The tools used for registration systems and applications help to gather very important and useful information about the participants to create a more striking experience. But what is the right thing to do to personalize the events that you need to organize? And what are the limitations in that regard? How to make a balance?
What is for sure is the fact that the transformation has become one of the leading trends in the event industry. Participants certainly expect you to provide them with an unforgettable experience, get the chance to learn something new and gain additional knowledge in a particular field, but also that the communication point of the meeting is adapted and designed only for them. But no matter how good this sounds, questions arise as to how to measure the results of such an approach, whether personalization should always be tended, to what limits should we go and how to strike a balance in terms of protecting the private data of participants in an event?
Regarding the details of the Return of Investment segment, a survey conducted by portal Eventsforce reveals that despite this rising trend, which is for 73% of event planners a priority, 51% of them have a problem to determine exactly the results and see the effect of the personalization of the event. On the other hand, 44% of the respondents have a problem determining the right personalization measure.
The most popular personalization methods, according to this survey, are invitations for events, personalized registration forms and selecon of delegates for communication, i.e. those who will be in charge of the process of communication with the client and the participants.
Not much of a negligible percentage, 36%, of the event manager believes that the introducing of data protection regulaons – General Data Protecon Regulaon (GDPR) will bring about considerable limitations in the personalization of events.
Other challenges, or rather obstacles, are questions about what kind of data are needed by event organizers and what to do with the incorrect data they receive? The most effective tools that event planners use in the event personalization process are the registration systems, CRMs, and marketing systems, surveys, and mobile applications that are specifically designed for a specific event.
Large companies almost always use basic personalization tools: they use personal names of participants in invitations, pose specific questions to people in certain positions in order to tailor an event to their needs and/or interests as much as they need, by tailoring the agenda by them by asking, upon the registration, for an answer to the question why a person applied for participation.
Furthermore, when the lecturers are selected, they are asked to design their lectures and presentations as much as possible for the audience who will aend by forwarding them their inputs. And how to get the data that matter? First, you need to know the types of data you need to personalize the event. Then find a way to get as much of those through as less questions as you can to the end user. Nobody wants to infinitely fill in the questionnaires, even if it is for their own benefit. Be as brief, clear and precise as possible. If you have additional questions that you might want to ask, and which would be good but not necessary to be answered, they should be marked as optional. If, for example, these are companies that deal with different types of educaon, personalization for them involves multilingualism in events – in terms of simultaneous interpreters, but also through registration forms and electronic communications. The Brish Council has a base of over 60 languages in which it addresses its target group. They also use linking tools that allow the user to create his schedule of meetings, workshops and lectures. They can also create their own personalized agenda or receive the materials from the session they aended through the application.
The recipe for success is to always imagine yourself in the participant’s place. Too much of a personalization can be experienced by people as invasive and aggressive, and you do not want such an experience. There are oen negative examples in pracce that occur precisely because of overstatement. Imagine participang in a conference where, for example, the badge that you received when registering is scanned and then you begin to be constantly bombarded with informaon and materials that you are not interested in at all. Ask yourself what your participant will think about it? How will he/she feel? What kind of impression will you leave with the events that you organized? The idea is to create a balance, not to irritate a participant.
Since the entry into force of GDPR, it is no longer possible to have registration forms in which demographic data is populated on several pages, because this requires the special consent of the user. This topic has become an almost special challenge for event organizers, because, in order to get data that provide as much personalization as possible, they need to find another way to get those. Which can be a problem.
On the other hand, event participants themselves need to know why organizers seek and collect data and how this will directly affect their impression of the event. In fact, this is a key balance and a successful personalizaon. So it is a recommendaon to stick to these simple rules in collecng data to avoid potenal misunderstandings:
– First determine what types of data you will ask parcipants, talk to your colleagues about this and determine how these data will be used for personalization of events
– Do not ask the parcipants unnecessary quesons because this will lead to a negave effect
– Make it clear to the parcipants that the data to be provided will be used exclusively and only for the purpose of personalizing events, adapng to their needs and interests, and taking care of their privacy – especially now when GDPR has entered into force.