Traditionally we rely heavily on surveys to determine if our events, conferences and tradeshows are successful. Surveys are great for getting positive or negative opinions about aspects of your event, but don't provide enough information on the reasons behind those opinions. For a complete view into our events we need to understand attendee behavior.
Behavior Is Truth
Retail guru Paco Underhill and his company Envirosell rely on methodical observation and measurement to identify problem areas and opportunities within retail stores, and have applied this analysis very successfully to increase revenues for their Fortune 500 customers. In a recent case study, Envirosell analyzed attendee behavioral metrics for a mass merchandiser - what were the shopper traffic patterns, where did the customer find it difficult to get assistance, how long did they have to wait to cash out. The merchandiser redesigned the store layout and achieved a 30% increase in the number of products sold per customer.
After almost 30 years of observation and research, Paco Underhill concludes that behavior is the most important indicator of purchase intent. He has also shown that behavior can be influenced to motivate higher purchase intent.
Behavioral Metrics at Events
This powerful methodology can be leveraged at your event. With empirical data on attendee behavior - which sessions and booths were well attended, where attendees lingered longest, which groups of people they networked with most, which products retained their interest, where they encountered problems, traffic flow impediments and wait times - you could confidently redesign your event or booths to improve ROI.
Event professionals at Philips Healthcare, SAS, IBM and Computer Associates have taken advantage of behavioral metrics to eliminate aspects of their events that received lukewarm interest and to increase the presence of elements that led to higher levels of purchase intent.
Whether your event goals include shared learning, revenue generation, motivation or all of the above, behavioral metrics can play a key role in achieving success.
In my next post, I'll share details on implementation, reporting, analysis and types of recommendations made possible by attendee behavioral metrics.