Becky Dempsey is a Senior Project Manager for Primary Live having worked for the company since 2014. Becky's work focuses on event logistics, technology & business systems. She's a passionate dancer and believes that increased event personalisation is the future of events. Read on to learn how Becky and her company use personalisation at their events.
1) How long have you been involved in the events industry?
I started working in the events industry in 2008, and then decided to work towards a Masters degree in Event Management in 2009/2010 as I love to research everything as well as get involved practically.
2) How did you get involved with the events industry?
My first love is dance and I trained as a dancer spending a lot of time performing in and working in theatres. Due to injury I stopped performing and began working more on the operations side of productions, running a dance festival, press launches for opening nights, sponsor events and I caught the event management bug!
After a few years of working on community events I moved into the corporate world of events, working across various industries including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, technology, retail and energy.
3) Where do you see the future of the events industry, especially when it comes to the use of event technology such as apps, software etc.
Everything at the minute is pointing towards increased personalisation within events, and event tech is the way to ensure this. Online event registration can capture so much detail from an attendees' workshop preferences to their favourite drink, and this is where event managers can make the most of this information.
Using captured data, events can include personalised welcome messages such as, ‘we hope you had a good flight from The UK’, to RFID touch points informing them which agenda sessions they selected to attend, or providing each attendee with that favourite drink during the coffee break, is a way to increase personalisation, engagement and create memorable experiences at all future events.
4) What are the common mistakes you see people making when using technology at events?
I think a lot of technology is used because it is seen as ‘a current trend’ or will look great on Instagram, but many organisers forget about the impact it can have on their data and the way they run future events. VR and augmented reality for example may provide a great attendee experience, but aspects such as online registration, event apps and RFID badging, will make for a smoother more slick process as well as provide huge amounts of data that can be analysed.
"Online Registration, Event Apps & RFID Badging will make a smoother, more slick process as well as provide huge amounts of data that can be analysed."
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Being able to assess exhibition stand performance, favourite agenda sessions, differing arrival times, attendee interaction statistics, attendee emotional engagement and many more will always help feed back into the evaluation process.
5) How will these trends impact organizations? (ex. Budgets, Events, Sponsorships)
If events organisations do not currently have online systems for data creation and tracking in place then there are obviously budget, time and training implications to consider. However in the long run, without these systems there is no information available to progress, improve and to put yourself in a position of knowledge to win new clients and sponsorships.
6) Can you share any stories or examples that help illustrate key points?
We recently utilised an event app for a 1,000 pax European event which included a personalized agenda based on their workshop selections they made months in advance. On top of this we programmed personalised push notifications that welcomed each guest as they checked in and displayed to them which country dinner they were due to attend. Attendees were able to scan a code from exhibitors to receive more information and rate each speaker and session immediately.
This enabled us to gain insights into which exhibitors were most popular, which ones were visited first, which speakers and topics were enjoyed most and what areas needing improving. Using some of this data we were able to make tweaks during the conference ready for the next day to improve the event in real time!
7) What’s your #1 tip for marketing your event and increasing registrations?
It’s not all about price.
By understanding what the unique selling point is for your event will help to market the right areas. Price is a factor, but key note speakers, workshop content, and the quality of networking opportunities are often a more relevant draw. Marketing these elements and why they are of practical use to your chosen market will increase registrations over early bird ticket options.
"Price is a factor, but key note speakers, workshop content, and the quality of networking opportunities are often a more relevant to increase registrations."
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8) What’s your #1 tIp for increasing engagement at events?
Don’t wait until the day of the event.
Engagement begins well in advance of your attendees walking up to your registration desk to collect their badge.
Event apps are great for involving attendees weeks before and getting them talking and excited about event content ahead of arrival. If not using an app, social media interaction and mail outs can also work to build that engagement about whats taking place at the event. It also shouldn’t stop once the event finishes.
By keeping discussions going after an event too, you could have a ready made audience for your next event too.
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