Understanding the visitor experience Expert Opinion

By Caroline McGuckian, COO at Meshh

When asked what is the single most effective B2B content marketing tactic, 81% of marketers ranked events as their first choice, ahead of case studies, webinars and blogging, to name just a few.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that recent years have seen the increasing adoption of event marketing.

Participatory events with bite-size content that is relevant, entertaining and engaging tend to lead to deeper audience engagement. So much so, almost 8 in 10 B2B marketers are harnessing the power of events to maximise brand engagement. Live events stir emotions, producing powerful human connections that transform an individual’s relationship with a brand.

Nowadays, events and exhibitions are no longer constrained by the barriers of time and space. With increased connectivity and the almost ubiquitous ownership of smart phone devices, brands are quickly realising that the activities before, during and after an event can be broadcast well beyond its wall. Moreover, putting products in people’s hands and creating experiences that are meaningful and inspiring engages audiences and helps them build an affinity with a brand.

Despite 21% of event planners having an increased event marketing budget for 2018, many businesses struggle to quantify success around these activities. Compared to online marketing, event marketing has never been effectively measurable, but the latest technology is changing the game.

Businesses no longer need to rely on inconsistent, outdated techniques and be at the mercy of human bias. New technology is enabling them to objectively measure visitors’ movement patterns, helping them to quantify real-world engagement in ways previously restricted to digital channels.

For instance, passive and anonymous audience measurement technology, such as Meshh’s Spatial Analytics solution, is helping brands better understand visitor behaviour, enabling them to refine and improve their physical marketing experiences, particularly for those that take place at exhibitions halls or industry events.

By measuring signal strength from mobile phones and then applying time and distance parameters, brands can build up a picture of footfall, dwell time, frequency of visits and conversion, which can be determined based upon distance from the sensor and time spent within the vicinity of the sensor.

Moreover, with multiple sensors, brands can measure flow around a venue or an entire event. Adding sensors to event signage and calls to action enables optimisation and ROI measurement of key messages, which can then be fed into way finding.

This helps organisations identify clear commercial opportunities and key areas to enhance the visitor experience. Where people are and how they move through the exhibition hall is at the core of any event success.

This not only creates an enjoyable experience for the visitors, but also ensures that exhibitors, organisers and brands make a good, well-informed financial investment. For instance, if a particular space or stand within a venue sees more visitor engagement than others, having access to this information can justify the additional spend on that space.

In the digital era, businesses and brands have to make the best use of data and insights. And a data-driven approach can give companies insight into visitor behaviour that hasn’t been possible before, all thanks to technology.

Stuart Wood