In any business, information is power. The more you know about your customers, the better able you are to provide products and/or services that meet their needs. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to remain competitive. More retailers and other consumer-based businesses are deploying event tactics to build their business because it’s an opportunity to gather customer information on a one-to-one basis. They’ve seen just how critical events can be to driving customer loyalty.
This is true for any festival, fundraiser, conference, or meeting. To be competitive, it’s imperative that event planners collect customer data at each stage of the marketing sales funnel. A good event management software like Eventzilla can make this process easy. But once you have this data, what should you do with it? First and foremost, think about how this data will help you sell more tickets both online and offline. The options are only hindered by your resources and creativity.
Segmenting Marketing Messages
Use basic demographic information to group your customer list by profession, job title/level, type of organization, or location. You can then customize your event invitation message to their needs. For example, if you are inviting a list of C-suite executives, focus on networking opportunities or new and unique content, instead of event vendor information. If you have a robust list of past attendees in the nonprofit field, focus on the social purpose (if appropriate) or the affordability of your event. When you tailor your message to the needs of a specific audience, you provide them with a specific reason to attend your event.
Analyzing Marketing Channels
Knowing how your attendees heard about your event is critical to refining your marketing strategy. Analyze which marketing channels are working best for you so that you can better allocate your resources. It’s also important to monitor and refine how your event management system is working to sell tickets online. Many systems like Eventzilla give you the option to customize your ticket website page so that you can collect customer information as well as make check-out quicker and easier.
You might find new opportunities for growth and expansion by researching where your event attendees are traveling from. If you are seeing a lot of interest from a specific but distant area of the country, perhaps your next event (or a similar event) should be located nearer to that area. Conversely, if you notice that your attendees are coming from nearby cities, it might be time to increase your out-of-town marketing budget so that you can capture that market.
Think of your past attendees as your VIP list. Recurring customers are much more valuable than new customers because you’ve already paid to acquire them. All you need to do now is keep them happy. Treat these valuable attendees to VIP benefits such as Early Bird access to events, special ticket prices, extra content or swag, or special events. Make sure to collect even more information from these special customers each time they attend your event so that you can further deepen the relationship.
Social Media Networking
These are the days of living via hashtag. To keep contact with your attendees during your event, ask for their social media handles during event registration online and follow them so that you can track their event experience in real time. Ask them to follow your social media channels so that you can keep in contact between events. That way you can make sure they know when ticket sales for the next event start again.
Keep track of which sessions or activities are the most popular at your events, either by pre-registration on your event registration platform or session check-ins. This data will give you insights on the topics, speakers or session formats were the most impactful to your attendees and help you plan for a more engaging event.
Personalization is key to retaining customers and building loyalty. True personalization is not possible without good information on your customers. Don’t let the opportunity to collect and leverage important attendee data pass you by.