Big Data, Small Data

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Big Data, Small Data


There’s a lot of talk these days about Big Data. But how does the term apply to meeting planners and event marketers? Taking it a step further, how does it come into play for high-touch C-level events?

In last week’s blog, I talked about designing space to nurture innovation and collaboration. This week, I’ll take a look at how to use this data to design the event content and customer experience.

Gather your Big Data and look beyond the basic information captured on the invitee or attendee list. How many guests are repeat visitors to your event? What do these guests represent to your firm in terms of sales? What are their job titles, roles/responsibilities, and company demographics? The more information you mine, the greater ability you will have to meet your event goals. At the same time, don’t forget the small data! And by small I don’t mean insignificant. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

For starters, take a close look at the guest list: they are people! While your data may inform you on macro levels, does it convey personality, unique talents, hobbies or interests? Is a particular guest shy or outgoing? Are they likely to play golf or prefer yoga? Remember that you are designing the content and event experience for these people so it’s important to know their care-abouts and their personalties. On a personal level, how will the content help them solve challenges or inspire innovation? How will the planned social functions enhance their stay and overall event experience? 

You most likely know where to grab the Big Data, but where do you obtain this small data? Regular readers of this blog know that I am fan of Boardroom Insiders who are one great resource. Consider tapping into the knowledge of your sales and operations teams for insight beyond the numbers. Be as meticulous and targeted with these details as you are with the big picture. It will help to build the customer experience in a way that is thoughtful, engaging, and relevant to them.

Cindy Wilson

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