. How to Use Technology to Build Better Events | Successful Meetings

How to Use Technology to Build Better Events

Getting smart about how you use and protect data can elevate your conference or meeting

There's no doubt that events are hard work. But does it sometimes feel that that work is wasted? You spend weeks planning a huge event for your client, but they're dissatisfied with the outcome. Or their attendees have more criticisms than compliments on the post-event survey. Perhaps -- despite your best efforts -- the event technology didn't quite work or just didn't connect with your attendees. 

It may be time to work smarter, not harder.  

Take advantage of what you can learn from the digital tools at your disposal, such as event management systems, financial records, digital marketing analytics and security resources, in order to build better events. 

Focus on the Data That Will Increase Sales

Every event or meeting you plan gives you a tremendous amount of data to draw from that will help you improve your sales strategy. If you use event management software, you can easily pull reports to discover which clients have been bringing in the most revenue. 

Make it a priority to consistently run reports that show data such as your most-booked contacts, your financial information by month or quarter, and payments by event. Then, create a spreadsheet of these clients and give them special treatment throughout the year. Contact them in advance of their regular events to start the planning process or offer them extra services to keep them coming back. 

Get More From Your Marketing

Use what you know about the clients who book with you, such as the seasons they prefer to hold events, the types of events (large conferences, networking cocktail hours, corporate retreats or company Christmas parties), the size of their budget or event locations, in order to shape future events.

Make a spreadsheet of clients and group them by interests or preferences. Send them regular communications via email marketing and appeal to their needs by reminding them about booking deadlines, sharing updates about your venue, informing them of seasonal menu changes, or offering them a special discount. 

Take this information a step further by creating marketing campaigns that target prospects who share the same event interests or preferences. If they're similar to your current clients, they'll be more likely to book your services. Create Google ads or social media ads that reach people who fit your ideal client profile.

Protect Your (and Your Clients') Information

Preventing cyberattacks that expose your company's and your clients' information is an effort with which every business must be concerned. 

Start with your company's website. It should use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) to ensure secure, encrypted communication via the Internet. HTTPS prevents hackers from accessing online communication between you and the clients using your website. 

Make sure you're using encrypted WiFi at your business or any location you're using to run an event. Public WiFi is easier for hackers to break into and view your online activity. These steps from Lifewire will help you secure your business' WiFi. If you're using public WiFi, log in to the network recommended by your location. Always use a network that is locked and requires a password. 

You should also change your passwords for any online tools you use to run your business or access client information on a regular basis. This is one of the easiest ways to protect your data -- the 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon found that 80 percent of hacking-related breaches were due to stolen or weak passwords.  

Make Your Data Work for You

The information you collect through the tools you use is valuable to your business. Once you start implementing these data practices into your event business, you'll have more clarity on how to streamline your planning, grow your revenue, and become a trusted service to your customers. 

Jonathan Morse is the CEO and founder of Tripleseat, a web application for restaurants, hotels and unique venues, chosen by more than 35,000 event managers and restaurant owners. Tripleseat helps these businesses increase their event bookings and streamlines the planning process. Jonathan has been involved in the restaurant and hotel business for 30+ years with roles ranging from a busboy at Abadessa's in Hingham, Mass., to line cook at Atlantic Café in Nantucket, to floor manager at Backbay Restaurant Group, to New England regional sales manager for Starwood Hotels. Before starting Tripleseat, Jonathan was a vice president of sales for a web startup that delivered business intelligence reporting to the restaurant industry.