You’ve likely heard of the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic – a rapidly growing visualization of marketing technology available today. The 2018 edition features 6,829 marketing solutions from 6,242 technology vendors and spans influencers, bots & live chat, marketing analytics, workflow management and many other technologies used in modern marketing programs.
In recent years, a similar, but separate Event Technology Landscape has arrived on the scene. This graphic represents over 245 providers who specifically provide technologies used to manage and measure events.
A glance at either confirms not only is technology reshaping all aspects of marketing but all marketers – including show organizers – are increasingly relying on a collection of tech tools (also known as a “stack”). Alon Alroy, co-founder and chief of marketing at Bizzabo, notes “marketers sometimes need 12 different tools to run an event.”
What should organizers think about when planning and implementing an audience acquisition technology stack?
Drawing on our recent chat with Govind Sharma (link to audio below), director of technology at UBM, our four tips include:
1) Understand Key Stakeholders’ Needs
With responsibility for ensuring all customer-facing solutions – both online and on-site – are engaging for UBM customers, Sharma says to find the right audience acquisition technology, it’s absolutely critical to understand the marketing team and other key stakeholders’ needs.
Of course, those needs can vary greatly. For some organizers, it’s important to streamline internal team workflows to save time and increase efficiency. Others may be concerned about improving the attendee experience (see #2 below) or something else.
Without taking time to first understand stakeholders’ goals and needs, you may find yourself with an audience acquisition tech stack that doesn’t deliver.
2) Think About the Attendee Experience
Two components of the attendee experience are paramount to planning an audience acquisition technology stack.
First, organizers need to understand the personality of a typical event attendee, such as how they like to receive information, how tech savvy they are and other key psychographics. This helps organizers identify and prioritize tech needs for their key external stakeholder group – the attendees themselves.
Second, it’s just as important that using any event technology is easy, simple and streamlined for attendees. After all, if the registration process is confusing or time-consuming, attendees won’t have as a positive impression of your event.
Sharma shares, “for us, when we talk about event websites and online registration platforms, these event technology backbones must support the goal of delivering the right information, at the right time and with the right experience.”
3) Understand Data Flow and Integrations
There isn’t one off-the-shelf technology to handle all audience acquisition needs in one complete system. The best bet is to narrow in on the best-in-breed platforms that address your identified internal and external stakeholders’ primary needs and then look for APIs to share data between different platforms.
Many different event technologies are now open and “talk to each other.” For example, Gleanin Connect integrates with multiple event registration, management and marketing automation systems and tools.
Work with your event technology providers to understand what integrations are possible. This will help ensure data flows not only between platforms but also eliminates the need for attendees to enter information multiple times simply because different technologies are being used.
4) Plan How to Evaluate and Measure
Data insights and analytics are pivotal to understand the effectiveness of your audience acquisition marketing efforts. But you can’t evaluate and measure your tech stack if you don’t know what data and information exists.
For Sharma, the number of registrations and number of attendees are key audience acquisition metrics. In order to measure and track these, he explains, “we have metrics at every stage of the conversion funnel.”
As you’re planning your stack, ask your event technology providers to provide details on the data and insights available within the platform. Find out what’s available in real-time before, during and after the event so you can harness information to make real-time improvements.
Today’s attendees expect a good event experience, beginning early with the audience acquisition process. A technology stack can make that process more effective and streamlined – if internal and external stakeholders’ needs, data flow and measurement needs are planned for.
Schedule a demo to learn how to easily integrate social referral marketing with your existing audience acquisition technologies to grow your show.
Listen to this Gleanin Audio file of our interview with Govind Sharma: