Data is an event organisers gold

The addition of N200 to the GES community is another great move forward as a company and an exciting opportunity to work with one of the best data capture companies in the events industry.


N200’s Matt Coyne, recently wrote a guest blog for Event Industry News, he explains why data registration is so vital within events. You can see the blog on their site here, or the full post is below :)

Data & Intelligence is at the heart of the value proposition. Event organisers strive to personalise their offering, match content to interest, prove RoI, analyse trends and measure loyalty. They seek to future-proof their business by understanding their customers and the communities they serve. To do so, data is their key. Data is their gold.

The correct management of data will deliver more participants, increase engagement, improve exhibitor satisfaction and retention, deliver consistent, personalised and measureable customer experiences and deliver value to all participants. But how to choose the right data partner?

Partner is the imperative word here. A partner will provide a platform that is ever evolving and developing to match the requirements of an event portfolio. Clients should be able to take control of their own data assets with access 24/7, they should have a plethora of options to choose from in order to tailor their data management to their specific requirements and they should be able to control every stage of the registration process.

At the most basic a data management partner should offer the following Data Capture ‘best practice’ Principles

  • New registrants contact details should be verified at point of entry. International PAF look up files should be available to populate and format address fields. International dial codes should automatically pre-fix telephone numbers given. Email addresses should be auto-verified and those without @ or . should be corrected before submission.
  • Known registrants should be invited to log-in to verify and activate their registration as this approach enables the organiser to build a history profile of the individual (and minimise the risk of duplication on the file). Organisers demand that registration and ticketing platforms offer pre-population of forms and log-in functionality as standard.
  • Registration platforms should offer multi-lingual UIs to ensure data accuracy is not compromised due to language errors.
  • Registration platforms should offer ‘register via social media’ tools as the resultant data includes greater access to the registrants network and the ability to ‘go viral’

Proving ROI can be daunting

  • Data Protection and compliancy protocols should be easy to interpret and complete.
  • The registration journey should be optimised with progress bars to reduce drop-off rates.
  • Conditional questions should be utilised to shorten the questionnaire wherever possible and present only questions / answers that are relevant, based on previous answers provided.
  • Only those demographics that are vital should be set as mandatory fields. In our view, the key visitor demographics to be captured include Company Activity; Job Function; Products / Services of Interest; seminars / workshops of interest and personal contact information. The key exhibitor metrics to be captured include Company Activity; Products / Services Offered; Type/Size of stand; Type / No. of sales leads targeted. This data can then be used to match content to interest and analyse and affect RoI delivery for each participant group.
  • Trace to source tools and web analytics should be utilised to monitor and improve campaign efficacy and analyse trends. Tracking should be present on all forms / pages / links.
  • Date/Time/Location stamps should be captured by scanning on arrival. Exit scanning should be performed to ascertain ‘dwell time’. Re-visits should be tracked by the same methodology. Organisers can then deliver accurate conversion communications and encourage attendees to partake in specific activities whilst on site.
  • Organisers should provide lead capture tools to all exhibitors to empower each of them to take control of their RoI success. In doing so, organisers gain access to a wealth of information (via tools such as N200’s Visit Intelligence dashboard), enabling them to monitor, measure & affect participant RoI. Organisers can gauge engagement levels (per visitor group), determine total and average number of sales leads, assess popularity of seminars & workshops and more.

In summary, treat your data with care and ensure you work with a partner that will help you realise its full potential.

Exhibiting: It’s a jungle out there

Grumpy cat as Christmas

One does not simply “Follow the yellow brick road” 5 times in 3 days…

It’s coming up to the festive period which means two things: Coca-Cola adverts and a slowdown in the exhibition calendar. Between TV re-runs of The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music, one of the tasks worth working on over the winter is refreshing your exhibitor toolbox.

An exhibitor toolbox is one of those things that only seasoned exhibitors seem to put together, and even then they’re a work in progress as the world changes and new snags appear. How many times have you been on-site and needed a pair of scissors to snip a loose thread on your suit? Or been in the unfortunate position of being placed next to that exhibitor with the most ridiculously loud speakers known to man? Continue reading

Does art predict the future?

Guest blogging for us this week is our Director of Live Events EMEA – Robert Dunsmore - to talk about how art has historical credibility in predicting the future (it’s pretty darn good if I must say so myself!) Enjoy:

Photos: Michael Ansell/Warner Bros ©2008 Warner Bros. Television. All Rights Reserved.

From 1933 to modern TV, where next?

I recently re-read H.G. Wells’ novella “the shape of things to come”- a work of science fiction speculating on future events from 1933 until the year 2016 which is not far away now. A story penned in response to post recession U.S. and German flagging economies – sounds familiar? Continue reading

Wembley Stadium- The new 51st State?


Affectionately known as the “Greatest show on turf”, earlier this year we looked at the power of ads at Superbowl VXIII, arguably the biggest live event in the world and a sport that is growing in popularity all the time, particularly in the UK.


Wembley stadium on an NFL night

With the sell-out attendances to the NFL games hosted at Wembley over the past few years, this is a clear indicator that the UK consumer has not only become a strong advocate of American Football but also American culture in general.

Continue reading

Experiential Marketing Is More Than Just Another Buzzword

For this blog post I hand over to our SVP of Marketing here at GES, Gina McDuffie, to talk about the potential impact experiential marketing can have on a brand:

experiential-marketing-bannerThe thing about buzzwords is that they’re generally heavy on use and light on understanding.

This is exactly how experiential marketing became a buzzword in the first place — the concept is often hard to explain. For this reason, it’s difficult to get a client excited about an experiential marketing strategy. Continue reading

Avoid chasing your tail by getting your ducks in a row

For this blog post I hand over to Dan Edwards, Group Operations Director at Mash Media, to talk about how planning is the most vital ingredient to organising an event:

Dan Edwards - Group Operations Director, Mash Media

Dan Edwards – Group Operations Director, Mash Media

Ever since I was 16, and I organised a trip for a large group of school friends to an under 18’s club night, I knew I wanted to work in events. I wasn’t sure where in events, I just knew I loved the buzz of organising something and seeing it come off.

One of the messages drummed in to me from course to course, mentor to mentor, was “plan, plan plan…but be prepared to think on your feet”. Continue reading

Audio Visual: Cut Costs by Choosing One Partner

Our successful acquisition of Blitz Communications in recent weeks is an important step towards us becoming a full service provider for the global events market.  In this week’s post Paul Wedesky, the Senior Vice President of GES Global explains the importance of AV in the events industry…

Blitz and GES working together to create the BETT Arena in 2013

Blitz and GES working together to create the BETT Arena in 2013

Choosing the right Audio Visual partner can make or break your event planning experience. Lunch not being tasty, may cause small inconveniences, but if they can’t get the information they came for, the event wasn’t successful. Event AV can be one of the biggest mysteries to individuals in and outside of our industry. I wasn’t joking when I said, “Keep Calm and Call the AV Guy.” AV tends to be one of the most important parts of an event that often gets overlooked when planning.

Continue reading

Exhibitor Masterclass 2014: What’s the Skinny?

For this blog post Jim Curry, Deputy Director at Association of Event Organisers, has the floor to talk about organising a successful day and brains. Enjoy :)

The route to enlightenment

The path to enlightenment

Exhibitor Masterclass:

Last week we hosted the Exhibitor Masterclass which is a one day event to enable businesses to achieve stellar growth through exhibitions. It was the largest event of its kind in recent memory and we curated a programme of speakers that smashed the usual ‘exhibitor days’ out of the park. The success of the event, in terms of attendance and delegate feedback, pretty much guarantees future editions in the UK throughout 2015.

We had expert speakers in visitor engagement, digital marketing, exhibition planning and sensory marketing but it was the keynote psychologist Gorkan Ahmentoglu who grabbed my attention.He applied the science of being human to the art of exhibiting and it was utterly fascinating. Here are the three things about the human brain that I took from his session:

Exhibitors need to target the orbitofrontal cortex Continue reading

An American in London: An Internship to inspire

This week’s blog post comes courtesy of Emelie Coleman – who recently completed an internship with us and did a truly excellent job. Enjoy :)

About six months ago I was somewhat in a scramble. As a college student, the beginning of the New Year is not always a time of celebration, but a moment of realisation that it was time, once again, to churn out applications to find a suitable internship for the summer. And then, the anxiety inducing wait for an acceptance. In my case, I stared at my email inbox until early March, eagerly opening each email addressed to me from a company or a program. It was on one of these March days that I received an email from Harvard’s Center for European Studies internship program, followed by an introduction email from Paul McKenna. Here it was, the long awaited acceptance.

Emelie Coleman

Emelie Coleman – Our resident Harvard intern

One of the biggest myths about internships I find is that as an intern, you are stuck with the busy work. Not at GES. I was given a real challenge with which to work. Furthermore, I was encouraged to reach out to anyone in the company who might be able to help me. At first, I was slightly taken aback by how open the community and my project were. I was given a significant amount of liberty with which to steer my project. By the end of the seven weeks, I felt comfortable talking to everyone in the company and several of them played a significant role in my final presentation.

Continue reading

The exhibition industry: One for all and all for one

For this blog post I’m going to hand over to our Managing Director, Andy Gibb, to talk about how if the events industry can work together we can all achieve bigger and better things. Enjoy :)

Our MD Andy Gibb

Our MD Andy Gibb – Together we are stonger

When an exhibitor, especially a first time exhibitor, books into an exhibition, I don’t believe they’re thinking about which venue is it in, who’s the organiser, or who the contractors are; they’re thinking about Autumn Fair or Marketing Week Live or whichever show it is and how they can make the most out of being there.

For sure, the venue, the organiser and the contractor can create an ambiance which is conducive for doing business, and certainly the organiser needs to attract the right type of audience, and the right type of buyer to the event, but at the end of the day, what makes an exhibition successful is how the exhibitors engage with the visitors. Continue reading