There’s a reason people attend events: they value personal interaction and the opportunity to make true connections. Rather than being used to supplant in-person events, technology can also be used to augment them. Just because content can be personalized and communicated digitally does not mean it will have the same impact as it would at an event. As communication platforms, events offer something technology cannot: face-to-face interaction.
From personalization to face-to-face interaction
In a study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) 74% of attendees rated face-to-face interactions as very or extremely important. Online content and communities provide immense value by being accessible on-demand 24/7, but a personalized community experience is not a substitute for true personal interaction. However, the data gathered from online engagement metrics can provide guidance to help better organize and execute an event. In other words, the data from online engagement can help identify and measure key interest areas.
Communities can also serve as overtures to connect like-minded people before having the chance to meet in person at an event. For example, attendees could leverage the online community to submit questions before the event, enhancing the value of attendance by opening the dialogue early. By taking this approach, speakers can know who will be in the room when they give their presentation. Forming a personal connection before the event promotes deeper engagement during the event.
Generating social capital
Compelling speakers, relevant content, and engaged attendees are some of the traits of a successful event. Underpinning this success is the social capital generated from an event, or the sum of interactions had and connections made by attendees. To more effectively bring people together to this end, customer data can be leveraged to identify preferences and deliver more relevant content and activities. After the event, presentations or other content from the event can be posted online to supplement the on-site discussion and extend the impact of the event.
Technology powers personalized online engagement and content dissemination via email newsletters, communities, or other means. Leveraging this data can be used to better plan events, facilitating face-to-face interaction, generating social capital, and building a stronger and more engaged member community.
Check out our guide to get more tips on how to leverage your event insights.