Jack Hayes, director of Champions, talks big data trends in the events industry

In such an uncertain world – unprecedented value has been placed on authority. Knowing rather than hoping – is fashionable. But how does this new-found obsession with big data affect the event entertainment industry?

Smarter data-driven decisions are redesigning consumer experience and have become commonplace in event entertainment. Rather than relying on mere guesswork, companies are able to utilise structured information to better engage with audiences.

Data allows us to understand how revellers wish to experience engagements, giving us the tools to prioritise features pre and post-event, as well as in real-time. This can help us to understand what influences decisions, both in terms of interaction and purchase.

Oreo recently embarked on a 21st-century solution to trade show marketing, allowing visitors in Austin, Texas the chance to print their own Oreos. Relying on customer trends, Oreo created a statement piece for a memorable event, as well as a campaign that was instantly shareable, and able to light up social channels long after the event itself.

Not only are we now able to target a demographic, but also a specific person. By collecting data on individuals, organisers are able to create events, items and entertainment that appeal more to them. With users surrounded by personalised algorithms every day, showing what they should watch or buy, event organisers are taking advantage of this too.

Automation is perhaps the most striking yet simple advancement in this area and can allow for authentic and personal access to an event for attendees. While a personal passcode with a welcome message is a fine feature, eye recognition might be considered a touch intrusive – so know when to stop.

In addition to providing useful functionality, event organisers can put in place personal experiences for a user using artificial intelligence and augmented reality. It is possible to design a personal journey around an event using gamification, meaning you can set puzzles or engage individuals with must-visit locations on-site at events.

Big data can influence all facets of the event planning process, from the best time and date to hold an event, to the features designed to engage. Now with data being drawn out to a greater extent, we are able to compare how people react to different experiences, ensuring that future events become even more focused on their personal needs.

In a world where private and corporate entertainment is required to “wow” every time, both before, during and in the aftermath of an event, event planners can’t afford to not allow big data to lend a helping hand.