind for members and key stake holders alike. Explori has worked with thousands of event professionals and meeting planners to help them understand how benchmarking, attendee tracking, setting strategic goals and other practices can work to ensure that events fulfill their purpose, whether it’s driving business for members, bringing members together for networking or moving the dial for the industry. Sophie Holt, managing director of Explori, cautions that simply gathering event data without a strategic plan in place is not enough to achieve these goals. Holt emphasizes that metrics in isolation, including past attendance, only indicate what has already happened, not what will happen. Even events that were well attended one year can fall flat the next if a newer, more enticing show comes along. Perhaps the seemingly popular event was really a “hostage” situation that only attracted people because they had no other choices. An event data strategy, one that drills down into attendee behavior and examines their actual engagement with the event, can help predict future attendance and indicate what improvements may be needed to keep it on an upward trajectory. While some event planners may think data won’t tell them anything they don’t already know, Holt says that all too often anecdotal information, whether it’s an effusive email from a happy speaker or angry words from a sponsor, gets mistaken for data. “You can’t just rely on anecdotal information—it’s a psychological phenomenon that we retain information that confirms beliefs we already hold,” she says. “It’s data that gives voice to the silent majority and reveals hidden trends.” What are the risks of not having an event data strategy and why is it more crucial than ever? With the pandemic, business and marketing experts say that people have become more discerning of how they spend their time and are looking for more curated experiences. “We need a deep understanding of the customer journey and future behavior,” Holt says. “The risks of not doing so are clear—you will be less customer centric, and decisions will be made without addressing what people want or need. You will fall short in marketing goals.” She also notes that while the rise of event technology has brough in a flood of new data, it hasn’t brought in a flood of new insights. Unfortunately, data all too often gets trapped in silos within an organization and loses whatever impact it could have. With a strategy in place, data gets to the people who can use it to create better events, achieve organizational goals and predict behavior. How has Explori helped associations use event data to their best advantage? One example is the Chicago Dental Society (CDS), which has held its Midwinter Meeting every February for over 150 years. Feedback from the event had been gathered on rudimentary survey tools, which didn’t provide a robust way of understanding how the event performed in the eyes of the attendees and exhibitors. The CDS turned to Explori to help it understand how this annual event was performing against the global healthcare sector. Explori gathered data at three key points throughout the event journey. Attendees and exhibitors were asked at registration about their objectives in attending the meeting, data on their engagement was gathered at the event and responses were mapped to provide a post-event analysis. Following the meeting, Explori blended several key indicators together to provide a single overall event score, including overall satisfaction, likelihood to return, and event importance. Aggregated together, these points provided a clear picture of the event’s performance, without emphasis being placed on any single factor. From the data, Explori created an analysis that enabled the CDS senior leadership to understand the attendees and exhibitors’ experiences at the event and their attitudes towards it. They were then able to prioritize the areas of improvement that would have the most meaningful impact. Holt believes that employing an event data strategy for a successful event is not dissimilar to how a farmer ensures a successful harvest. It starts with planting the right crop, monitoring environmental factors throughout the growing cycle and making note of what can be done better next time. Like this? Download your copy of The Power of Data Insights for Associations - Turning Insight into Revenue.
Event professionals will once again unite in Las Vegas when IMEX America returns on the October 11-13, 2022. And the Explori team will be there with our VP of Corporate Relations, Chloe Richardson presenting during Thursday October 13 on the Career Upskilling and Hot Topics stage. Chloe's session Get boardroom ready – how your event data can get you a seat at the table will help event professionals get under-the-bonnet of event success and understand the value it brings to your business can help you take a leap in your personal and professional growth. What can you expect from Chloe's session By attending, you'll benefit from: Understanding why measuring the value of your event program success can be the key to your event strategy Learning how to present data and analysis that will get you seen and loved by stakeholders Discover common pitfalls in event measurement. Attendees to the session will also get access to a 10% discount on the PCMA Event Data Strategy Certificate and downloads of the Guide to Benchmarking and The Event Impact Playbook. See you there! Can't wait until October? Book a demo with a member of the Explori team to discuss how better event data and greater insights can benefit your events team.
Calling all in-house corporate event professionals! We've launched a brand new free resource designed to give you the perfect introduction to event data benchmarking. Did you know? 77% of event organizers said they would like to benchmark events across their organisation but only one in five are currently doing it. The Explori Guide to Benchmarking will give you an essential background into the power of benchmarking and how it can help you understand the ROI and impact of your corporate events program. By reading this guide you will learn: About benchmarking and its importance. How to incorporate benchmarking into your data and insights strategy. How to benchmarking can help you create more impactful experiences for your audiences. Benchmarks are important because they put provide context to performance, and without context, it’s difficult to truly define success. They provide the necessary insights to help you understand how you compare with others in your industry and can help organizations identify areas for improvements. Download your free copy here Chloe Richardson, VP Corporate Relations at Explori explains the importance of benchmarking and how it can help you understand the ROI and impact of your corporate events program. Your browser does not support the video tag.
Explori are proud to support Event Leaders Exchange (ELX) a community network for corporate global heads of meeting and events, with its launch of its first ELX Annual Congress. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on February 1-2, 2023, the ELX Annual Congress will see a significant group of the most senior corporate event leaders convening to tackle some of the biggest topics these executives are facing. Participants already confirmed include representatives from the corporations such as McDonald’s, Baker McKenzie, Walmart, Google and Allianz. Dean Armintrout, Director of Events at T-Mobile and ELX Steering Committee participant says: "I am super excited to be attending the ELX Annual Congress in February, where I’ll have the opportunity to connect with the best minds in the event industry. It’s going to be a fantastic couple of days of learning, best practice sharing and networking!". ELX Co-Founder, David Kliman adds: “ELX is focused on helping the people with the greatest influence in corporate meeting and events to work together to solve the biggest challenges they face as industry leaders. I can’t wait to see Hyatt Regency Chicago brimming with the best brains in the events industry discussing burning issues and consuming the very best insights available. This will be a milestone moment for the global corporate events community.” Lynn Osmond, President & CEO of Choose Chicago comments: “We are thrilled to welcome this influential group to our hometown and looking forward to contributing to this important gathering. We will be pulling out all the stops to make this Chicago experience truly memorable”. Patrick Donelly, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Chicago, venue partner for the ELX Annual Congress comments: "With the significant changes that have impacted our industry the past two year, we are excited to host of the Inaugural Event Leaders Exchange and are looking forward to bringing these leaders together in a meaningful way." The Congress program will include a combination of collaboration sessions, Ted-style talks and breakout groups enabling participants to focus meaningfully on topics such as organizational design, human resources, event technology, DE&I, sustainability and enterprise data and measurement. The Annual Congress sits at the heart of a comprehensive year-round program of virtual and in-person events designed to provide event leaders with a ‘safe’ discussion space and, a unique opportunity to discuss and resolve shared challenges under Chatham House Rule. Attendees will be existing ELX participants who share commonality in their extensive global event programs, budget size and team structures. If you lead meetings and events in a large corporation and would like to find out more about attending the ELX Annual Congress, please visit www.eventleaders.com for more details.
Clive Morris, Research Director at Explori, shares his thoughts on measuring event success and how to turn the numbers into valuable action-led insight across your organization. *** As an organization that deals in event data and performance, we often hear "yeah, we measure the overall performance of our events, we get the Net Promoter Score". Well, that’s wonderful, but ultimately, it’s just a score. Understanding what’s driving that score, how it differs between your key segments, how it compares to your other events and your competitors that is prized macro data insight you can use to inform the strategic direction of your event. At the heart of this is benchmarking. Benchmarking applies to survey data and any other quantitative metrics collected by your business where there is a broad data pool that enables comparison and contextualisation. This could include, but is certainly not limited to: Registration to attendance conversion – or indeed any aspects of the marketing funnel Attendee event dwell time Engagement with online platforms, pre and post event Exhibitor and Sponsor re-book rates Attendee demographics – e.g., % who have purchasing authority Benchmarking in practice 77% of event organizers said they would like to benchmark events across their organisation but only one in five are currently doing it.* Let’s take NPS for example. You’ve just run your event, conducted the post-show survey and after the survey has closed, the results show that you have an NPS of +10. Cue fanfare in the building at the positive NPS! But what if the score last year was +20? And that over the last five years, there’s been a downward trend from +30 through to the present +10? Comparing the event against its previous iterations is the first level of benchmarking and applies to all quantitative metrics that, year-on-year, are being collected in a consistent matter. Put differently, what can the survey and other quantitative metrics tell you about the trajectory of the event – improving, declining, flatlining, or a bit like a roller-coaster? Although it is very important to understand an individual event’s trends, this doesn’t give any wider context. A given show may have an NPS of +10, and be on an upward trend – but how does this compare to others in that show's portfolio, and across the organisation more widely? The power of benchmarking across your business Understanding how your data compares to the average performance for an event in your organisation (the ‘company benchmark’) gives event teams access to insight that can help them make better decisions on event delivery. At a more strategic level, these key insights can help demonstrate the role events play in achieving wider business goals, improving customer loyalty and navigating an uncertain future. A key tool is to implement a company-level dashboard to ensure that all key metrics, from all the company’s events, can be seen in one place with easy access to, and visibility of, the data. For larger businesses or those with an extensive programme of events, this could be further split by portfolio so that both company and portfolio benchmarks are shown. When benchmarking across company, or portfolio, an important consideration here is that you are comparing like-with-like. The benchmark shouldn’t be a mix of trade shows, consumer shows and conferences - there should be separate benchmarks for each. Audiences also need to be treated separately, with different scores for attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. How do your score compare? Understanding how your event compares to others in the industry, and more specifically in your sector, can be particularly illuminating and provide even more context. Valuable industry and sector benchmarks include: Running a global event – a comparison vs. all other events run across the globe On a regional basis – e.g. vs. all other US / EMEA events On a sector basis – e.g. if you run an event in the healthcare sector, vs. all other events in this sector. Your exhibit at a trade-show, vs. all other trade shows exhibits Through these industry and sector benchmarks, you will be able to address how your events really stand up against the competition, the targets required to ensure a better standing against the competition, and the reasons for any inherent differences in event performance. For industry comparisons, you'll likely have to rely on your survey provider, and choosing one that is dedicated to events is important. A platform that isn't set up to establish those benchmarks, either because it doesn't prioritise collecting the right information or because it doesn't track it at an industry level, is going to ultimately force you to do that legwork yourself, and it's not an easy task. At Explori, our industry benchmarks are based on thousands of post-show surveys across multiple sectors over the last nine years taking data from over 3 million responses. In Conclusion Data in isolation lacks the context needed to fully understand it and to help event professionals act on the results appropriately. To be able to fully comprehend what event success looks like, you need to have an understanding of what 'good' looks like. Benchmarks are your window into this, enabling you to compare, not just with other event editions,, but also across your business and the industry at large. They will help you recognize excellent performance and spur action on your poor performance. And they will also stop you from blindly cheering your NPS of +10...unless of course your know that the benchmark is -10. *** Like this? Download a copy of the Event Impact Playbook - a key tool to help you become a better, more data-centric event professional. And why not embark on the PCMA Event Data Strategy Certificate produced by Explori. Find out more here *ICE Insights Report
An event data strategy is essential not only for designing more impactful events, but ensuring that event professionals are recognized by their organizations as strategic partners. The effective use of event data allows event owners to demonstrate the role they play in achieving wider business goals, improving customer loyalty and navigating an uncertain future. Why does an event professional need an event data strategy? Collecting data and, equally important, knowing how to interpret it effectively enables you to bring more value to your organization – not just by empowering you to make more informed (that is, data-driven) decisions, but to really gain insight into how your event contributes to wider business goals. This in turn allows you to secure a seat at the table as a strategic partner. While some event planners view data as a professional quagmire, the fact remains that data will be the biggest criterion separating the wheat from the chaff as event and marketing teams continue to combine, as tech becomes increasingly important and data-rich, and as tech-savvy generations ascend to senior positions in their organizations. Planners who master the art of using data strategically can play a vital leadership role in their organizations. But a common challenge for many event teams is finding the time and resources required to sit with the data and derive insights, or in some cases to develop the analytical proficiencies in the first place. For those without the capacity, working with a research partner can be a significant benefit. Planners gain access to benchmarking and other interpretative tools to create event experiences and events that are strategically effective and have the impact they intend. How does a data strategy help you bring value to your organization through more strategic decision-making? The rise of event technology has brought a flood of new data, but not a flood of new insights. All too often the data is trapped in silos without a connection to wider organizational strategies. It’s not getting into the hands of people who need it. Opportunities are blocked for creating experiences that really speak to customer preferences. Conversely, when a robust data strategy is in place, the organization can hold events that provide better experiences for participants and achieve company goals. It can also aid in the prediction of customer behavior, helping planners create even more effective events in the future. Sophie Holt, managing director of Explori, notes that some event planners think data won’t tell them anything they don’t already know. “All too often they are mistaking anecdotes for data, perhaps an effusive email from a happy speaker or the anger of a sponsor,” she said. “Anecdotes should not be used in place of data. It’s data that gives voice to the silent majority and reveals hidden trends.” Even looking at past metrics such as attendance may not be very useful for future events, as they reveal what happened, but not what will happen. With the right tools, data can help predict how people will behave in the future. Even events that have always been well-attended can suddenly see an unanticipated drop-off. Perhaps people were only attending the event because there were no alternatives and now they have other choices. With the right data and tools to interpret it, you get a more realistic picture of what people actually think of the event and what has to be done to retain their loyalty. Collecting and interpreting data from an event can answer such questions as whether people changed the way they think or feel, if they identify more strongly with the brand, if they will recommend the company as an employer, if they learned best practices for their work or if they might change their behavior at the next event. Indicators of behavioral change are powerful metrics for planners, allowing for improvements to be made for more impactful future events. How can you develop the competence required to take advantage of the data at your disposal? The first step is to recognize that you need a partner—not just a supplier—to help you achieve your goals. While a supplier can sell you a product, a partner goes beyond this by tailoring their services to fit your needs. In order to do so, the partner needs an understanding of your business objectives. “Start with sharing your goals, show the big picture and tell what you are hoping to achieve,” advises Explori research director Suzanne van Montfoort. “What are the decisions you’re looking to make, who are the key stakeholders? There are so many moving parts, and giving clarity early on helps avoid confusion and delays.” After discussing the goals, it’s important to look at the data you already have and what gaps are there. What formats or languages are required? Do you want raw data that you can manipulate or do you want a more finished product? Also, discuss your budget and what your procurement process is like. For their part, the tech partner needs to explain the process of working with them, whether they can meet your deadline, if the project can be scaled down or up based on budget and what happens if you need to change the scope of the project. “If someone promises too much, that should sound an alarm,” said van Montfoort. “Find someone you can work with. Taking time at the start to develop the scope and plan will save headaches later.” How can this strategic business intelligence give you something to contribute to strategic discussions at your organization? Armed with a rich array of insightful information, event pros can present top management and other stakeholders with a compelling visual data story on the influence events have on achieving organizational goals and creating customer satisfaction. Equally important in this uncertain era, planners can demonstrate how business intelligence can be used to help organizations avoid or at least minimize the harmful impact that unpredictable outside developments could have on future events and customer loyalty. IN CONCLUSION For event planners seeking to play a leadership role in their organizations, working with a research partner like Explori to develop an event data strategy is essential. Event data if interpreted correctly can go a long way toward helping organizations realize business objectives and grow customer loyalty. *** Explori allows senior corporate event leaders to go beyond number of attendees. With our behavioural, sentiment, and cognitive measurement tools, you can discover how effectively your event strategy influences what stakeholders think, feel and do. Find out how Explori helps corporate event organizers gather vital insights to demonstrate the impact of events against the wider company objectives. Know more