A lot of the conversation about data tends to be on what data to collect and how to collect it. But the real questions need to be centered around what you plan to do with that data once you have it.

The right data, collected from an event program management software program, properly managed and analyzed can be the key to identifying new markets and profits. You can use best practices in experiential marketing measurement to tap into the minds of your audience for feedback on market research, new products and services, even get a gauge of your brand’s reputation and recognizability.

Here are just a few examples for you to consider when you’re creating your event marketing and data collection strategy.

#1 Increased Response to Offers

Whether you’re sampling or demoing a product, launching a service, or delivering content in a presentation, you’re asking people to buy something. It might be an energy drink, a software subscription, a consulting package, or a car, but using data you can learn what kind of packaging, presentation, discount, or benefits are most attractive to your ideal consumer.

Data gives you the power to listen to your consumer’s desires, concerns, and priorities so that you can hone your offer to match. Using feedback from live or virtual events can help you determine what offers and upsell opportunities are most likely to be successful with different demographics or in different market segments.

#2 Improved Customer Satisfaction

Think of data as a diagnostic tool to determine the core cause of low retention or adoption. Just as data allows you to adjust your offer to attract your target market, collecting feedback lets you listen to your existing customers as well. You can resolve product questions, improve your product offerings, and deliver higher quality experiences just from analyzing the data.

We all know it costs more to gain a new customer than it does to retain a loyal one. How much more will depend on your product or service, but attrition is always expensive. Using data to make sure your customers feel heard is a scalable and surefire way to drive loyalty and increase profits.

#3 Better Strategy for Budget Allocation

Naturally, you want to be sure you’re investing in the right events and the right activities at those events. You can use data to direct those business decisions, monitoring your return on investment (check out the article on “How to Use Actual Data to Compute Your ROI on Events” and follow this blueprint to compute the okapi ROI™ on all of your events) and refining your event programs to increase revenue based on the data trends collected at previous events.

Tracking trends to adjusting your offers and presentation then redirecting budget to the events that show the highest ROI avoids the stress of the “throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks” approach to marketing  and gives you a clear foundation for the difficult decisions you need to make.

#4 Higher Close Rates

If there is any data you’re probably already collecting at events it’s probably name and email. But what are you doing with the email addresses you collect? Are you designing follow-up campaigns that build on what you shared at the event? That’s a good start, but you can do so much more.

You can use data to follow up more quickly and to personalize your follow up or retarget leads for a future offer. If you’re a B2B company you should be able to easily add an email addresses to your CRM then follow that lead to an opportunity to a closed-won deal. At that point you’ll know the exact ROI of every event you attend. With okapi we can not only help you do this but also divide your events and activity by type and show you exactly where you should be shifting your marketing dollars.

#5 Proof of Impact for Funding Partners

Whether you are an agency looking to validate a client’s event budget or you’re in charge of an in-house marketing initiative and you’re requesting an increase in your event marketing budget allocation, having the projected ROI data to support the proposed budget makes it much more likely that your request will be granted.

And if you are a non-profit and have ever launched a fundraising campaign or applied for a grant you already know how much data is requested in order to substantiate how many people you can reach and how much good you can do with the funds. Measuring impact across multiple events, programs, regions or markets is challenging with traditional tools but an out-of-the-box feature with okapi.

#6 Better Planning for Future Events

Making your next event more successful goes beyond tweaking your offers and presentation. By monitoring data trends you might discover that some staffers are more successful than others, or that you get more engagement using guerilla tactics or working an invite-only private event for clients or high value prospects than you do at a large booth. You might learn that your product or service is more popular with a certain demographic or you have lower market penetration in a certain market or part of the country. Collecting data at every event you attend is fairly easy but when you can slide and dice that data in impactful ways the insights you will reveal will be priceless to the success or growth of your future events.

BONUS: Compile and Sell the Insights

Finally, you might consider how valuable your data is to your partners or value chain. If you’ve followed our best practices, collected the right data, and collated it into a meaningful analysis, you can pretty much bet it’s not only worth more to you than you imagined, but it’s worth something to other people as well.