GDPR has major implications for events, says Boyes Turner World

A White Paper released by Boyes Turner, GDPR: Getting ready for data’s new dawn, argues that the EU’s GDPR juggernaut could be as disruptive for the sector as the ‘TripAdvisor effect’ has been on travel.

The paper says that the risk is amplified as consumer groups and the ICO gear up to launch major awareness campaigns to inform consumers of their rights.

“The events and conference industry depends heavily on the manipulation and sharing of subscriber lists and delegate/visitor data, yet not every firm is considering the major implications that will arise around issues such as consent when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force next May,” their statement reads.

“The paper explores GDPR as a catalyst to transform relationships with data and the customers it relates to – delivering a competitive advantage – and contrasts this with those that are unprepared or just ‘ticking the boxes’.”

Key points in the report:

  • The effect of GDPR in shifting power from marketing departments to consumers could be greater than the similar ‘TripAdvisor effect’ in the leisure and hospitality sectors
  • Businesses that are already embracing the change to deliver healthier relationships with customers they hold data on will have a competitive advantage. Businesses that just tick the boxes, or worse still fail to prepare, risk huge fines and damaging disruption to their ability to keep doing business
  • Many larger businesses who use artificial intelligence to process data risk falling foul of the GDPR, with a lack of clear official guidance to date from the ICO on the implications for automated data handling exacerbating the problem

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World