June 2016
Big Data is Like Teenage Sex

The Paradox of Technology: Conquering the Event Data Deluge

Big Data: It Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

Actionable Attendee Data
Big Data is all the rage in marketing and technology circles across the globe, . By definition, big data is a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Unless you are a large hotel chain or CVB, your data sets likely do not meet the definition. For conference organizers, the Holy Grail for leveraging data is to achieve the ability to personalize the experience for each participant.

Before an organization can leverage behavioral "kinda-big data" collected by beacons, RFID or other tracking solutions, it must first have its CRM (or AMS) and marketing automation software solutions working in harmony. Customer profiles should be updated and scored based on engagement actions, and buying history from members or attendees. You should be able to score and predict/recommend what your customers needs next based on their actions.
If your organization is planning to improve your customer intelligence, I recommend you research marketing automation solutions and lead/customer scoring. Another powerful data strategy is to integrate conference email marketing with registration. A single click should pre-populate attendee data via a PURL (personal URL), for a super simple " Yes", in the registration process. Updates should be applied to their CRM/AMS record.

We're continuing our webinar series at 2:00 PM EST on Thursday, July 14th. The topic will be Increasing Conference Collaboration By Shifting From A Market-Share Environment To A Mind-Share Experience, presented by Jeff Hurt EVP, Education and Engagement. If you'd like to participate, click here to review and register. 
anchor1Are You Gathering the Right Attendee Data?
Facebook thinks it knows me, but it really doesn't. Just because I did a bit of research or a drive-by browse, I'm not a strong target for a presumptive ad. It actually turns me off. Facebook is serving up mostlyexplicit mass personalization. Meeting-professional adopters of iBeacons, RFID, and NFC for conference tracking likewise are taking an explicit capture and personalization path.  
Our industry has been flooded with data for decades. And no sooner do we begin to sort it all out and the next data torrent sweeps in, confounding us even more. It's as if the data mountain has grown so high that some question whether it's worth the climb.

Keep in mind, more is not always better. This is definitely apropos when discussing data.

anchor3Big Data: It Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means
In a nutshell, big data is a catch-all term for data sets that are so large and complex that they necessitate new forms of processing beyond the SQL databases prevalent since the early 1980s. The typical example is a Hadoop stack housing petabytes of "unstructured" data: things like Twitter comments, video content, recordings of call center conversations and other information that isn't organized in a pre-defined fashion.    

One big data/insight point that gets the attention of leaders is competitive intelligence.Studying the business models of other conference products can help support your questions, insights and recommendations.

Transparency of information in the association world has dramatically improved. In nearly all cases, you should be able to find these data points easily. These metrics are also helpful for internal bench marking improvements from year to year.

Here are four big questions - and a few tips - to get you started. 
The use of big data in meetings and events was the topic of discussion at an educational session held at the 46th annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) convention in Los Angeles on July 28. The panel, moderated by Anthony Miller, chief marketing officer of Lanyon, discussed the ways in which leveraging big data can vastly improve effectiveness and ROI of a meeting/event, as well as assist in compliance.

"The capture and use of data will be key," said Miller. "We need data that gives you an opinion."