Event CRM

The Basics of Event CRM: All You Need to Know

Himani Sheth
September 21, 2017
“Customer is king.”

I’m pretty sure that most of you are very much familiar with this statement and agree to it on some level. Every commercial activity has at least two parties involved i.e. the vendor and the customer/client.

Customers are the key to revenue. So, it is extremely essential to establish a strong foothold among your customers, existing and new.

For any business to sustain, it is essential to target and acquire good potential customers, nurture them all and turn them into loyal customers. These loyal customers are your promoters, your true growth agents.

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When it comes to events, it’s customer= attendees. Attendees, investors, sponsors, etc. are an event organizer’s leads. Hence, lead generation and attendee management are essential for events industry just as it is for any other commercial entity.

Now that we have established why it is essential to manage your customers, let’s talk about how.

Talking about customer management in general, businesses can target new customers and manage their existing as well as their potential customers through a concept termed as ‘Customer Relationship Management.’

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.”

Evolution of CRM:

Event CRM Evolution

Customer relationship management began somewhere around the 1970s when customer data was collected through annual surveys or by front-line asking. Through time, various ways of the concept of data collection have evolved through technologies.

CRM slowly evolved beyond simple contact management. However, one of the best developments made in the field of CRM is the shift to cloud-based platforms. This made database management much simpler as the cloud-based platform made it possible for people to access their data anywhere at any time.

In case of the events industry, multiple ways have emerged to capture accurate and efficient attendee data for events. Along with tools to capture event data, multiple SaaS products have emerged to manage this data in terms of CRM.

What does it do?

CRM software basically utilizes data to manage the customer relationship. So, in case of an event, it would analyze the event data to help the organizers in creating a campaign that would help them in lead generation i.e. gaining more attendees and generating more business through their events.

#1 Automates marketing:

This is perhaps one of the most convenient features of the CRM software that saves up a lot of time and money. You can create a database of your leads. As soon as an attendee registers for an event, his/her data is added to the database.

You can send out targeted e-mails and set up social media campaigns and event download a CSV file of this updated database. You can segregate them as per you want and schedule your promotional activities accordingly.

The segregation can be based on multiple factors. For e.g. you can classify your attendees based on attendees who have registered and attendees who have purchased a ticket.

This will help you create separate marketing campaigns. You can send out promotional messages notification, e-mails, etc. to attendees who have purchased a ticket. On the other hand, for attendees who have simply registered without a ticket, you can try and pursue them to do so in order to maximize your ticket revenue.

You can also track every digital activity pertaining to your event with the help of Event Analytics, ranging from registration to website clicks to the entire ticket drop-off process. The best part is that this database is easily accessible. Hence, with CRM, your entire marketing campaign can be easily automated.

#2 Salesforce management:

It is always a difficult task to maintain and track the activities of your entire sales team. At times, it can be tedious and confusing. With a CRM, you can enlist your entire team on one platform.

Salesforce Management

All your sales force members can then keep a record of their activities on the CRM platform. It is a great way to bring together all the members of your team and track their progress. It also helps in preventing duplication of any data.

Event organizers can track and manage inventory, event sales, customer interactions etc. with the sales force management and sales force automation feature.

Your entire event management team is in one place with CRM.

#3 Contact management:

One of the oldest and most basic features of CRM software is its potential to create and manage your contacts. Contacts in the older times might just have included a list of office telephone numbers.

But we are in a time when communication has been channelized to multiple sources and all these contact points have to be documented and managed. You can maintain a database of all your contacts, their e-mail ids, contact numbers and other contact information with the help of CRM.

Planners can include this contact information on their registration forms which will then be directly recorded and included in the CRM database if it is integrated accordingly. You can then manage your leads’ contacts and sync it with your marketing campaigns as well.

#4 Membership Management:

An event is not a one-time transaction. Right from the inception, it is a continuous process of planning and management. Every event is a process with a separate objective.

One of these objectives is acting as a gateway for the attendees to actually transform into customers. This is specifically for events organized with the purpose of optimizing a business.

Organizers can track attendee activity and get to know about attendees who have been loyal to the event and have shown maximum engagement. They can also get to know about the attendees who have actually been converted to customers.

This can be done through the CRM software. Organizers can check attendee activity and track members. They can reward loyal members or provide incentives to such customers in order to build brand loyalty.

#5 Additional- Location based targeted marketing:

This feature is fairly recent. Apart from automating your promotional and other marketing activities, you can also divide your campaigns as per customer demographics using geolocation features.

For e.g., you can create campaigns for a particular city, say London and carry out your campaign solely for customers based in London.

These CRM tools can be used for the purpose of networking in particular regions or finding prospective clients in order to establish a business in a particular market, especially in territories that are pretty new for the planners.

Apart from this, it is also possible to directly connect your CRM with support. This is a feasible option for sorting out certain FAQs. You can pre-record the instructions for certain queries that you face quite frequently and link it with your CRM software and automate the whole process of contact center management.

Say, your attendees might have trouble navigating your event networking platform. You can create a recording with instructions on how to set up a profile and utilize the networking platform step by step and sync it with your CRM.

But, be sure to keep room for the customer to contact your personnel for help in case they’re unable to sort out their issues through the recording.

Based on these tasks that CRM software performs, it can be categorized into 4 types:

- Strategic:

- Operational:

- Analytic :

- Collaborative

So, how does Event CRM function?

The main purpose of event CRM is to maximize event sales by keeping a constant track of your attendees.

CRM Attendees

So how do you integrate CRM with your event and utilize it for managing your leads to maximize event sales?

In order to maximize event sales, it is essential for organizers to understand the concept of CRM in events. It is essential to know how event CRM functions.

1. Capture event data:

Data is at the core of the whole concept of CRM. It is a platform to manage your event data and use that data in maximizing sales. One of the best ways to capture accurate event data is through accurate Event analytics.

There are a lot of event analytics platforms out there to help you capture detailed attendee data in terms of registrations, engagement and promotions.

2. CRM integration:

You’ve collected detailed event data using various channels. What now? Spreadsheets full of data are of no use unless you utilize it. Here is where CRM comes into play. There are various ways in which you can integrate your data with CRM.

You can opt for Event management software that provides basic CRM integration. If you wish to avail more advanced functions you can also go for standalone CRM software such as SalesForce or Microsoft Dynamics.

3. Generate and manage leads:

With your event data and your CRM software in place, you’re all set to go. You can create multiple event marketing campaigns in the form of e-mail promotions, social media marketing campaigns, etc.

You can track your activities and the progress of your event team as well.

Wish to know how Hubilo can help you make the most of all your CRM features to boost your event sales?

Know more about it here.

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Himani Sheth

Hemani Sheth is a Mass Communication major and an event enthusiast. She is currently associated with Hubilo, a cloud based event management platform that aims to help event professionals create exceptional events. Hemani strives to create resourceful guides that pave way for insightful discussion built around various facets of the event industry. She has a keen interest in event technology and how multiple innovations in the field can help transform the way events are created, marketed and executed. Hemani is also a content marketer and a key contributor to Hubilo Blog. An avid reader, traveler and a movie buff, she is open to conversations on any topic under the sun! Go ahead, say hello to her on twitter @HimaniSheth

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