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State of the Industry: The Rise of Big Data

Part 8 in our annual State of the Industry (SOI) report

The State of the Industry Report was originally published in the 2023 Winter Issue of Special Events Magazine.


Another theme of the year was data. Especially considering AI’s emergence, event pros are beginning to utilize data to create better engagement and ROI. 

“Like most industries, big data plays a role in event planning and management,” states an article from Superevent. “It opens new opportunities to learn about your guests so you can plan events that delight them.”

Using data collection to inform your business decisions can bring many benefits: targeted promotions, analytics for event planning, personalized experiences, and crowd flow control, for instance. 

The emergence of AI in the event industry is part of the reason data is having a moment: with AI, data can be more easily collected, processed, and applied to events. An article from MeetingHand put it this way: 

“AI-powered algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data collected from various sources, including registration forms, social media, past events, and attendee feedback. By processing this data, AI can identify patterns, preferences, and behaviors to gain valuable insights into attendee interests, demographics, and preferences. These insights enable event planners to create personalized experiences tailored to individual attendees or specific attendee segments.”

As consumers demand more innovation and personalization, data collection is the key to standing out and delivering engaging events. However, with the increase in data collection comes increased concerns for data privacy. In an article for Special Events, marketing expert Christie Osborne addressed the shift in attention to privacy regulations. 

“Many small businesses have grown accustomed to the ease of robust targeting, extensive tracking, and lenient rules surrounding data collection. After all, these features allowed for easy, low-cost marketing. However, a heightened awareness of privacy concerns has led to an overhaul in how we treat data as lawmakers set new online standards with measures like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).”

2024 will be a year of navigating data and all the positives and negatives that come with it.

This article is part of a series where we take an in-depth look at the state of the event industry. 
View Part 1
View Part 2

View Part 3
View Part 4
View Part 5
View Part 6
View Part 7

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