The beauty of data is that it’s everywhere – you just need to know where to look. And the key to creating data-driven events lies in continuously mining all event assets for these vital nuggets of information. If you’re not sure where to begin unearthing this precious data, read on. We’ll show you where – and how – to get the information you need to create engaging and relevant events.


1. Your past events

This may sound contrarian, but one of the best ways to set your future events up for success is by examining past events and their related touch points. After all, it’s only once you know where you’ve been that you can see where you’re going. Use this information a benchmark to measure the success of all subsequent events, by finding the answers to questions like: Who was invited? Who never showed up? What were attendance levels like? What sentiment was relayed via post-event surveys? and so on.

2. Your sales data

Depending on the nature of your events, examining your sales data prior to and after an event can give you insight into the scale of impact of your events. An event is ultimately a marketing exercise, and if you want to gauge whether or not this resulted in increased ROI, you should be keeping a close eye on your sales data. As well as looking at your sales figures, dig through data to uncover the following: Was there increased foot traffic to your stores? Did web traffic pick up? Did your call centre receive more enquiries?

3. Your social media channels

Thanks to social media and the associated analytics, brands can easily gauge the effectiveness of their marketing efforts – events included. We’ve written about harnessing the power of social media to amplify the reach of your event before, but even if you don’t have a dedicated event hashtag or event-driven social campaign, monitoring social media mentions, likes and follows pre and post your event is an informative exercise that can shed light on how your event was received, overall brand sentiment, and the people your event resonated with.

4. Your email invitations

Contrary to popular belief, your invitations don’t serve one purpose only. In fact, they’re one of the most potent data-collecting tools in your event management arsenal – but only if you’ve built them in a way that makes it as easy as possible for guests to share information with you. This is your opportunity to collect all sorts of information about your guests – from personal particulars and dietary requirements (important) to opinions and sentiment about your brand (just as important).

5. On-site surveys

Surveying guests while they’re immersed in your event is an effective way to gauge crowd sentiment and gather insights into individual attendees. The questions you ask are up to you and should be influenced by your event objectives. How did they find the check-in process? Is the venue easy to navigate? Did they experience the keynote? etc.

6. Your post event surveys

Spending a substantial budget on an event, only to wonder whether it genuinely resonated with your guests is a massive waste of time, energy and money. Sending out a post-event report puts an end to this guesswork and gives you access to timely guest feedback. Just like your invitations, the data you gather is up to you: identify the burning questions you need answers to, and then pose them in a succinct way that makes answering super easy for attendees.

If combing through multiple sources of event data sounds like hard work, it isn’t. Or rather, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve built our ERM™ solution to collate the above and act as a central repository for all event data. Easy and intuitive to use, updated in real-time and secured by the cloud, our ERM™ solution makes harvesting crucial guest data simpler than ever before.

Download our brochure below to learn more about our ERM™ solution.


data mining

The events that generally stand out in people’s minds are the ones that are tailor-made to meet guests’ specific needs and preferences. The art of creating memorable events requires effective – and lawful – data management processes.  To create a personalised event experience, you need to ensure that you’re utilising professional, legal and unobtrusive ways to gather specific data about your prospective guests. Using personal data and information provided by guests to provide an event experience that meets their needs (a process referred to as data mining), can be a powerful way to ensure that your events resonate. That said, you need to be careful about how you manage guest list information and email distribution lists. The improper handling of the personal data entrusted to you comes with its own potential risks and consequences.

Learning from other’s mistakes can help you avoid the pitfalls of incorrect data handling

Event organisers need to take care that prospective guests’ information is used ethically and legally. What cold calling and spam text messages are to cell phone users, random event invitations are to disinterested and busy email recipients. A few years back, a company used our services and Event Management Software to tell hundreds of people about their event. We trusted that the contact details that they used through our system were directly from their own network. This unfortunately was not the case. Understandably so, many email recipients were highly unimpressed with receiving event communication they had little interest in, from event organisers who they did not know. As a result, The RSVP Agency caught some of the backlash. The event organisers suffered a massive blow when their reputation went up in smoke and only 15 guests responded favourably to their event invitation. Lesson hopefully learned: It is never a great idea to mishandle or misuse any personal information to which you may have access through yours’ or others’ data mining efforts, no matter how good your intentions may appear to be. (It’s also against the law.)

Don’t let unethical data mining and information handling trip you up

Data mining has been described as a “double-edged sword”. It has great benefits but there are ethical and privacy risks to consider. As an event organiser, do you have the appropriate systems in place to keep your guests’ information protected and private? Are you using this information privately and ethically yourself?

Maintaining accuracy and integrity in data mining – the RSVP Agency way

The RSVP Agency’s online registration system ensures the capturing of comprehensive and accurate guest list information during your event’s invitation phase. We also offer a full database integrity check and clean-up service. Our software eliminates any duplicate guest data, is updated in real-time and can assist you with correctly managing your guests’ data in a way that’s compliant to the POPI Act.

Beyond the correct handling of guest information, there are other event compliance procedures and guidelines that need to be adhered to. Download our Compliance Checklist – a great resource to use when planning your next event to ensure that you have covered all your bases related to event compliance.

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The phrase ‘big data’ is bandied about with much fervour, with everyone wanting a piece of the big data pie. As we’ve written about before, the right data about your guests is your ticket to creating events that truly resonate. But what kind of data should you be collecting, and how exactly should you be going about it?

Data is everywhere you look. The key to effective data mining then, hinges on knowing what to collect, when.

Data mining is the act of collecting and collating information in order to glean invaluable insight that will give you a leg up over the competition. Wanting to find out what your guest had for breakfast is pointless, the really juicy information centres around their interaction with your brand.

The advent of big data has seen consumers (understandably so) become wary of companies who want to use their personal information for commercial gain.

This means that your approach to data mining needs to be sensitive and considerate. The great thing about data mining is that while you benefit by being aware of the what, when, who and why’s, your guests benefit too.  The end goal? Gifting your attendees with content and experiences that they want.

Tracking break-out attendance, social media activity and professional details of your guests gives you a clear idea of what’s working, for whom.

Using details gleaned from the very first save the date, right through to your post-event survey enables you to paint a crystal clear picture of your guests and their expectations from your event. The trick to considerate data mining however, is the way you put this information to work. If you’re bombarding your guests with questions from the beginning of an event to its closure, or spamming their inboxes post-event with promotional material, you’ll only put them off.

The whole point of data mining is to view the big picture. After all, information means nothing without context.

Connecting the dots is crucial in order to really give meaning to the numbers. If you notice that a particular session was popular, you’ll be able to send your guests further information about the particular topic. Working together with your sales team, you’ll have access to even more pieces of the puzzle. For example, if a guest has previously expressed interest in a product, and then attended a session about it, now’s the time to further pique his interest with a follow up call or special offer.

In the same vein, using past data about marketing and sales interactions can help you to match event content with your guests.

If you know that several of your guests have had interactions with your sales team, only to never make a purchase, you’ll be able to tailor the content of your event in such a way that it bestows new information about the product or service. No one wants to hear things they already know; by finding out about your attendees’ past interactions with your brand, you’re well equipped to give them an event experience that they want to have.

Having an event management system that collects, collates and stores guest data is crucial.

The amount of data that’s available to you means that manually managing it is out of the question. In order to really streamline and maximise your data mining efficacy, a smart event management system is essential. The bottom line? Without , effective data mining is impossible.

Find out more about our Guest Concierge Management Software, or download our free eBook “Turning your Events into Marketing Gold”.

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