In one of our recent blogs posts, we talked about the term ‘Smarketing’ – the alignment of sales and marketing in an effort to better nurture leads and close sales.

Smarketing owes its efficacy to the fact that the more information your sales and marketing teams have to work with, the more effective they are at converting and closing a lead. This well-oiled marketing and sales machine runs on the power of data, and one of the often overlooked sources of this data is – you guessed it – your events. Despite the fact that corporate events are veritable oil wells of information, the majority of businesses don’t tap into this invaluable treasure trove of data.

Consider the following (hypothetical) event data about three of your guests:

Guest X: Has attended two of your events, and after your most recent expo, followed your brand on social media and then visited your website and downloaded a product brochure. Guest Y: Has attended three of your events, has had no further interaction with your brand. Guest Z: Has attended five events, and went on to buy one of your products after the third event she attended. She regularly reposts your content on her own social media accounts and recently referred an acquaintance to your sales desk.

Three guests, each with their own unique history and relationship with your brand.

Now consider the following scenario, involving a sales team who has no data on hand about any of the guests mentioned above:

The marketing team sends an email to Guest X, asking if she’d like to be added to your newsletter. She ignores the email, as she’s already signed up when she visited your website. She’s slightly put out by the fact that, despite being the one to initiate further interactions with your brand after attending your events, the sales team has no knowledge of her doing so. As a result, she loses trust in your brand and writes you off as another business who doesn’t pay attention to their prospective customers.

Guest Y receives yet another invitation to one of your events – a bespoke golf day – and accepts, without any intention of purchasing any of your products. She looks forward to a day off from work, playing a round of golf and swilling bubbly at your expense.

Finally, Guest Z – a loyal brand advocate and customer – is sent an SMS in the middle of the night (a topic deserving a blog post of its own). She’s woken up by your ill-timed text message, and struggles to fall back to sleep. As well as being irritated with this impersonal and inconsiderate correspondence, the next time she comes across your brand, she’ll reconsider her loyalty due to this gaffe.

Had your sales team used your event data, they would have known that each of these guests needed to be treated differently.

Guest X needs more information, and is still a couple of steps away from being sales-qualified; Guest Z is not worth the time or money and should be removed from future guest lists; Guest Z has the making of a brand ambassador and possesses the possibility for upselling opportunities, which means that only personal, relevant content will do.

As you can imagine, the outcomes of the scenario above would have been vastly different to the dismal results of an unprepared sales team intent on painting by numbers. Your brand would have been able to nurture Guest X towards a sale, save money by crossing Guest Y off all future guest lists, and capitalise on the brand awareness that Guest Z was all too happy to spread.

The moral of the story? Your sales and marketing teams can’t afford to go in blind.

They need to know who’s ready to buy, who’s not, and just as importantly, who’s a proverbial dead end. By collecting event data and making it available to them, you’ll ensure that they’re adequately prepared to nurture and close leads – wherever they are in the sales funnel.

Our RSVP software is an end-to-end ERM™ (Event Relationship Management) platform that collects and collates every single piece of information about your guests. Find out more about what our software can do for you, by downloading our brochure or giving us a call.

Your post-event feedback plays a crucial role in the success of your events. If you’re not yet embracing it with open arms, here are the top five reasons why you should be:

1. Post-event feedback acts as a direct channel of communication with your guests

Forget focus groups and surveys. Your post-event feedback is straight from the horse’s mouth (so to speak). By conducting a post-event survey, you have a direct line to your guests. Brand to individual communication is far more effective than brand to audience – in fact, it should form the foundation of any communication you have with your guests.

2. Post-event feedback is the most effective way to pick your guests’ brains (figuratively speaking, of course)

Not only is this a much more personal way of talking to your customers, it’s also that much more accurate. Focus groups typically ask respondents about products or services they’ve yet to experience – which means that their feedback is very different compared to that of someone who’s actually had an experience with your brand. Post-event feedback – when gathered via a timely post-event survey (time is of the essence – this should be conducted just as an event if finishing or shortly after) is a much more accurate reflection of your guests’ opinions.

3. Post-event feedback gathered via a post-event survey makes guests feel that their opinion is valued

Without guests, there wouldn’t be an event. It makes sense then to do your utmost to make yours feel like they’re a pivotal part of the experience. Post-event feedback – and the acknowledgment thereof – enables your brand to emphasise the fact that their guests are a central part of the process. When guests feel valued, and heard, they’re far more likely to invest not only their time – in the form of attending your events – but their money in your brand too.

4. Post-event feedback enables you to build in-depth profiles of guests

This is one of the most important functions of obtaining post-event feedback. You need to know who your guests are, how they experienced your event, and their thoughts and opinions of your brand. Their post-event feedback doesn’t just allow you to gauge the success of the event, it gives you a glimpse into your guests’ behaviour and points of view – all of which are crucial if you want to provide them with a tailor-made brand touch point.

5. Post-event feedback is a litmus test of your event’s performance

The most obvious benefit, yet one that’s underutilised, is that your post event feedback allows you to see where you’re succeeding and where you’re going wrong. In other words, it gives you a clear indication of whether your money has been well spent, and whether or not you’re approaching your events in the right way. If you’re not able to ascertain whether your events are meeting your marketing objectives, you’re no better off than banging your head against a brick wall, and then being surprised when it hurts. Post event feedback allows you to identify your shortcomings, and then determine the most effective way of rectifying them.

If you’re using our Guest Concierge Management Software – which includes online event registration software – you’ll be able to gather crucial feedback from the moment your Save the Dates are sent out. Download our ‘Marketer’s Guide to Turning your Events into Marketing Gold’ to learn more about the benefits of gathering post-event feedback, as well as how to make the most of this data.

If you’ve ever observed a bunch of children on Easter, you’ve probably noticed that some kids are better at finding Easter eggs than others. The ones who’re able to collect the most eggs are the children who approach the treasure hunt with a methodical strategy, and often, the help of a grown up. Making the most out of your event data is much like an Easter egg hunt. Here’s why:

If you look for Easter eggs haphazardly, you’ll miss a whole lot of them. The same goes for your event data.

When Easter Sunday rolls around, there are some children who emerge from the crush of over-eager youngsters with an impressive haul of Easter eggs that’s so large, it’ll see them through to the next year. (In theory, at least.) So what makes some children more successful at hunting for eggs than others? There’s method to their madness. Over-excited youngsters who search haphazardly tend to miss a whole lot of Easter eggs. The children who manage to find the most chocolaty delights, are the ones who search strategically instead.

By using a strategic, methodical approach in the form of sophisticated event software, you’ll be able to find every single piece of valuable treasure. The only difference is that you’re searching for hidden data, instead of chocolate eggs.

Just like looking for Easter eggs on Easter Sunday, your approach to your event data should be the same. In other words, the harder you look, the more you’ll find.

Some kids are able to enlist their parents to help them in their search for Easter treasure. While this may not be entirely fair, it is smart. By seeking the help of a person who’s no doubt conducted their fair share of Easter egg hunts, they’re able to find eggs that they would have otherwise overlooked.

Your event data is a treasure trove of invaluable pieces of information. If you want to make sure that you don’t overlook a single piece of data, it’s wise to equip yourself with an intelligent tool. Using event software that’s been specifically created by event planners for event planners makes the hunt for data infinitely easier, helping you to identify nuggets of information that you otherwise might have missed.

Easter eggs come in all shapes, sizes and flavours, just like your event data.

An Easter egg haul typically consists of a whole basket full of different eggs: hollow milk chocolate eggs, crème eggs, marshmallow eggs, eggs shaped like a chicken – the list is endless. The kids with the biggest grins after an Easter eggs hunt are the ones who’ve collected a host of different – yet equally delicious – Easter eggs.

Your event data is exactly the same, in the sense that it contains a wide assortment of different types of information. Making use of intelligent event software enables you to uncover every single piece of different data, and then collect it in a central place.

Don’t miss out on valuable event data. Find out more about how our event management software can help you to uncover, collect, store and then interpret every single piece of event information, here.

Image credit – Pix Shark