Fitting the bill

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Your visitor pool has many qualities you can measure. Man or woman? Age? Do they own cars? Homes? Have kids? Earnings? The list goes on. EN wanted to find out how an organiser can use this information to optimise visitor – and hopefully exhibitor – experience on the show floor. A powerful example of the benefits of visitor profiling comes from the London International Boat Show (LIBS), which this year launched a new format and co-located with two other events in response to visitor feedback. “They wanted us to speak in much more of a boating language, they wanted to learn something, they wanted the technical low-down and they wanted to see used boats instead of just large super-yachts,” LIBS marketing manager for organiser National Boat Shows Mike Enser said. “We changed our show to offer the boaters that exact show instead of concentrating on the glitz and glamour of large boats.” LIBS was also co-located with VOS Media’s Outdoor Show and the London Bike Show and saw an impressive turnaround in visitor numbers. “By profiling audiences we can gain better insight into their needs, wants and likes and then shape the show accordingly. It means we can deliver both more highly-targeted communication and show content to ensure attendance and enjoyment,” continued Enser. “Profiling can also help organisers to identify potential partnerships. For example, joining forces with the Outdoors Show was beneficial because their audience was similar to ours.” But according to head of Upper Street Events’ The Gadget Show Live, Matt Hodgins, it is equally important not to be led astray or be solely dependent on visitor information. “This is a tool to be used in conjunction with other forms of research and should not take precedence over surveys, one-to-one consultation, analysis of feedback through social media or importantly, the first-hand experience of the oraganising team,” he said. “It is critical all additions to the event remain consistent with the central subject matter. Although profiling may indicate visitors to Gadget Show Live also like overseas travel, it would be incongruous to create a travel event within our halls. However, it might suggest travel-related gadgets would be a logical expansion opportunity.” Devil’s in the detail Before taking the leap of faith and changing show content based on the results of visitor profiling research, make sure you understand exactly what the data is telling you. “Visitor profiling should influence the content of the show but not in isolation,” said Adi Clark, data analyst and head of insight for The NEC Group. “It isn’t strong enough to say ‘we have got more women than last year so we will change the content’. It doesn’t tell you why there are more women, so you would need to do some research to find out how to change the show, if at all.” According to Clark, anyone analysing such numbers needs to be aware of several things. The first is averages: If you determine the average visitor was a 44-year old man, that doesn’t mean you should fill the floor with what appeals to 44-year old men. And when it comes to consumer shows, the ticket buyer might not be the one who attends. A show popular with 14-year olds might reveal most tickets being purchased by their parents. Finally, don’t try to find answer questions that aren’t revelant. Given a clear understanding of what the numbers reveal and more importantly what they don’t, visitor profiling can improve your event. Just beware of hidden meanings.   Any comments? Email sarah@mashmedia.net
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Elsewhere on EN

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

CONFEX LIVE

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.
2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

2 Minutes with Sarah Mayo

Sarah Mayo, marketing director EMEA, Freeman and FreemanXP talks about her new role, playing golf with Westlife and the skills needed in our industry.

Latest News

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Revenue rise for Ascential since IPO

Events and publishing group Ascential plc has had a ’a good year with strong organic growth’, driven by the launch of new products.
Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Record breaking 2016 for Event Marketing Solutions

Global roadshow specialist Event Marketing Solutions (EMS) has announced a record-breaking financial year, with profits reaching £1.04m for the year ending December 2016.
VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain launches new Business Events @ExploreGB event

VisitBritain has announced the launch of a one-day event, to promote Britain as a business events destination to international buyers.

Latest Galleries

100% Optical 2017

100% Optical 2017

More than 8,000 visitors arrived at ExCeL London on 4-6 February for the fourth edition of 100% Optical. The show featured more than 175,000 frames, catwalk performances and a comprehensive education programme.
Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

Cumbria Flood Expo 2017

The inaugural Cumbria Flood Expo, organised by flood emergency response charity CERT UK, took place on 2-3 February at Carlisle Racecourse.
Mexia Communications at 10

Mexia Communications at 10

PR and content marketing agency Mexia Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Mexican Fiesta at the Royal College of Physicians on 26 January.

Latest Opinions

Good practice with data

Good practice with data

Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer at RefTech, on being open, transparent, and accurate about what you are doing with the data you handle.
Beware of the punter

Beware of the punter

Trevor Punt, managing director of TBG Group, on the rise of the stereotypical punter and the need for nerves of steel.
Peer to peer

Peer to peer

Will Broadfoot, director of Footfall Events & Marketing on unlocking exhibitor potential and improving participation.