By Tim Groot
The benefits of post-event analytics come as common knowledge to event organisers and businesses. The data and insights from previous events have always been used to improve future events. Today, however, event organisers can actively measure the amount of interaction amongst attendees, track user behaviour and identify preferences for events that still need to happen.
The next step is actively using this information prior to and during the event to improve the event experience. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of pre-event analytics and just some of the benefits that they deliver.
One of the main objectives when hosting a networking event is to get as many people to attend as possible. Despite having a full house at the event, filling the room with irrelevant people can be counter-productive. In order to maximise on productivity, all attendees should hold value in terms of engagement.
Having an understanding of your target market allows you to send effective, targeted email and marketing campaigns. It also allows you to stay in touch with attendees prior to and during the event which will help to prevent no-shows and low attendance records.
For trade shows the typical conversion from registration to attendance is as low as 60%, we’ve seen that by launching Event Matchmaking Software before an event this can increase to 85%!
Helping to improve networking quality
Combining your registration data with the pre-event networking behaviours of your attendees can help you more deeply understand which groups of people should be attracted to your event.
Enabling organizers to understand which types of people are missing from their event to create the ultimate networking experience. This data could be used to create targeted advertisements to attract specific people to an event using tools such as Feathr.
Custom Email Campaigns
Using pre-event analytics it is possible to exactly understand which audiences are engaged leading up to the event and which ones aren’t. This can be done based on registration data, smart platforms such as InfoSalons can give you a ‘score’ of the likelihood of someone actually showing up.
Grip’s networking data could be used leading up to the event to understand which audiences are not active on the platform yet. You can then send specific emails from the platform to, for example, inactive Exhibitor Representatives with recommendations of who to meet and the benefits of joining.
These points highlight the value of Pre-Event Analytics and savvy organizers will continue to find exciting new ways to use this to improve their events in real-time.
About Grip: We believe technology exists to enhance the human experience. If you’re looking for an easy way to analyse and leverage pre-event data, get in touch with us to see some powerful features that could be useful for your event.
In our ongoing quest to ‘empower the organizer’ we’ve added a whole range of new features to the Grip Dashboard. This includes new business intelligence features, organizer notifications for direct engagement with event attendees, sponsorship packages and a whole new data quality section on the home screen.
Grip now features two sponsorship packages that you can manage completely from the dashboard.
Lite – a simple way to ‘highlight’ certain exhibitors or potentially even visitors in recommendations and attendee / exhibitor lists. Boomset, in the mobile mockup, is not pushed to the top of the list but does has the featured label behind the name to increase visibility and catch people’s attention when scrolling through the list.
Premium – the full sponsorship package will push exhibitors to the top of lists on both the mobile app and desktop platform giving even greater visibility as is the case with Grip, CVENT and Circdata in the screenshot.
In addition to that, premium sponsors are also shown in the footer of emails and in the sidebar on the desktop platform.
Again, all of this can be managed from the Grip dashboard to empower you to take full control of your event to create event sponsorship packages of the Grip matchmaking platform.
With events becoming bigger and bigger the ability to quickly filter profile and interaction data from for example meetings is crucial and of great importance to organizers. Therefore we’ve made one of the most advanced filtering modules available in the industry.
It enables multi-facet and multi-rule filtering, to illustrate what this means let us give you an example. You can filter for all meetings that involve an exhibition company and are with a visitor and are not yet accepted. You can go as complicated as you want, there is no limit! See a small give with an example of multi-facet filtering below!
Data quality is crucial for successful event matchmaking and this new section gives you a great snapshot on the quality of the data you have provided from where you can start collecting more data and make necessary changes to the matchmaking rules to increase the coverage of them.
To make it actionable, we’ve added a suggestions section that shows you ways to improve your data quality so that you can set your event up for maximum success on the Grip Platform.
New data tables – we’ve simplified our data tables to no longer require horizontal scroll and are highlighting the data that is most important in the table.
New full profile design – we’ve created a whole new full profile that includes a real-time preview of the profile and improved editing functionality to update profiles if required.
Event networking insights that are obvious to us, are often difficult to learn for a computer that just works in zero’s and one’s.
Luckily, the Grip matchmaking engine has been able to learn some of those human subtleties completely on its own in 2017 by analyzing over 300,000 profiles and their behavior.
The Grip matchmaking engine obtained these insights with limited human intervention through real-life interactions across Grip supported events last year. Below are some of those insights.
Obvious? Maybe. But our system now knows that people that have CEO, VP or Founder in their job title are 30% more likely to be connected with by people than others.
In addition to that, people that have sales, marketing or other entry-level titles such as student or bar staff are going to have a tougher time making connections at most events while they’re actually more often power users.
However, when someone is the “Head of Marketing” or a “Sales Manager” we learned that they’re actually more likely to be connected with than the event average.
What people write on their profile and what keywords are used seems to have a significant impact on their popularity in matchmaking.
Words that significantly boost someone’s popularity include investment, investment manager, venture capital, investor, asset fund, big data, analytics, IOT, cloud computing, and startups. As one can expect, the investor related and tech buzzwords do have a significant positive impact on people’s popularity.
Unpopular words include mainly sales, finance and traditional service provider related words including sales, marketing, management consultant, open source, law firm, banks credit, services bank, credit union.
One of the most striking things that our matchmaking engine has learned in 2017 is that why someone is recommended to them can have a larger impact than who is recommended to them.
As you can see in the graph below, having a common connection or having swiped interested on a similar person can make you 3 to 4 times more likely to be interested in connecting with someone.
The Grip Matchmaking Engine also detected that working in a similar industry has little impact on “interest” shown between users, while commonalities in connections (handshakes) and swipes had a greater influence.
Quite surprisingly, profile pictures do not have an impact on people’s chances of making connections. While aesthetically a professional photograph is good to have, there does not seem to be a correlation between photos and event matchmaking success.
It really looks like people are interested in making the “right” connections – good news!
Since the matchmaking engine is self-learning it can sometimes learn from features that we don’t want it to learn from.
Gender can be one of those features that our system doesn’t learn from but could actually have an impact on who people connect with. LinkedIn has often been accused of being used in the same way as tinder by men.
Luckily, that’s not the case on Grip. Gender does not have an impact on the frequency someone’s profile was visited, nor increase chance of a connection on our platform.
As we’re ramping up for 2018, we are looking forward to continuing to apply our AI technology to learn about the event networking behaviour of professionals.
The insights above, are just a small taste of the actionable insights that attendees and meeting organisers can use to optimise event experiences and actively participate in truly “smart” events.
At Grip, we will continue to prove the value of this approach so stay tuned and if you’d like to hear more get in contact with our team.
Any event professional who wants to be at the top of their game has to consistently find ways to revolutionize their attendee’s experience. Artificial Intelligence is transforming the events industry as a whole, yet a key part of the attendee experience is still the most ‘human’ one — networking.
Up to this point, event networking has been a slightly overlooked area. While the days are over when event-goers were thrown together with a generous bar tab and expected to ‘mingle’, notions of ‘exposure to prospects’ and ‘creating the right atmosphere’ for meaningful connections are still fuzzy.
Consistently getting the human-to-human connection right – appropriately and meaningfully – is what turns a ‘regular’ attendee event experience into something revolutionary.
Here at Grip we focus on getting that connection right. Through personalizing the networking experience with Artificial Intelligence, we’ve facilitated about a million connections so far (and counting).
Here’s an insight into some of the key networking personality traits we’ve encountered, and how you can use an understanding of them to revolutionize your own attendees’ experiences.
Time savers have signed up to the event because they want a tangible ROI on the cost of attending the event. With them, the saying ‘time is money’ is not a cliche. They could be start-ups looking for a partnership, sales looking to capture a business lead, exhibitors looking for a customer — but they’re looking to make the most of their time.
Help them schedule meetings before the event even begins, to boost networking productivity.
“The meetings would have taken at least the first day of the conference to arrange – but (with Grip) I’ve been able to arrange them a week in advance.” — Max Davies-Gilbert, Director, Enemigo
Closely related to Time-savers are the Curators. These are the folk who believe in scheduling good quality meetings, not lots of them. It’s easy to collect or ‘swipe’ as many business cards as possible, but Curators know that a staggering 87% of leads at tradeshows are not followed up on, and they want to use their time and resources better.
“The app helps you clarify which potential meetings you want to have… 5 out of 6 meetings I’ve had are quality meetings; I’ve had 8 yesterday and 8 today, so it’s been pretty good.” — Matthew Servini, CEO, The Craft Distilling business
With a completely different work set-up – open offices and mobile workstations – and a job that entails being constantly on-the-go, the Restless would prefer not to be tied down to lots of paperwork, or logging in to an app multiple times and updating it on – heaven forbid – a desktop. They live on their smartphones and tablets, so nimble, easily-managed mobile technology is the way to go.
“Grip was the ideal solution to introduce both an app and a matchmaking solution to the young and mobile Imbibe Live audience. We needed a solution which would work easily through their phones, especially as due to the nature of their jobs they are not at their desks very often.” — Sonja Van Praag, Publishing & Events Director, Imbibe
Most of the hard work in networking involves that element of uncertainty – trying to get the right connection in the right place and time. With the right app, attendees won’t have to leave their networking to random chance. Grip, in fact, uses Artificial Intelligence to make a science of serendipity, ensuring that attendees not only meet the most relevant people to their business, but also – potentially – unexpected connections that are useful.
“Usually I’m struggling to find the right person at the right time… Now, with the app, I’m not only setting up meetings with people who wanted to meet, but also meeting new people whom you might not have otherwise bumped into, which is revolutionary.” — Philip Harding, Founder, Dingle
As an events professional, you’re likely to be more of an extrovert — you like to get out there, meet people and get things done. But not all attendees are the same. For some, ‘networking opportunities’ at an event can sound more like a threat than a promise — even if networking is part of their job. And who doesn’t have days when they aren’t up to the demanding task of meeting and mingling?
Cover all the bases with a networking app that ensures parties mutually interested in each other can connect without an awkward handshake or spammy meeting request in sight. A ‘Handshake’ in the Grip app signals to both parties that there’s interest to meet on both sides.
Tip – This works really well with VIP attendees too – they get to define how much networking they want to do, and with whom.
“It’s quite easy to meet up, because they have an interest in you, and you have an interest in them. You have the Handshake, so you assume you both have an interest.” — Caitlin Frost, Sales Manager, GlassCo
Of the million and one things to do for an event, the ‘UX’ – User Experience – of an event app is rarely on organizers’ priority lists. But attendees now expect more, and appreciate a well-designed app. Good UX makes the difference between an app that attendees download – and then promptly ignore – versus one whose interface is easy to understand and fun to use.
“Grip is very easy to navigate, and connecting with people is quite a low barrier process; very few obstacles… This is one of the best experiences digitally, both in terms of correspondence but also in terms of UX.” — James Sandrini, Director, Eight Point One
Grip empowers attendees, exhibitors and hosted buyers to make meaningful connections at events. Contact us to see if we can provide an event app and professional matchmaking solution that suits your event.
A leading global association of tradeshow organizers and the exhibition industry has recognized Grip as one of the top event apps this year.
UFI, which comprises 725 member organizations in 85 countries worldwide, awarded Grip its 2017 ICT Technology Award in July. The Technology Award honors outstanding digital tools designed to make the next generation of exhibition professionals fit for the future, and recognizes new technologies that support the exhibition industry. The theme for this year’s Award was: “Digital Innovation – What will be our solution for the future?”.
Grip, which also won last year’s IMEXPitch, stood out from the competition with an innovative product which offers an event networking app that has established more than 60,000 connections (and counting) for thousands of professionals.
Presenting at the UFI European Conference, Co-Founder and Grip CEO Tim Groot explained that the idea for the product emerged when the organizers of Cannes Lions 2016 wanted a smoother and more engaging way for attendees to network. Grip’s solution was to design a standalone custom event app using Artificial Intelligence to power a matchmaking API (Application Programming Interface) to deliver the best networking recommendations in a fast and friendly way.
Put to the test at the 15,000-attendee event, the Cannes Lions networking app established an average of 8.4 connections per user and more than 20,000 connections over a few days, enabling hundreds of face-to-face meetings, meaningful connections, and creating a huge positive impact on the event experience.
Also presented were
According to UFI, “presentations from the finalists were of an excellent standard, making the selection of an overall winner a very challenging assignment”. However, Grip’s presentation was “clear, comprehensive and met all the requirements needed for the tool to be considered a winning solution”. Other finalists presenting to the UFI’s Digital Innovation Committee in Cologne, Germany, included Messe München GmbH, ExpoPlatform, and Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Center.
“The UFI Technology Award is one of the most prestigious technology awards in the trade show world.” says Tim Groot. “We feel honored to be chosen as this year’s winner among so many great companies, and it’s great to see that the judges share our belief that technology can vastly improve networking and deliver an improved return on investment for exhibitors by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence.”
“We are looking forward to presenting our solution at UFI’s Global Congress in Johannesburg later this year and will continue to push the boundaries of technology at trade shows.”
Grip’s win comes hot on the heels of last year’s IMEXPitch award, a competition for event tech startups to showcase themselves to event organizers and marketers from around the world. It’s run as part of IMEX America, the US’ largest annual meetings industry trade show, featuring the largest hosted buyer program in North America. Grip also won the standing-room only audience poll at IMEXPitch, and will be displaying at IMEX later this year.
UFI’s Awards recognize and reward successful result-oriented initiatives in the exhibition industry in areas ranging from digital innovation, human resources, marketing and operations and services to trade fair poster design and sustainable development. UFI represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and works closely with its 58 national and regional association members. Over 900 international trade fairs bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities. More information on the UFI is available at www.ufi.org.
We are Grip, a professional networking app for events. Grip empowers professionals to achieve their networking potential. The Grip matchmaking app connects delegates, speakers, and exhibitors in a fast and simple way.