As a conference organizer, disseminating accurate ROI reports to your stakeholders is crucial. ROI can get lost in the equation when balancing all of the roles and responsibilities associated with executing a successful conference. Imagine for a moment eliminating those cumbersome and labor-intensive responsibilities and allowing yourself to instead focus on advancing your conference in the right direction.
Envision an alternative that automates all phases of conference planning - from registration, hotel lists, badges, tracking session attendance, CEU’s, certificates, reporting/analytics, meeting closeout and post event reporting. Now picture all of this information at your fingertips and readily available anytime.
This whitepaper will explain how using this cutting-edge technology will help you maximize your ROI in three focused areas: Attendance Tracking, Data Analytics, and Exhibitor experience.
Regardless of whether or not you offer continuing education, obtaining real-time counts and proof of session attendance helps your organization’s ROI. Utilizing state-of-the art technology eliminates the need for items such as tickets to enter closed sessions.
One of the most popular reasons to track attendance is to assign and manage continuing education credits for your attendees. Conference Tracker eliminates the need for sign-in sheets which are no longer broadly accepted for continuing education audits and have mostly been replaced by electronic means. Furthermore, offering self-recording sheet to your attendees leads to inaccuracy in continuing education credits, attendee frustration and can compromise the purpose and integrity of the sessions you are offering.1
Electronic tracking is a crucial ROI opportunity and can provide a competitive advantage over other organizations that may be offering similar content to your attendees. The most effective way to grow your conference is to track attendance! Tracking the number of session participants as compared to actual attendees can assist in future planning needs such as forecasting for future sessions (best times), popular topics, and projected future attendance data for RFP’s (Request for Proposal).
In addition to reporting, tracking session attendance is important for maintaining the integrity of an organization. While tracking credits using the honor system may be the bare minimum for some organizations, the only way to accurately track attendance at sessions is electronically.
When it comes to tracking attendance electronically you have two options. You can use barcode scanners or smartphone devices. Barcode scanners, however, are notorious for malfunctioning and creating more headaches than solutions.
We recommend an alternative using a cloud-based smartphone device. This option is not only a time saver but will save your organization hundreds of dollars renting scanners, requiring manual downloads for each session’s data from each device and combining multiple Excel spreadsheets to form a master list of attendance so that you can finally upload that list into your membership management database or accreditation entity.
Today’s technology is much faster, more efficient, and easier to operate. Scanned data is uploaded automatically into the cloud using an Apple device. No more losing data, no more compiling multiple spreadsheets and no more renting clunky scanners. Our solution also allows you to instantly produce certificates inclusive of credits earned at your conference and send them out electronically.
1According to the Institute for Credentialing Excellence 2006 Basic Guide to Credentialing Terminology the definition of “Continuing Competence/Continuing Education is the ability to provide service at specified levels of knowledge and skill, not only at the time of initial certification but throughout an individual’s professional career.” Further stated, “Credentialing is the umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, and professional certification. “Credentialing programs can serve many purposes, but the ultimate purpose of most programs is protection of the public.” One of the many ways to provide this continuing education is through conferences and seminars.
Using data analytics is another aspect of measuring your conference goals and objectives. The significance of conference analytics is fundamental for creating goals and objectives. This analysis ensures continued growth and allows you to demonstrate your conference ROI to stakeholders. Currently, conference analytics are underutilized in most organizations. This data produces up-to-date marketing and statistics for your current and potential sponsors, attendees and exhibitors for future events.
Conference organizers who don’t track attendance are seriously impeding their ability to answer important questions pertaining to future conferences and events. Should next year’s conference be 2 or 3 days? Which sessions should I offer again next year? Which room is optimal for each session? These questions and many more can easily be answered using conferences data analytics.
Compiling this kind of data and providing suggestions for future improvements can take an extensive amount of time. Now, with real time technology, key metrics can be reported on almost instantaneously. This real time data driven model allows you to quickly and easily generate timely post show reports for key stakeholders and facilitate future conference planning.
Exhibitors are a distinctive revenue generator for your conference and organization. Differentiating your conference through marketing efforts is a necessary component of the overall event’s ROI strategy. Producing a budget that will generate revenue and is still affordable for your prospective exhibitors is essential for attracting companies. Providing these benefits to prospective exhibitors can sway them to exhibit at your conference.
Aiding exhibitors in generating face to face leads in one location is a unique opportunity for sales and marketing teams. Exhibitors are looking to get one-on-one time with prospective clients, connect with their current customers, and increase their product awareness. In a nutshell, more leads equates to more sales.
Onsite, exhibitors typically capture sales leads through business cards or lead retrieval systems in order to collect contact information for the sales teams to connect with potential clients. When examining the overall cost of exhibiting at a show, lead retrieval options can be overlooked. Leaving it up to sales reps to manually collect hundreds of business cards creates more work and lengthens the sales cycle. Alternatively, some lead retrieval systems can save an enormous amount of time by automating the process of capturing contact information.
So how do you pick the right system? In our experience, the most accurate lead retrieval systems are cloud-based and track in real time. These systems do not need to be complex or expensive, just efficient. Providing this alternative to your exhibitors may impact their decision to participate in your future conferences.