From our CTO Bjarni Gunnarsson
Turn data to knowlodge blog by Conference CompassConference apps offer a variety of analytics and data measurement options. With the amount of available data, it is important to select that data which is most relevant for your event and turn it into the knowledge that empowers your conference. Our CTO Bjarni Gunnarsson shares 5 tips to get the knowledge that will make a difference. 

Data must do’s

1. Measurable objectives
The value of your event measurements and collected data, all depends on clear objectives. What are your most important event goals? How do these translate into KPIs and, most importantly, measurable objectives? If what you want to know is clear and connected to goals, the data and knowledge you collect will be valuable. If your measurements are not connected to goals or KPIs, they are, quite frankly, useless. Here is an example of a goal that is translated into a KPI and defined in measurable objectives. Event goal is to improve the impact of the knowledge shared at the event. This is translated in the KPI of improved interaction with event content. This is measured by the number of participants in Q&A sessions, the amount of notes on certain sessions that are placed in personal profiles, the number of abstracts & posters that were downloaded and shared and so on.

2. Stakeholders interests
OK, the goals of the event are clear to you, but are the interests of all your event stakeholders included in them? In order to get the right data and knowledge, their measurement needs to be included in the total event strategy and this demands the right resources. Your client, board and stakeholders will not be willing to put money where the data is if they don’t fully agree on the goals. Therefore, invest time and effort in getting all the parties that are involved in the process, to reach a consensus on the goals and KPIs. This will make sure that all parties are dedicated to getting the knowledge and are therefore willing to invest in the resources that are necessary.

3. Data strategy
Goals check, stakeholders check, next on the list is the data strategy. Depending on what your goals are, your measurements will have to be woven into the overall event structure before, during and after your event. Which are the paths that you expect attendees to follow, at which stage do you want to measure what and which tool is best to employ? Set a clear strategy for each KPI. For overall event appreciation, for example, start with a short 4 question survey about expectations at the registration phase. Continue with looking at the number of sessions marked as a favourite in personal schedules in the event app, followed by session attendance, rating and comments given. Look at participation in topical discussions, overall app use and top it off with an overall survey at the end of the event and a follow-up questionnaire one month after the event, focussing on the implementation of the knowledge that was gathered at the event.

4. Different types of measurement
The tools to measure data are abundant. It is, however, good to look at your KPIs and define which tools best fit a specific measurable objective. You will often find that the holistic goals such as event impact and engagement will be measured through different KPI’s, which demand different tools. These can vary from simple rating tools to Q&A session participation, beacon alerts and surveys. Aside from the active measurements in which attendees are actively asked to participate, some KPIs are best measured by combining the active measurement with the more unaware behaviour of attendees. Think automatic attendance registration at sessions, download of abstracts or placement of sessions in their personal schedules.

5. Benefits
Now that you have chosen your tools and implemented them in your program, how do you get your attendees to actually participate in them? Enter your communication strategy. Before and during the event there are good options such as event registration questionnaires and push notifications used by event apps. These help to bring surveys, session ratings, Q&A participation and more top of mind. Holding slides and speaker involvement are great tools as well. It is important however to clearly list the benefits attendees will enjoy when participating on a constant basis. What’s in it for them? For evaluation, surveys and post-event questionnaires incentives work well. You will find that attendees will need a little more encouragement to participate after your event ends. Clear communication on the how and why and sharing of results are must-dos. You can also make participation mandatory in order to attain CME credits, for medical conferences. Or for corporate events make sure that attendees can collect credits or leads, that they can employ as results, as is demanded in the business plans they have to submit when applying to attend an event.

Interested to learn more about how your conference app can assist you in getting valuable event knowledge? Contact us for more information.