Insights

How to Use Data to Connect With Your Audience

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David Gauthreaux
David Gauthreaux

Executive Vice President, Global Sales

FreemanXP

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Using metrics to drive emotion

To create engaging experiences, event marketers need more than ideas. You need solid strategies that are backed by empirical data.

Numbers don’t lie, which makes them ideal for gaining real insight. When we analyze our numbers — like the rich base of corporations that exhibit at Freeman shows as well as countless corporate events — we gain truly valuable information, not just about our customers (and theirs), but also about locations, program cities, cultures, and much more.

It’s imperative to objectively evaluate both the organizers' and exhibitors’ intended outcomes, so you can bring those objectives to life in measurable ways. And when you leverage data to connect reliable insights with the brand experience? Magic can happen.

Three Steps to Creating Measurable Outcomes

To get started analyzing and incorporating data to create unforgettable events, follow these three steps.

1. Start with a Discovery Session

During your discovery session, be sure to:

  • Do your research. What are your intended outcomes? Who is your audience? What actions would you like them to take away from this activation? Don’t proceed until you know the answers.
  • Consider all points of view. Strategy, creative, production, local resources — when you include a variety of perspectives, you’ll gain a more complete understanding of expectations.
  • Think outside the box. Don’t get comfortable. Start with a clean slate each year, and be imaginative. Be daring. Never fall into the “same as last year” trap.
  • Gather and review comprehensive data. Drawing on the entire ecosystem (including past programs and technology) for empirical data lets you make educated insights and recommendations.

2. Develop Actionable Insights

When developing your plan, include:

  • Actionable steps. Go beyond measuring just attendance and square footage. Dive deeper by including more far-reaching metrics, such as the number of impressions, sales, level of engagement, and more.
  • Measurable results. You must be able to connect the dots between intended and actual outcomes. If you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen.

3. Determine How Your Audience Wants to Engage

Your approach needs to accommodate the people you’re trying to reach. Consider:

  • Who is your target demographic? Focus on your desired audience and be clear about how your objectives relate to that audience. Event technology easily captures all the information you need — use it!
  • How does your target audience want to communicate? Evaluate data that explains their preferences, and then deliver on those expectations.
  • What else do you know about your audience? When you understand your target — and leverage that understanding — connections become quicker, deeper, and more authentic.

Driving Results, Connections Through Data

Face-to-face marketing and engagement has the potential to drive amazing results. At Freeman, we wholeheartedly believe in what poet Maya Angelou said: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

As clients increasingly expect customized experiences, your ability to deliver on those expectations will depend on gathering and analyzing the right data to deliver strategies that make your audience feel.

Numbers are your secret weapon, and data puts your finger on the pulse of what works. Creating synergy between data and people helps you improve engagement and overall satisfaction, and build the best experiences possible.

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