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Your Data Trumps Your Meeting: The Importance of Harnessing Meeting Analytics

Marc Crawford
Posted by Marc Crawford
on 03/9/17 03:00 PM

Marc Crawford is the CEO and Co-Founder of Educational Measures and sets the strategic direction for the company. Prior to working at Educational Measures, Marc was a management consultant at Keane Consulting Group. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Loyola University in Maryland and his Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado. Marc was recognized in 2012 as a Top 5 Most Influential Young Professional by ColoradoBiz magazine and is Six Sigma certified. Marc is an avid runner and he also enjoys designing and making his kids' halloween costumes every year.

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I want to present a revolutionary idea: your data is more valuable than your meetings.

I know, this sounds heretical, or illogical, or at least counterintuitive to the way companies have always approached conferences—but it’s true. 

Even the best and fanciest meetings are isolated events. They happen at a moment in time and then, they are over. We can optimize and streamline them, but if their value cannot transcend the duration of a few days, what’s the point?

Live meeting data is more important than the event

When we reframe meetings as one means to a profitable end, they start to gain value. Live meetings are necessary because of what they can produce, not what they are. Like a Petri dish serving as the basis for an experiment, live meetings are the substrate for information gathering; they must exist, but their existence is not the valuable part.

Meetings can and must be mutually beneficial experiences for participants as well as end users of the data. With engagement technology and advanced meeting analytics, we can accomplish this purpose and transform these formerly static events into dynamic conduits of enhanced value.

 

Your Data Defines Your Meeting

Meetings of the past were grand experiments in wishful thinking and foggy prediction. Innovation for future events followed the uninformed traditions of trial and error and was anything but intuitive.

Today, everything is data-driven. Big (expensive!) decisions should be supported by numbers and hard facts. Large corporations spend millions of dollars to capture and measure analytics, and that investment pays off through strategic marketing and targeted campaigns to meet the specific needs of clients.

This is especially true at live meetings. Through polling, surveys, IoT, and the collection of predetermined data points, we can capture measureable reaction to various meeting elements. From speakers and topics, to venues and food choices, everything can be evaluated. Future decisions can then be made wisely, and waste can be eliminated. The evaluation of these data points helps to personalize events to the needs of clients and can be refined year after year to produce better events. While this can often seem like a difficult challenge to navigate, we’ve identified six essential components, from reliability to interactivity, that optimize data collection at live meetings.

 

Your Data Gives Meaning to Your Meeting

Without data, meetings have no meaning. Business consultant Peter Drucker wisely said, “What gets measured gets managed.” By identifying goals, event planners and corporate organizers can pinpoint areas for insight, improvement, and meeting data capture. They can intuitively align their actions with their goals. 

Because interactive meeting technology exists, it must be used. Ignorance is no longer an excuse for bad decisions and unsuccessful events. With tools like EM Array™, we can appeal to different learning styles and even personality types. We can arrive at a point where not only planners and corporate hosts are inspired, but event attendees can get excited by the access to insights and directed content that pertains specifically to them.

Data also drives connections, between attendees, organizers, and to the event itself. From pre-registration surveys to post-event follow-up, engagement technology offers new avenues for increased benefit and buy-in.

 

Your Data Outlasts Your Meeting

While events are exciting, the real magic happens in the weeks, months, and years that follow them. By capturing data and defining it with advanced analytics, organizers and attendees alike have access to a lasting resource. An event is a frenetic flurry of interaction; it is impossible to see and understand what is happening in real time.

The digital record of captured data ensures that you can slowly and repeatedly revisit aspects of the meeting to understand attendee response in a way that makes it digestible and useful. This compounded data also brings increased value over the years with the ability to identify trends and evolving response. 

By engaging people together in the single space of a live meeting, we can understand their individual and collective needs. We can pinpoint knowledge deficiencies and thoughts on certain topics. The combination and comparison of these various data points also helps us predict behavior, whether in a buying capacity or the potential success of a certain investigator site for a pharmaceutical trial.

 

As the importance of data is increasingly recognized, it transcends the limited duration of the meeting itself. It eclipses the event to deliver valuable insight that drives big decisions and the ability to define and refine future events.

Is your data more valuable than your meeting? We’d love to help you harness the power of engagement technology and make that ideal a reality.

 

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