Luke Flett, head of global marketing at Spark Thinking and EVCOM member, talks finding the event algorithms

The world of business personalisation is based on incredibly sophisticated algorithms that can assess data sets and provide detailed profiling around a customer’s tastes and behaviour.

These algorithms look for patterns to make highly developed guesses about the kind of people we are, our tastes, lifestyle and possible aspirational purchases. These repeating patterns enable marketers to spot you as a potential customer and to tailor their messaging accordingly. 

The thing is, although we see ourselves as unique, the similarities between us are given priority over the differences. That is just a consequence of the way the technology works. But why is this?

Think back to your childhood and gazing intently at two pictures that were seemingly identical but you were told had eight differences to find. The first five were always pretty easy to spot but searching for the last three could make you go cross-eyed.

Looking for the differences was always something to get your teeth into. Would it have been as much fun if the exercise was to find the similarities? Surely the differences are more important, because by focusing on these you are more likely to find what really interests your customers and offer something that they will genuinely add value.

In live events, the main objective is usually to communicate a strategic message that will leave your audience inspired to go and do something differently. In looking at how we construct a session, it is the differences between delegates that should be the starting point in crafting the way messages are scripted and then brought to life. It’s not an easy process (but then neither was spotting those last three differences) but it does lead to more authentic and emotionally-moving sessions that will inspire action.

As an industry let’s try and move beyond the standard approach of personalisation strategies. Let’s try and find new ways to celebrate the differences between delegates. Let’s spot these personal nuances to drive creativity and fresh thinking around what we say, think and do at an event.