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Event Data: What to Collect & How to Use it

Posted on 10 January 2023

Event Management


Big data is transforming the events industry. From enquiry to event, there is now a myriad of event data that can provide valuable insight into attendee behaviour - what content they consume, which channels they engage with, and how they purchase. 

With a strategic approach, event data can transform the way event managers work, enabling a better understanding of the event from an objective perspective. It can help to identify areas of improvement, increase event attendance, and discover new opportunities for growth. 

Read on to find out more about event data, including the statistics event managers should be collecting, and how to use them to create a solid event marketing strategy.

Why is event data important?


Event data is one of the most important types of data to collect. It can be used to help event managers to make better decisions, improve event planning and execution, and more.

Event data can be used to:

To understand customer behaviour before, during, and after an event To evaluate the effectiveness of an event marketing campaign To identify areas where events could be improved or changed To determine the return on  (1)

Event data can also be used to gain a better understanding of attendee preferences. By tracking event attendees’ actions, such as which sessions they attended or how long they stayed in a particular area, event managers can identify trends and create targeted campaigns that better meet attendee needs.


Collecting event data; what you need to know


When collecting event data, it is important to consider all aspects of the event. Data should include attendees’ feedback as well as any financial or logistical challenges faced during the event. Good event management software will be able to collect all important data points. 


Additionally, tracking metrics such as registration numbers, ticket purchases, budget allocation and overall event satisfaction are key elements of effective event data collection. Knowing how people reacted to certain components of the event can be especially helpful in making changes to event planning and execution.


Once event data is collected, event organisers can use it to identify areas of opportunity as well as refine their event experiences for the future. For example, collecting feedback from attendees can help event managers get an idea of what people thought about certain activities or amenities that were included in the event. By analysing this data, event managers can make adjustments to ensure a better experience for all attendees. Additionally, event managers can look at trends in ticket sales and other finances to develop strategies that will increase attendance and revenue in future years.



Team Diversity-1 Event data to collect pre-event


Knowing when to plan for and hold an event is key to making sure all other aspects are taken care of. If an event has been held over a long period of time, the event date can be useful in determining the most popular time of year to host the event - does it fall near a public holiday? Do more attendees join in warmer or cooler months? Is it better to host in the first half of the year or the second? Tracking the date and correlating it with the number of attendees can be a valuable piece of information for future planning. 


Event location should also be taken into consideration because it impacts the overall atmosphere and experience guests will receive upon attending said event. It can also help to market an event by highlighting local tours, and attractions, and opening the doors to partnerships with local businesses.


Event themes should be well thought out as they create a sense of purpose for why the event exists in the first place, while event type helps to determine what kind of activities will be featured at the event.


Event budget data sets up expectations for what kind of quality materials are available to use during planning and execution. Budget data is also invaluable for event managers as it determines what elements are included in an event, and where main investments will be made.

Attendee numbers

Finally, the number of attendees gives an indication as to how many people come out to support said event. This data is important for catering, seating, and resource requirements, particularly if an event has capped numbers, or is only available for an exclusive audience.


10-1 Event data to collect during an event

Registration data

Registration data will help event managers to define the most popular registration type, whether attendees prefer to attend online or in person, and ultimately determine which event inclusions are most valuable for future event planning.

Attendee data

Attendee data contains a wealth of information that can be used for more effective marketing. Age, location, and job title are just some of the data types that can be captured throughout both the enquiry and registration process. Email addresses can be captured and used for marketing purposes, extending to social media advertising.

Financial data

By comparing budgets against financial data, event managers can determine whether the event ran to budget, as well as which area/s - if any - went over, and why. 

Logistical data

Logistical data can include elements of attendee behaviour such as which speaker or program element was most popular, and what topic did attendees enjoy hearing about. This can also include statistics relating to event partners - how many visitors approached their booth? How many leads did they capture? By analysing this type of data, event managers can determine whether partners received adequate value from their partnership. 


11 Data to collect post-event

Attendee & speaker feedback

Both attendee and speaker feedback can provide valuable insights into what worked and what didn’t at an event, what elements were enjoyed or appreciated, and what could use some improvement. This information can help event managers make better decisions about future events and can help them create a more positive experience for attendees. 

Virtual attendance feedback

Similarly, event data relating to virtual attendees can assist in determining what online elements were most engaging, how long virtual attendees were in sessions, who was active in networking activities, or at which times they were unengaged.



The takeaway


In order to capture relevant information regarding these different elements, event planners need to think ahead about what data points are necessary for their specific events and create collection methods that make sense for each individual case. It’s important that planners pay attention not only to quantitative data such as pricing or time logs but also qualitative data such as customer feedback or surveys which can shed light on customer experiences with the event itself - this allows them to make adjustments accordingly if necessary. 


By utilising both types of data along with proper analysis techniques like predictive analytics or machine learning algorithms, event managers have access to invaluable insights about their events that can help them reach greater future success.


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