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How to collect attendee data at live events

Most marketers spend big bucks profiling customers across digital channels, and for good reason. The more we know about our customers, the more accurate our messaging gets. However, at live events, where attendees travel hundreds of miles to spend a couple of days making human connections, many marketers miss the important buying signals attendees are throwing out.

According to a recent study by Cvent and Eventmarketer, 47% of leading event producers, meeting planners, and corporate event marketers say that integrating event attendee’s digital and physical footprints to create a full customer profile is extremely important. However, the majority of respondents also indicated that they just weren’t that effective and combining data to make those full profiles.

If you’re looking to learn more about your event audiences (and you really should be) here are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the complete picture.

This content was produced in collaboration with Cvent.

Registration forms

Of course, you probably got attendees’ names, job titles, and company affiliations before the event or onsite. 73% of the Cvent survey respondents said that registration was their best source of pre-event attendee data. However, there’s way more potential for getting personal (and giving attendees a better experience) than simply asking for a company name.

Bombarding people with questions before they’ve even shown up probably isn’t the best way to kick off your event, but briefly asking attendees about their goals and preferences can provide marketers and planners a clearer picture of which sessions are going to be popular–as well as which might be empty. And asking about arrival times, food allergies, and special accommodations just makes good sense, not to mention a better event.

Social media

You’re probably already using pre-event registration data to plan social media around your event, which is a great start. But once attendees start tweeting and instagramming your sessions, you should probably make sure you’re listening.

Just 32% of survey respondents said they used engagement around social media posts to collect onsite data. However, social listening should play an important role in event strategy. Not only can tracking engagement though posts and hashtags provide important feedback about the event (feedback you might not get from more traditional means, like surveys), event coordinators also stand gain access to to attendees’ social media handles, which can come in awfully handy for post-event follow ups.

In-session questions

Hopefully, your event has a mobile app, since 66% percent of attendees say they absolutely download and use those apps. Providing access to to session information and even maps of the physical event location ensures attendees can easily make the most of their experience. And allowing attendees to ask panel questions on the mobile event app Q&A not only boosts audience engagement, but also provides a wealth of information about attendees’ pains and aspirations. You’re probably not going to get your guests to painstakingly make a list of what they hope to learn about your product or what their specific needs are, but you can carefully listen to the questions they ask in order to provide follow-ups specifically targeted to those queries.  


Surveys are one of the most vital sources of attendee data for both planning future events and post-event marketing efforts. Questions ranging from “How was lunch?” to “Which speaker was the most helpful?” can provide invaluable information about what your attendees took away from their time with you.

However, only 24% of respondents to the Cvent survey said they were getting feedback from educational session ratings and surveys. If you want to know how to stay in touch with attendees, the best thing you can do is ask!

Hosting an event is a lot like throwing a successful party. And no one throws a party with the expectation that they’ll never see their guests again. Use your attendee data to follow up with thoughtful messaging targeted specifically to the conversational signals they provided during your event. Not only will they be happy to hear from you, they might just be back next year!

For more information about ways you can use event data, register for ClickZ and Cvent’s December 11 webinar, “How to capture event attendee buying signals and transform them into sales pipeline.”  

The post How to collect attendee data at live events appeared first on ClickZ.

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