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How Data Can Help You to Personalize Marketing Events and Boost ROI Event marketing is costly but offers a unique opportunity to connect directly with the people who are your market.

By Brett Relander Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Event hosting can provide the ideal platform for networking and raising awareness of new products and services. Each year, marketers devote massive budgets to events. According to a report issued by PriceWaterhouseCoooper, each year approximately $108 billion is dedicated to events in the United States. Forrester reports that event marketing comprises the largest portion of a B2B marketer's budget at almost 20 percent.

While organizers might later label the event a success after it is over, such success is frequently measured based only on anecdotal information rather than empirical evidence. Given the massive budgets dedicated to event marketing, it certainly makes sense for marketers to seek out new and improved methods for measuring the success of an event, and the best practices for extracting value and determining return on investment (ROI).

Related: How to Leverage Live Marketing With Social Media Before, During and After Events

In the past, such ROI calculations have been largely based on feedback obtained from surveys submitted after the conclusion of the event. At best, ROI calculations were hit and miss. Furthermore, such methods provided no way to obtain real-time actionable data while the event was still ongoing.

It would be ideal to meet each attendee in person during an event to obtain vital information. This simply is not practical. The good news is that even if you are unable to meet with every person attending the event, you can still leverage data to boost satisfaction, plan events that are more personalized, develop customer relationships, and increase your ROI. All this can be done while the event is still taking place.

MarketingProfs points out that branded event apps are crucial in terms of gathering vital real time data about events. In light of the mobile obsession that has swept the world, offering a branded mobile event app can satisfy your attendees' quest for instant gratification while providing critical data for your firm's marketing team.

With a branded mobile app it is possible to boost pre-event interest, as well as significantly increase the number of opportunities for reaching attendees with targeted branding and messaging. Such an app can be used for:

  • Providing a schedule of events.
  • Disseminating a list of attendees.
  • Kick starting discussions.
  • Generating engagements with contests.
  • Sending push notifications prior to scheduled events.
  • Sending survey requests.
  • Centralizing social interactions with the ability to share on various platforms.

Related: Make Live Events Part of Your Marketing

Not only do branded mobile apps provide a platform for boosting attendee engagement, but they also set the stage for making your event marketing campaigns highly trackable. Each time an attendee interacts with the app, it can be translated as an interest signal. As a result, you can gain tremendous insight into the event speakers and messages that draw the most attention. You gain real-time feedback based on the actions performed in the app.

The same signals and analytics, such as downloads and engagements, that marketers most frequently rely on in digital marketing to qualify a lead can also be used in a live event setting. When the data is combined with a variety of other information sources, such as event registration and social media profiles, it is possible for event marketers to gain valuable insight into the minds of attendees to not only personalize events, but also appropriately estimate ROI.

Related: Online Marketing Gets All the Buzz But Check Out the ROI for Live Events

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition ( He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

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