The events industry is waking up to the importance of event data for reaching event marketing goals and proving ROI. A vast source of valuable data is attendee tracking – one of the most powerful ways event professionals can measure event marketing success. This blog post explores how event managers can track their attendees and the most significant benefits of attendee tracking. It’s a powerful tool – let’s make the best of it!
We can now rely on various attendance tracking software solutions to help us measure the various aspects of the attendee experience at in-person, hybrid, and virtual events. They also automate and speed up the event management process before, during, and after the event.
Attendee Tracking: The Basics
There are many ways to approach attendee tracking. In its analog form, attendee tracking can mean printing out the list of attendees and ticking them off with a pen. But that approach is hardly doable for corporate events, conferences, conventions, and other large-scale events.
Today, there are so many simpler, faster, and more precise ways to track attendees:
- QR codes,
- RFID technology,
- Event platforms and event apps,
- Event registration software,
- Other attendee tracking software solutions.
Attendees are not just passive observers of events; they are central protagonists in the event experience. That’s why it’s important for event planners to understand what drives them and why.
Attendee tracking has many benefits, including seamless registration, real-time insights into their journeys, engagement levels, and event ROI to stakeholders. Read below to find out more!
1. SEAMLESS REGISTRATION PROCESS
Attendee tracking starts at event registration. You don’t need any software for this step. Smaller events can have a printed-out list of registrants, crossing out all entrants. Modern solutions such as QR codes, RFID technology, or event apps make for a pleasant experience.
Attendee tracking software at registration can help you:
- Automatically assign various ticket types and access control,
- Save up time by simply scanning codes to access the venue or virtual platform,
- Offer cashless payments inside the venue,
- Limit paper waste and associated costs,
- Speed up the process of COVID clearance (or other rules and guidelines),
- Monitor attendance in real-time.
2. REAL-TIME INSIGHTS INTO EVENT TRAFFIC
Planners can use Bluetooth Low Energy and RFID technology to create heat maps. That way, they can analyze how attendees move, which spaces they like best, and which they tend to avoid. Additionally, planners can observe these changes over time by using the timelapse function.
Heat maps show the attendees’ real-time location and can even help planners make real-time strategic changes to the event layout. For example, planners can identify and prevent a bottleneck on time. They can monitor the exhibit floor, networking sessions, ingress, egress, and other behavior patterns.
Attendee tracking software can help you measure various audience engagement KPIs. For example, data insights about session attendance inform us how successful each session was. You can see:
- The rating of each session on a scale of 1 to 5,
- How many attended the session,
- How many left the session halfway through,
- Sessions and speakers with the highest attendance levels,
- Which sessions sparked the most engagement (hands raised, Q&As, polls),
- How many times do attendees replay each session?
But how do you get attendees to share their experiences? Incentivize your audience to participate in surveys by gamifying attendance tracking. Encourage them to give feedback by giving them points for participation, and offer prizes (a free ticket to your next event, a gift card) to those who collect the most points.
4. CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS MADE EASY
Attendance tracking software is your best friend if you’re planning events or conferences where attendees need to collect education credits. Your audience can also collect CEUs in a virtual setting, making learning accessible for more people.
These are the benefits of attendance tracking for reporting CEUs:
- Count how many hours attendees spent in sessions,
- See tracking reports for each session,
- Assign different credit values to different sessions,
- Give educational credit only if attendees actively participate in the session or give feedback (use polling, Q&A, surveys),
- Automatically provide certificates for those who collect enough education units.
5. GIVE VALUE TO EXHIBITORS
Exhibitors and sponsors can also enjoy the benefits of attendance tracking at events. For example, they can see how many attendees stopped by their booths. If attendees choose to share their data with them, they can also get extra insights into their profiles.
Attendance tracking helps exhibitors and sponsors understand their audience better. Additionally, they’ll trust the event organizers more as they can provide them with key insights about their target audience.
In the last two years, we’ve learned about another powerful benefit of attendee tracking: ensuring our events are COVID-compliant.
RFID technology doesn’t only trace attendees’ locations. It can also be a nifty communication tool. For example, CrowdSync’s RFID wristbands are programable to turn red whenever somebody is breaching social distancing.
Additionally, attendees can set it to different colors to signal how comfortable they are with others approaching them. And as the visionary host of the Event Tech Podcast, Brandt Krueger, said in an episode with CrowdPass, this same technology could also be potentially used for contact tracing during a COVID outbreak.
7. ATTENDEE DATA AS A MARKETING ASSET
Not only are event organizers and stakeholders interested in the event data, your attendees can also be delighted by some event statistics. You can turn your attendee tracking data into a handy marketing tool.
Here’s how you can use attendee tracking for marketing:
- Share some statistics about the demographics relevant to your attendees (where they come from, what they do, etc.),
- Share end-of-the-day stats about the most popular sessions and other event highlights,
- Tell attendees how many attended your event and share other interesting post-event data.
Learning more about fellow attendees can help your attendees paint a bigger picture of your event and build trust with your brand. And it’s an excellent ice-breaker at the event for networking purposes!
Event attendee tracking is important because it can be a crucial piece of the puzzle for proving your event’s overall ROI. After the event, event professionals can harness the data mentioned above from the event platform or app to get deep insights into registration, audience engagement, and the success of the event in general.
But while we can all agree that event technology unlocks so many exciting data-focused opportunities for planners, the reality is that they often have budgets to work with – and the sky is rarely the limit.
According to Skift Meetings’ research, 52% of event profs define event ROI by staying within their budgets. On a brighter note, 67% of event professionals measure event ROI by measuring attendee satisfaction.
Attendee tracking can help planners make their budgets and attendee satisfaction go further. Based on session analytics, you can see which content or speakers resonated with your audience the most and the least. This can help you better allocate your budget for your upcoming events.
Spend the event budget on topics and speakers you want to engage with and eliminate those agenda items that didn’t resonate with your audience. Quantifiable event success can assist you in negotiating a higher budget for your next events.
Attendee Tracking with Endless Events
Attendee tracking lies at the heart of data collection at events. You can develop a deeper understanding of your audience using QR codes, RFID technology, event platforms, and other event tech solutions.
Investing in event technology can seem daunting, but the payoffs are worth it. Factual data about your events can help prove how powerful event marketing is.
Endless Events is an event management company that helps event professionals leverage the power of event technology to reach their event goals and consistently exceed attendees’ expectations. If you want to get more out of your event marketing efforts at your next corporate event, conference, or exhibition, reach out to us. We’re here to support you.