Big Data and Analytics: Hype or Opportunity?

Stephanie Hedlund, Director, Customer Insights & Analytics
Diversified Communications

As Expo! Expo! 2014 fast approaches, I’ve been reflecting on my first visit to the event 7 years ago atThe Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Concurrent with Expo! Expo!, also at the Mandalay Bay, was the National Conference on Database Marketing. I attended both events and, being the numbers geek that I am, wondered if there was anyone else doing the same. What was the cross-over percentage? If I were marketing one of these events, how would I have identified potential targets for both? Would the conference organizers even want an attendee to go to both events? Then I found the Red Square Lounge’s vodka vault and haven’t mused much about that since.

But today, if a data or analytics conference was happening in downtown Los Angeles, I bet that cross-over percentage would be a lot higher. You can’t escape the conversation – big data, analytics, marketing automation, data-driven sales, the list goes on and on. For event producers, how can we leverage the data we have and turn it into actionable insights for marketing or sales or operations or even our customers? For the many companies selling their products into the event industry, how can we prove the ROI on our product, how can we make the data we collect easy to access and use? Data is at the root of many conversations of our day-to-day professional (and personal) lives.

Conference session spoiler alert! There’s a lot of opportunity with your data. Yes, the data you have right now. No, you don’t necessarily need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to take advantage of it. You do, however, need to think about the right strategic questions to ask of your data and the right-size approach for your company. More and more data is available and easier to access but so are tools to harness your data’s potential and those tools are getting more affordable and easier to implement.

Find out what other event producers are doing with their data and get some ideas from a few fantastic case studies. I hope you’ll join Jeff Stanley of Exhibit Surveys, Nancy Drapeau of CEIR and myself for Thursday’s session on Big Data and Analytics. Opportunity awaits. FMI go here.

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