Archive for April, 2010

Using RFID to Enhance Conference Success

You have a great product. Many people know about it and like it. You’re about to plan a user conference and you want to ensure attendees really understand the benefits of your offering. How do you find out what your attendees were most interested in and found most valuable?

One way to get it right is by creating the proper event atmosphere for your conference. Consistent messaging, an understanding of attendee interest and preference and real time views into session attendance all contribute to delivering the right experience and thereby, produce the highest rate of return on your meeting/conference investment.

Using a new tactic like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) session attendance tracking, is one way planners can understand attendee interests and behaviors so meetings are more meaningful to attendees and ultimately to the groups putting on the meetings. By tracking attendance and duration of an attendee’s participation in various sessions, organizers stay in step with attendees. Here’s an example of this approach in action. One meeting planner recently implemented radio-frequency identification technology at its conference to track attendees and their behavior at specific sessions, on the exhibit floor and at networking events. From the RFID data, conference organizers were able to see which sessions were most frequently attended, understand which products on the exhibit floor received the most exposure and were also able to evaluate the ways in which attendees consumed information.

The process was elegant, seamless and in synch with attendee interest and behavior. The planner then used that information to develop valuable content and involve specific exhibitors to build the right event experience for future user conferences. Having your hand on the pulse of your meeting by knowing as much as you can about your conference is the first step in comparing yourself to the industry. From there it’s easy to adapt your program accordingly and deliver on key metrics that will help guide your ongoing marketing efforts.

 For more information on intelligent attendance, visit


April 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

A Recent Harvard Business Review Survey Gives a Thumbs Up to Face-to-Face Communications

In a recent global survey of 2,300 Harvard Business Review subscribers entitled “Managing Across Distance in Today’s Economic Climate: The Value of Face-to-Face Communication,” 79% of executives said face-to-face is the most effective way to meet new clients to sell business. Furthermore, 89% said face- to-face is the best way to “seal the deal.”

Those of us in the events industry agree with this assessment because we know that any time you have a face-to-face meeting; you’re more likely to benefit over having a virtual meeting. The Harvard study really underlies the belief that the goal of any face-to-face communication is to ensure sales stays close to customers. So whether you’re selling a consumer product or a medical device, understanding and listening to key customers is obviously what is important to every sales effort. Keeping close to customers by showcasing the most appropriate products coupled with deploying technology that gives you the best information possible, enables you to make the most of your event investment.

While the downturn in the economy has forced all of us to tighten our belts, executives in the Harvard study looked at reducing travel expenses. Despite the fact that everyone uses teleconference, the Web and e-mail to stay in touch with customers, most executives surveyed believe that when push comes to shove and it’s important to “look into their eyes,” there isn’t any substitute for the confidence you can generate via face-to-face.

In the end there is one simple edict: “If you’re not with a customer, revenue suffers.”

We in the tradeshow and events industry couldn’t agree with Harvard more. While technology is on the rise and is valuable, the best use of technology in the tradeshow and event industry is to justify the value of the event by deploying the latest measurement tools. RFID can let you track attendance duration; it also gives you a better understanding of an attendee’s interests, behavior, booth traffic and duration by product area.

Virtually all executives Harvard surveyed – 95% – said that face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term relationships, reflecting what many executives call the high impact of in-person communication.

There’s certainly value in that measurement for us. We see real value in having people come to a show or event in order to reinforce customer relationships, gain accurate feedback and generally reinforce the relationship between customer and company. The study gives you a good sense of what’s important to today’s executives and we can certainly take advantage of what the survey says to improve our tradeshows and events. To read the entire report visit

April 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

About Roger

As a 15 year veteran event analyst, Roger Lewis is a leader and visionary in the area of event measurement. He is an expert on utilizing technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), to measure and understand marketing performance metrics. As executive vice president of Alliance Tech, Roger has been instrumental in positioning the organization as the number one provider of event business intelligence metrics for Fortune 500 companies. More about Roger

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