When data mining goes wrong

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.

Image Credit: www.twopoint.com

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