The JET Event Blog
Graham Parkins

Graham Parkins

The importance of real-time reporting at events and what you should do with the data

Date:

Friday, 19 October 2018
The importance of real-time reporting at events and what you should do with the data

The importance of real-time event data

Exhibitions are exciting!  We’ve all felt that tired but positive feeling when the event is over and we know we’ve done a good job. The feeling of satisfaction when you check your step count for the last few days and all that has happened. After perhaps a short while to re-cuperate, the planning for the next event begins, but not before trawling through all the stats for the show just gone and making sense of what worked well and where the challenges lie.

Real-time knowledge

Events that use data to support decision making are better events. Less money is wasted and efforts can be focused on what your exhibitors and visitors want. Nothing new here and a tried and tested method. This is great for improving the next event, but what about the one just ended? Well that’s history and the best you can hope is that it went to plan and exhibitors got their all-important sales leads and will take on board your ideas and improvements for next year. No doubt recognising this, we’ve just spent the last few days running around ensuring everyone is happy – you’ve done a great job but you can’t be everywhere at once. Can you really say you’re getting the overall picture when you’re in the thick of it? Wouldn't it be great if we could target our efforts?

So what can we do about that?  The only answer is to have the data and accurate information you need right there in the palm of your hand and fully up to date, in other words real-time. Real-time accurate data means you can make decisions on-the-fly with your team and trust that they are robust because you looked at the data. This is business at the speed of thought! You can stick with your gut feeling or become hyperaware using the real data.

Real-time scenarios

Let’s consider a few scenarios:-

What’s the weather like? Is the sun out or is there a thunderstorm coming? Is the transport network working efficiently? We can find this out, but is it affecting the visitor numbers? Let’s use real-time entry scanning to find out. Pull up the graph, compare to last year and understand what’s happening. This then is your call to action. Do we need to tweet a message to visitors to help them round an issue with the tube? Do we need to let the exhibitors know so they can plan their day?

So the events rocking and everyone seems to be doing good business. Look at the visitor flows around the hall. Arm yourself with the data so that you can be confident when talking to exhibitors and getting those vital re-bookings for the next event. If something isn't right, you can be clear about it and show the exhibitor what the solution is. Have they been taking lots of qualified leads? Could you target exhibitors who seem to be struggling and offer advice and assistance?

How many people are in the building right now?  At certain events it is vital to know this with accuracy. Not knowing this on a busy event could mean closing the doors to new entries even when capacity remains. We have duty of care to provide a safe event, but we don’t want to have to be conservative in our visitor numbers and disappoint people.

Real-time data for exhibitors

For exhibitors, they are going to have busier times of the day and less busy times. Using real-time lead capture solutions allows lead follow up to be done early and efficiently. It even allows the possibility for a back room team back at base to follow up leads whilst a multi-day event continues. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax at the end of the day knowing the job was done and dusted rather than collecting a data file and having to go back to the hotel room to sort it out. Similarly for visitors, they can see who’s got their data and respond accordingly. The strongest lead is the one where the customer already is getting the information they need and is coming to you to make a deal – real-time data and automation allows you to stay on top of that.

The real-time benefit

I’m sure you can think of other creative ways to use registration data when it’s up to minute, accurate and in the palm of your hand. Seeing the data in real-time makes you omniscient about your event. Your team will be better motivated if they can see the positive results. Your customer service levels will be enhanced by being more pro-active. Operational efficiency is improved and the events investors have direct confirmation everything is going well.

 What do you think?

 

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