Tools to Help You Capture Event Insights – and Take Action
Events remain among the top three areas of marketing spend, highest return on investment and sales lead sourcing, as is shown in this 2017 B2B Marketing Mix survey from Sagefrog Marketing Group. Still, getting actionable insights from your events can be a challenge.
Most corporations use a conglomeration of technologies to track and analyze marketing data. Tools may include CRM systems, marketing automation platforms and social media engagement platforms – but it’s rare to find technology specifically focused on the customer engagement that takes place at face-to-face events.
Multiple technologies are deployed at events – registration systems, mobile apps, iBeacons and social media, to name a few – and all that data then needs to be fed back into broader marketing and sales systems. Simply calling that integration “challenging” is an understatement – it can feel impossible to manage.
Vivastream is an event data analytics and business intelligence platform that aggregates and analyzes data from all technology sources to better understand customer behavior around topics. The platform’s strength lies in its ability to normalize data independent of any data source and display engagement by relevant business topics.
"Vivastream plays an integral part in our overall data strategy,” said Peter Wigren, senior vice president, digital strategy and integrated media for the Professional Convention Management Association, which produces the annual Convening Leaders conference that attracts 4,500 convention industry professionals.
He continued, “The platform is very useful for associations such as PCMA, as it makes it easy to analyze our audience across engagement formats: face-to-face, digital events, digital learning products, online content and print subscriptions. While not the only tool that can perform this type of analysis, it is so far the easiest to use that I have experienced. In addition, since Vivastream offers services on top of the platform, we didn't have to spend time on data cleaning and uploading but instead got to the analyzing part rather quickly."
Vivastream aggregates, organizes and makes sense of the data, presenting it back in a visual format that integrates directly into Salesforce.com for easy access by both sales and marketing teams. Users can visualize customer activity and drill down into demographics, accounts and specific actions and can even track patterns year over year.
Chris Morse has held a variety of corporate marketing positions at Red Hat over the past ten years. Three years ago, when he was responsible for digital and event marketing, he pushed to use Vivastream for the Red Hat Summit, the company’s annual user conference. This year’s Summit, held in Boston in May, had more than 6,200 attendees and a plethora of training sessions including 200 breakouts, hands-on labs and other technical content.
Prior to implementing Vivastream, getting the data from the event’s registration system into a CRM system required a lot of manual work for the Red Hat event marketing team, including a high volume of spreadsheet importing and exporting, creating multiple campaigns within Salesforce and tagging all the offers.
It took six weeks on average to get all the data aggregated, and once the data was available, the events team could export a spreadsheet or .csv file for sales. However, those files weren’t intuitive.
Morse and his team started by using the Vivastream Audience Intelligence Engine and loved how much information they could access and dissect, but the rest of the company didn’t want to learn another platform. The solution was to create quick and easy visual one-page PDF account summary reports that sales, product marketing, engineering and other stakeholders could access through Salesforce.
Morse indicated that Vivastream adds value to Red Hat by helping them communicate the value of the event to all the stakeholders, delivering personalized views based on each attendee’s unique experience to help them make better-informed decisions.
The Vivastream platform includes the ability to generate a personalized “trip report” for each attendee, which the sales team can use as a follow-up tool after the event. Not only do these reports display information including what sessions were attended, which exhibitors were visited and which marketing collateral was downloaded – they can even suggest additional relevant content or calls to action based on these engagements.
If pre-event information was captured, the report can also show discrepancies, for example, if an attendee indicated during registration that she was most interested in a certain product or conference track, but actually attended sessions and downloaded information on completely different topics.
“We’ll shine a mirror back to you on what you told us when you registered versus what you did – what sessions you attended, what content captured your interests,” Morse explained. “We make it easy for you to show how much value you got from the event and convince your boss to send you again the next year.”
He added, “We are also able to deliver clear next steps to make your life easier – based on what your activities were at the event, we’ll suggest the top three products and/or top three [collateral] pieces that people with your interests typically download.”
Nick Fugaro, Vivastream founder and CEO, is pleased with being able to help customers identify and visualize relevant insights.
“Data analytics paired with business intelligence helps drive better business decisions,” Fugaro said.
He continued, “It's great to see Vivastream customers successfully make the leap from anecdotal and stated information to richer, data-driven insights that reveal the event experiences customers crave most. Our ability to ingest and aggregate multiple, disparate data sources, normalize the data and make data actionable delivers smarter customer insights that are more holistic and easier to view across an enterprise.”
Vivastream isn’t the only option for event analytics. Here are a few other options to consider when you are looking for the right fit for your event and business requirements.
Event marketers looking for an integrated mobile app-based analytics tool should consider checking out DoubleDutch’s Live Engagement Performance Manager, part of the Live Engagement Platform. Live Engagement Performance Manager combines real-time analytics focused on the onsite experience, survey capabilities, social media engagement and gamification paired with post-event metrics to help measure event success and more. In addition, Double Dutch’s Live Engagement Platform integrates with Marketo.
The etouches event ROI tool provides event organizers with a comprehensive view of the value their event generates, also delivering the ability to immediately influence the outcomes. etouches collects, integrates and analyzes a broad range of event data and performance metrics against trends, benchmarks and best practices and presents that data in visual dashboards. Like DoubleDutch, etouches touts the ability to assess and preempt issues in real-time.
New to the space is the InsightXM event analytics platform, which captures, analyzes and visualizes event data to better inform business decisions. It is part of the Event Tech Tribe conglomeration and will act as a centralized focal point for data from all the current Tribe solutions. InsightXM’s information capture and delivery is customized for each client.
Are you using one of these solutions – or another tool you find particularly helpful for providing event intelligence? We’d love to hear about it! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.