Diving Into Data: Choosing the Right Tools for the Job

Back in March, we talked about the how and why of data capture for experiential marketing agencies. We explored the importance of things like generating leads and demonstrating ROI while we also discussed particular data collecting strategies that we’ve developed over time. Now we’re back, as promised, to share of a few of our favorite experiential marketing technologies that will help you capture data from pre-game to post so that you can deliver better experiences to consumers and better results to clients.

RegOnline by Lanyon

Many experiential events begin weeks before consumers check in; they begin at registration. And when it comes to registration technology, Lanyon’s RegOnline is at the head of the pack. When attendees sign up, event planners can collect all the data they like — from identifying details to contact information to travel plans and lodging information. RegOnline also features theme-based page building that’s flexible enough to incorporate brand colors and logos without requiring coding know-how. Of course all of this is useless without reporting, so the software is designed to keep you and your project stakeholders in the loop in real time.

Cvent OnArrival

When the big day arrives, you’ll want to know who actually showed up. That’s where Cvent’s OnArrival app comes in. This check in software is at the top of its class. Of course, OnArrival enables you to check guests in through the typical search and browse interfaces, but you can also sort guests by their institutional affiliations, check them in by confirmation numbers, or just scan a barcode. And if you’d like to empower your guests, you can run the app in Kiosk mode, enabling visitors to check themselves in and even quick-print their own badges.

Event Farm

Now that you know who showed up and when they showed up, elite marketers will want to get on the floor and make those quality connections that turn the brand-curious into brand evangelists.

With Event Farm, experiential marketers can flag VIPs as prospects and assign sales representatives or brand ambassadors to those guests. When a prospect checks in, the team assigned to them will be notified via mobile. That team can then refer to their in-app “Sales Playbook” where information about the prospect is collected.

Following interactions, teammates can post notes and tasks to the Playbook, which sync across all other affiliated devices. Do your due diligence and by event’s end, you can know everything there is to know about your prospect, and they’ll know everything about your brand too.

Simple Booth

With plenty of guests roaming your venue, it’s time to pull out the big guns. One of the most effective ways to get consumers sharing contact data while also evangelizing for your brand is by pointing them in the direction of a photo booth. There, they’ll be asked to trade data for their photos. A well-executed photo op gets your client leads and guarantees that the client’s social media page will be blowing up with branded photos of happy consumers.

We usually work with photo booth specialists to create customized experiences, but if you prefer to fly DIY, one great option is Simple Booth’s Halo app, which turns iPads into user-operated photo booths. It also offers social integration, customized web galleries, real time analytics, and data capture. You’ll want to pick up their proprietary hardware to give your photo booth a distinctive look and give your consumers-turned-models the flattering lighting that they deserve.

Poken

Another great way to capture data in-flight is through technologies that track consumer engagement. For instance, Poken is a great tool for transmitting information to event attendees while capturing data on what interests your guests.

Pokens are USB devices enabled with NFC technology; guests can tap these devices against marked touchpoints in your event space to collect information. For example, an exhibit-style event might feature touchpoints next to each exhibited product. As guests collect additional information through those Poken touchpoints, marketing teams collect information about which products were popular — and among which guests.

When enabled with iBeacon technology, Poken interactions can be made with a wider range of devices besides for these proprietary USB drives. You can also use phones, badges, and other wearables.

Utlimately this data tells you and your client both what worked and how best to follow up.

RFID Technology

There’s no one vendor we’d point you to, but we’d be remiss not to follow Poken with a shoutout to RFID. By enabling anything from badges to shoes with RFID technology and laying down sensors in critical locations around event venues, experiential marketing agencies can track where guests spend their time and — by the transitive property of congruence — how they spend their time. Not only does this data help experiential marketers measure ROI and develop prospects; it also helps us target consumers with personalized messaging that’s sensitive to what individual attendees experienced during the event. RFID vendors can also deliver metrics in heat maps, which use green-to-red coloring to represent the quantity of engagements at various spots on your floor plan.

Quividi

Quividi is another technology that’s great for measuring the impact of your experience, and it goes deeper than any of the others, delivering qualitative analysis through quantitative metrics. Quividi’s “scene analysis” tools can tell you not only how many people have entered a given space, but also how many faces have registered a particular object in that space. It can even estimate the demographics of those faces. And — here’s what really gets us — Quividi can measure how long an experience holds a consumer’s gaze and estimate the consumer’s mood by reading their facial expressions.

Qualtrics

Whether you’re looking for in-flight reactions or post-game feedback, surveys are critical not only for determining and demonstrating what made your event great, but also because they offer another opportunity to collect more prospect-identifying data. And when it comes to surveying your guests, there’s no tech that matches the power of Qualtrics.

It may take some time to learn, but users who get the hang of Qualtrics can survey consumers with more than a hundred types of questions while also utilizing logic trees, quotas, triggers, and randomization. Qualtrics also packs a powerful punch in the analysis department, offering visualizations optimized according to question type as well as customizable graphics. If you’re working with a team of busy folks, you can command Qualtrics to send them periodical reports even while the core team monitors results in real time. You can also make results public on your website or via social.

Typeform

But not every event marketer needs the depth that Qualtrics delivers. Where Qualtrics offers survey strength, Typeform offers agility. Its simple, user friendly design makes building and taking surveys a delight. Creators will appreciate the variety of question types and the easy drag-and-drop interface while audiences will appreciate Typeform’s emphasis on answer visualizations and personalization. You can build surveys to become more personal as responders enter their information.

Hootsuite

Once your event has come to a close, you’ll want to stay engaged with consumers over social both to strengthen new relationships and to collect data that demonstrates the success of your event.

Hootsuite is the clear leader among social listening engines. Its super-powered dashboard allows users to coordinate brand activity and monitor consumer engagement across multiple social media platforms. Analytic feedback offers data on reach, impressions, click throughs, social interactions, and can even report on your (new)media share compared to competitors. You can filter information to narrow down how specific demographics are engaging with your brand, monitor for trends, and even execute giveaway campaigns.

SURKUS

Finally, we thought we’d finish with a more creative tip: try SURKUS. There are all sorts of reasons to collect data, and one big one — particularly on the experiential agency side — is to generate an audience. Enter SURKUS, the app that connects branded events with people who want to attend them. When experiential marketers create events, they’re offered a dossier of consumers who’d enjoy going to their events. Then it’s up to the marketing firm to “cast” their “crowd.” It’s not one of our go-to techs, but it’s one we’ve been itching to try.

With these data & monitoring tools you’ll be able to improve the quality of consumer engagement while providing clients with leads and demonstrating the power of your work. Have we mentioned how much we love technology?

The michael alan group is a full-service experiential marketing agency & event production company. Check out our work and our team, and drop us a line to chat about capitalizing on data collection at your next event.
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