How Event Attendance Tracking Can Benefit You

As an event manager, are you keeping up with your attendees? For example, are you tracking their attendance to your events? You may think it is unnecessary or intrusive on their privacy, but it’s not. In a lot of ways, it actually benefits your attendees.

Attendance tracking can help by providing useful data and analytics that can help you plan even better future events. By finding out what interests your attendees the most, you are in a better position to provide the type of information and activities that are most suitable to them. 

What Does Attendance Tracking Provide?

Registration alone does not determine how many people actually followed through and attended your events. There are many people who register for meetings, classes, and other events, but for whatever reason, either are not able to attend because something came up or they simply just decided not to attend. A lot of times, they just forget about it. That is why it is so important to send out reminders because life gets too busy.

Not only do you need this information for your business analytics that help run your business, but there may be other reasons why you need to know. If they attended for purposes such as for continuing education credits, then you need to be able to provide that proof for them.

By tracking attendance, you will not only know they attended, but you can also find out other valuable information. You can determine how engaged they were at your events. This data can provide answers to questions like:

  • How many sessions or activities of the event did they attend? This will help in determining which sessions or activities they were most interested in.
  • How long did they stay at each session or activity? If they checked into a session, but did not stay long, then chances are they either got bored or it was just not what they expected.
  • What type of sessions or activities interested them the most? The sessions where they attended, and spent the most time, lets you know which sessions that you chose to include in the event, were a hit with your attendees.
  • Which of your speakers or entertainers were they most attracted to? You will know which of your speakers are the most popular by the number of guests who attended and stayed to hear them speak. The same is true for your entertainment or other types of activities.

The answers to these questions will help you understand what your attendees expect and are anticipating.

How Can Attendance Be Tracked?

There are several ways and methods of tracking attendance of your guests. It doesn’t have to be a complicated task to track attendance. If you choose the right technology, it can be quite simple. There is always the old school method of paper and pencil to track attendance, especially if you are on a shoestring budget, but that won’t give you the detailed information that modern methods can give you. Automated digital methods are going to be more accurate and have more options that can be much more beneficial.

  • Mobile apps, using QR codes that can be scanned, are popular methods. These codes can be scanned by staff members as the attendees check into an event or session.
  • Online on laptop or computer: you can see how many of your registered attendees have checked in by logging into the app or platform you have chosen to use for your event.
  • Paper or digital tickets can also have QR codes on them that can be scanned upon entrance.
  • Customizable digital attendance tracking systems: these systems can provide you with real-time attendance, along with other information, that you choose to include.
  • Badges for attendees: they simply tap them at the gate or entrance as they enter an event.
  • Passive RFID where you can track an attendee’s “journey.” These provide much more information.
  • Access Control can be used to determine how many of a certain type of attendees are entering the event.

What About Virtual Events and Meetings?

It is also possible to track attendance for virtual events. Webinars, meetings, and even online classes can be done through platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Webex. Attendance of these virtual meetings can be tracked in similar methods as in-person events. There are apps that can be downloaded to a mobile device, with QR coding capability, that can be used for check-ins. Another option is having your attendees do self check-ins on their laptop using QR codes. You can also have them check out (using QR coding as well) when the event is over, so that you know they did not leave the event early. This gives you a clearer picture of how many attended your virtual events, which is just as important as your in-person events. Even though more time and money is usually spent on in-person events, it does not diminish the importance of your virtual events. Analyzing data from both types of events is crucial, as it helps you and your team members decide what methods and systems work best for you and your attendees.

Before, During, and After the Event

Basically, any type of event can be tracked. The most common types of events that use tracking systems are: classes, conferences, meetings, seminars, fundraising events, festivals, and church activities.

The data you receive, from the attendance tracking system of your choice, can provide you information before, during, and even after the event is over. This information can bring profitable results to your business or organization. In addition, it can also be an effective way of helping you achieve the goals your company has established.

Some information can be obtained with instant feedback, which can make it possible for you to make necessary changes right away to improve the outcome.

Vital information can include: the number of ticket sales you sold; feedback from your guests; success of event performances and/or speakers; most popular attractions; and more. By analyzing the data you receive, you will know what areas you need to improve upon. It will help you determine if you need a better marketing strategy or communication method. Maybe you need to send out timely reminders so attendees don’t just register and then forget to attend.

You will be better equipped to plan your budget; provide or set up better communication, if necessary; improve marketing efforts; know which speakers to invite; type of entertainment or attractions to provide that will be the most popular; the right venue to choose; and other useful data, even down to the most popular food booths to set up.

By collecting and analyzing this kind of information and feedback, you and your team will be able to plan more successful future events.

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