Why Marketing Conferences and Trade Shows Fail: Lessons from an Event Expert

We’re already using mobile apps and platforms to make our lives easier. It’s time we do the same for conferences and events to make businesses and marketing departments run more effectively.

Like most business and marketing professionals, I attend a ton of events and trade shows in pursuit of networking opportunities that will lead to tangible results.

Every year, teams from Fortune 500 companies launch elaborate strategies in order to capture prospect data at events and today, the world of trade shows and events is moving toward mobile platforms.

While the adoption of cutting edge technologies at events allows for better prospect data collection to serve marketing purposes, overall, the industry hasn’t been able to effectively analyze that data and provide intelligence within a unified platform.

With anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of an annual marketing budget dedicated to conferences and events, event intelligence is paramount. From a user and account perspective, the ability to measure efficiency across events and track interactions over time not only provides better context and allows for more personalized follow up,  but it also brings a level of clear transparency when determining ROI.

Last year, I attended Dreamforce, one of the largest B2B events, and was amazed by the number of companies that were offering free lunch to attendees that dropped their business card into a bowl. To think that companies were investing in collecting a hodgepodge of information without any context, really took me by surprise. How would they know who was valuable and who just wanted a quick free bite?

Simply put, companies need to smarten up and focus on adopting an efficient, context-aware event intelligence solution to capture prospect and attendee interactions.

The use of intuitive and intelligent event management mobile apps will allow marketers and sales professionals to contextualize interactions in order to provide insight and personalized follow-up after the event is over. This will better address post-event interactions and allow organizers to prepare and attend future events with detailed information on prospects and account level insight.

Today, there are a handful of solutions in the event intelligence space that have invested in this technology, but with a growing need for smarter data, this is a trend that we can expect to see grow even further.

Solutions that can help customers generate qualified leads, measure prospects’ event activity, and analyze interactions within a smartphone or tablet will prove to be true differentiators. For sales and marketing teams, smart mobile apps and platforms can also monitor trending topics and follow-up actions, measure event staff effectiveness and ROI for their events.

We’re already using mobile apps and platforms for the majority of our daily activities to make our lives easier. It’s time we do the same for conferences and events to make businesses and marketing departments run more effectively.

Uzair Dada is the founder and CEO of atEvent, a leading event technology platform.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.