Virtual Events: Making Data-Driven Decisions a Reality


We know that the value of live, face-to-face engagement is widely known. But sometimes, circumstances like travel restrictions or budget constraints lead us to virtually delivering compelling content for our audiences. Digitally re-creating an event isn’t enough, though. Brands must look to virtual events as an opportunity to track useful analytics – data that, in turn, results in more impactful future events.

Virtual events generate a goldmine of data, and with everything online, usage data is easy to capture and curate through virtual event platforms. LEO’s digital team is effectively able to measure event performance with up-to-the-minute data on unique visitors, views, questions, downloads, posts, and shares. This gives us the ability to measure more, and better understand, attendee sentiment and behavior. Historically, planners have relied on feedback from tools like event surveys to track data, although the more appropriate term would be “attendee opinions.”

“The problem with this information is that it’s only based on human emotion,” says Justin Maddox, LEO’s Director of Digital Strategy. “Tracking analytics gives planners the chance to truly review what event components do work and don’t work, and what attendees find most engaging.”

Planners and brands must work together before the start of the event to first determine what analytics they want to track. Brands often want to monitor how many people watched and how long viewers tuned into sessions, but the analytic capability runs much deeper.

“Companies can now gauge analytics such as the exact moment when attendance dropped off during a presentation,” says Justin. “To take it a step further, LEO’s virtual platform can determine if attendees left during the awards presentation or during another event session. If so, it may be beneficial to move that portion of the event to last place on the agenda for the next event.”

And if your analytics aren’t quite what you expected, there are innovative ways to retain digital audiences. Consider adding a poll midway through a two-day experience to ensure that attendee expectations are being met. Provide incentives for joining certain sessions. LEO’s virtual production process is designed to maximize this opportunity – to create better events, driven by data.

Maddox says the post-event breakdown is a riveting process. “LEO’s digital team is able to provide detailed, accurate reporting to our clients.” These statistics are powerful and can showcase the value of events to executives. It’s time to institute your program’s findings and let the data indicate an event’s impact. We’re living in a digital age that provides rich analytics so that planners can grow virtual events beyond the limitation of a live environment.