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Digital Eventprofs Blog

Event Digital Experience

I am fascinated about event digital experience - a subject that is often overlooked. 

Event operations are already complex enough: it takes so much effort to make the program look good and logistics work, that rarely planners pay enough attention to the digital experience. Or they simply don't have experience. 

Event digital experience or the way visitors and your attendees interact with your digital assets is probably one of the most important experiences to keep in mind. 

In the digital world the digital presence is your face and reputation. By the way your event website, registration and mobile application functions, you are judged whether you are worth dealing with. 
 By event attendee digital experience we mean 

any interaction with digital means starting from the event website ending to the on-site experience with the purpose to collect data about attendee behaviour. 

It is surprising why the digital aspect of event experience in most cases remains somewhere in the '80s. Quite often the interaction ends before it even starts on the event website. I am pretty sure we all can name a few cases.

Let's look at it in more details in the order of attendee interaction sequence: event website, event registration, interaction with program, onsite behaviour. 

1. Event website

will facilitate a good visitor experience if the following elements are up to standards:
  • Event website domain is easy to find and remember (and relates to the event)
  • Adaptive design and easy navigation
  • Clarity and enough information (not overload of it) that leads to action
  • Call to action and facilitation of lead generation. 

What to track to understand your visitor behaviour:
  • the most visited page (apart of the home page)
  • leads collection and downloads
  • source of traffic
  • conversion ratio.

2. Registration

should not be a complicated task for visitors, but rather a natural and quick process. (Have you seen those double-login requirements and pages of info you need to submit?)

  • Easy accessible from the home page (within one click normally)
  • Allowing for customer profiles creation
  • Absence of glitches and technical faults
  • Correct information about ticketing and the reg process in general
  • Re-forward to the website at the end of the registration process

What to track: Registration data is your Event Data Holy Grail for predictions, analytics and estimations, therefore

  • Does your registration data help you to understand the demographics (who) and dynamics (how often) and what triggers the registration (why)? If not, rethink the data collection or analytics methods.
  • Does your registrants are prompted to inform others about the event (most of the time not - because it is not set attractively enough for them to share this information)?
  • Have you recorded any down-time during the registration process?
  • What is the conversion rate between new visitors and registered?
  • Does your registration data sync with your organisation's CRM or Marketing Automation system or is there a lag that will result in less quality marketing communication?

In an ideal world you may incorporate chat boxes and online support, but ensure that the process is 'humanised'.

3. Interaction with the program, speakers, sponsors

may include behaviour analytics about topics and speakers preference, ability to build attendees' own event programmes, interest in represented sponsors and exhibitors, etc

Does your website allow:
  • Viewing speakers profiles, session description and topics?
  • Contacting sponsors and exhibitors before the event?

What to track: The level of tracking here depends on your own data-requirements level necessary for making weighted marketing and logistics decisions. Quite often I've seen that organisers are not tracking that type of behaviour. I would strongly recommend doing it.

  • Collect session and speaker interest to validate the program structure and assist logistics
  • Collect sponsor and exhibitors profiles reviews and clicks
  • Think of what other information you may need to fine-tune your communication and marketing

Collecting data at this stage may facilitate your marketing or even your event flow. Your may want to communicate more information to attendees based on these identified interests. 

4. Onsite behaviour

Digital experience does not end when the event starts. Nowadays, you can track attendees movements, emotions, business contacts exchange, meetings - there is no limit how we can evaluate attendees behaviour at the event with assisting technology (event mobile apps, RFIDs, heat maps, activation stations, etc)

What do you want to track and which data you want to collect, hugely depend on what you want to measure to confirm your KPI. Is it a KPI that attendees visit a certain session, do a certain action before, during or after the event, talk to specific people (sponsors), etc?

Event digital experience starts from the moment your potential attendee visits your event website and may continue post event, depending on your marketing and digital strategy.

It is no longer a luxury to have a good looking, responsive website that sells your event visually - there are plenty of affordable tools and services available on the market.

It is also not a challenge to map your website the way that you can track traffic, clicks, and have of sort of analytics from demographics to content to support and adjust your marketing.

It is a bit more challenging to have your data communicating with other systems - a task of technical departments, but it is still feasible that you as an event manager to set requirements of what kind of behaviour you expect from attendees facing digital means and for which data is important for your decision-making process. It is no longer linear digital and marketing approach, but more evaluation of your customer behaviour though the event live-cycle.

By providing the best digital behaviour, tracking this behaviour and interaction with your digital tools will help you to shape your event programmes and have competitive age.

Digital events