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Introducing Event Performance: How To Do Events Better

Successful businesses make good calls when faced with difficult decisions. Sometimes you just go with your gut, but whenever possible, you pay attention to all the data at your disposal and use it to ensure the best possible outcomes. Email marketers for example take advantage of an immense amount of data collected from their contacts to confidently determine the type, sequence and frequency of emails sent.

You would think that managing events would be no different, and yet, what happens at events goes largely unmeasured. Before mobile apps, this was understandable, with no real tools out there to capture what happened on the show floor. But now, as mobile apps are as commonplace at events as name tags and bad coffee, a wealth of user data is available, which changes the game completely.

When there is a wealth of data, as a business, you want to capture it, measure it, and use it to improve your bottom line. So we decided to build a tool to do exactly that, and today, we launched our analytics platform, “Event Performance”.

This is not to say that mobile event app analytics are a totally new thing. They aren’t. They’ve just been wholly unimpressive and of limited utility. Most mobile event app analytics are extremely basic and speak very little to the interests and goals of an event organizer.


Building Graphs With Meaning

Early in 2014 DoubleDutch set out to solve that problem. We began to completely rethink our own analytics dashboard with an aim to change how organizers run events. We focused not on just counting actions and showing attractive graphs, but on providing immediately accessible answers to the kinds of questions that have a material effect on the success of an event.

To do this, we made the conscious decision to tackle the hard things. It’s easy to show a graph that counts user actions, but that’s meaningless without context. So we built continuously updating engagement benchmarks allowing event organizers (for the first time ever) to compare their attendee engagement to that of hundreds of similar events.

Know if Your Attendees Are Happy

Attendee satisfaction is another difficult challenge we took on. Other than anecdotes from the showfloor, event organizers have no way of knowing  how the attendee community feels throughout the event. To solve this problem we built the “Attendee Satisfaction” metric which utilizes Sentiment Analysis technology to programmatically assess the positivity or negativity of all the attendee-generated language within the app. Along with other more overt signals from the app, we can now provide the event organizer with minute-to-minute updates about the happiness of their attendees.

Along with their happiness, we know it’s also important for event organizers to deeply understand their attendees. By understanding them, you are able to produce more enthralling events. With Event Performance by DoubleDutch, we surface your events’ most popular content including sessions, speakers and exhibitors/sponsors both within a selected timeframe as well as in all-time. Coming soon, event organizers will have the ability to easily see the top search terms within the app, trending hashtags, and even the most commonly discussed topics using natural language topic extraction technology.

Getting Attendees Engaged

This of course is all predicated on getting users into the event app and engaged. We’ve built Event Performance to help event organizers there as well. Our user adoption funnel tracks every stage of user adoption from invitation email, opens, clicks through, app logins, and first action in the app. With this tool, event organizers can see the exact point in the funnel where they need to focus their marketing efforts, saving them time and maximizing results.

To help understand and optimize user engagement, we built the Event Timeline. At first glance it looks like a normal line graph of engagement metrics: Likes, Comments, Status Updates, App Visits, etc. But we’ve also plotted important “Moments” along the histogram including Push Messages, Promoted Messages, Poll start/end times and more. This puts into context the engagement metrics’ peaks and valleys, grounding them to their relationship with important moments from the event. Doing this offers the event organizer immediate insight into the effectiveness of their efforts to engage with their audience, which can then inform future efforts. Without this feedback, event organizers are left to simply guess and hope.

And, We're Only Getting Started

What we have today is definitional and better than anything else out there. And, we’ve only just begun. With the wealth of data every event app produces, we’re able to uncover fascinating data points that will change how the industry thinks about events. They’re no longer a blackhole of information, but the source of unparalleled insight. And by putting this all at the fingertips of event organizers, we plan on nothing less than revolutionizing how events are produced forever.

By DoubleDutch Insider | February 17, 2015

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