All planners want to know how they can improve the attendee experience, but getting honest answers to the question of “what is working?” can be challenging. Luckily, both event apps and smart badge technology has evolved to the point that when combined with advanced analytics, they can track attendee movement throughout an event. This gives planners the ability to gather more useful feedback.
Think about it. What if you could ask questions with gentle prodding from the speaker about the exact session an attendee is in before they ever leave the room? That will get a much more detailed result than a general question send two days after the person returns to a full inbox in their office. The key to getting meaningful insights is that surveys be timely and contextual.
This technology also allows attendees to know if an attendee leaves a session early. The badge can alert the event app to send a survey just a minute or two later asking, “Did the session deliver what you wanted, or did you not get what you expected?” You may find out that they left the session to pop into another one or to jump on a phone call, not because they didn’t get the content they sought. It will eliminate guessing and jumping to conclusions.
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In the near future, groups using smart badges will be able to not only identify attendee-behavior patterns but also send daily surveys tailored to the sum of each attendee’s demonstrated interests based on what sessions they attended and exhibitor booths they visited. Planners will be able to template surveys for that specific interest profile and ask attendees more focused questions as they are leaving the event each day. This type of real-time segmenting will generate the most granular data for the host organization.
In the future, this behavior-based surveying can be combined with social-media listening and sentiment analysis using tools such as Google Analytics or IBM Watson Analytics to draw actionable conclusions from massive amounts of data. Using word clouds, planners can see at a glance, what worked and what didn’t. Now that is meaningful surveying.
Shane Edmonds is Chief Technology Officer at etouches.