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Powering events with personalisation

17 Oct 2017 Events

How can you power your events with personalisation?

Personalisation is back in vogue, as businesses everywhere try to reconnect with customers on a one-to-one level. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love walking into a shop or restaurant and being greeted by someone who knows their name, likes and dislikes?

Don’t we all want to go where everybody knows our name?

Even big brands like Starbucks and Coke are trying to get in on the personalisation game by adding their customers’ names to cups and bottles.

There’s a bloke drinks down at Starbucks swears he’s Elvis

Of course, in the world of events, personalisation remains as relevant as ever; and it’s unlikely that you’ll find any event management company worth its salt that doesn’t strive to create events that appeal directly to individuals. But the way to do that is constantly evolving. So what does this mean for marketing and event teams?

This time it’s personal

The renaissance in personalisation has come about because of two main factors:

1. The evolution of technology

Technology has evolved to the point that it can accurately predict the ideal experience for an individual, based on what is known about them. And, by 2020, experts predict that ‘personalisation engines’ will empower businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.[1]

For events, this could mean using different registration paths for different users, creating assorted event content, and running a variety of bespoke sessions that meet the needs of different audiences.

But, when it comes to powering the personalisation engine, the devil is in the data, and next year, new legislation will significantly modify the way we can collect, store and use personal information. So, ensuring compliance of event registration systems, online surveys and event apps could prove to be a minefield for even the most seasoned of event professionals.

Find out what event professionals must do now to prepare for the GDPR.

2. Demand from customers to be put at the heart of events

In our ‘experience economy’, event aficionados are creating experiences that appeal to their customers – both on and offline. This includes creating shareable, immersive and disruptive experiences that put the individual at the heart of everything they do.

Find out more about creating stand-out events in the experience economy.

Worryingly, while personalisation is a priority for 82% of event planners – and 97% believe it has the power to change a delegate’s perception of an event - only 27% are regularly using it to promote and manage their events.[2]

And, rather than concerns about data privacy, the biggest barriers to personalisation are a lack of time, resources and costs.

But you don’t need a big budget to add those all-important special touches. And if a lack of time is your biggest problem, a specialist event partner can remove the burden. At Apex, we’ve been helping our clients to power their events with personalisation for over three decades. Here are some quick wins to help create delegate focused events.

Ask questions

Before your event, find out more about your delegates by asking a few choice questions. This could be as simple as extracting what their favourite colour is and creating a name badge to match. You can do this with a short survey as part of the event registration process, or go old school by picking up the phone with a quick welcome call after registration.

Help attendees meet their objectives

Technology such as gamification is increasingly used to help event organisers and attendees meet their objectives. Through interactive devices, participants are encouraged to achieve event related goals; be that networking with particular people, checking into a certain number of sessions, or engaging with exhibitors. With the latest technology also offering a competitive edge - with leader boards and incentives - gamification is taking the personalised event experience to a whole new level.

Provide added value

Yes, your event is important, but think about where else you can add value. For example, if attendees have to travel, can you offer discounts at local hotels and restaurants, and could you provide an information pack with nice things to do in the local area? You could even tailor this to what you already know about them.

Get attendees involved

Technology makes it easier than ever to live-share content with audience members, deploy moderated Q&A sessions, and crowd-sourced content via interactive tools such as social media and apps. And, engagement tools can also be used to provide valuable insight on the success of your events. For example, which sessions were the best attended, and which received the most positive feedback?

But even without the tech, the unique perspectives that different attendees bring to events can lead to more creative brainstorming sessions and outcomes, and shed new light on old problems.

Team Building Activities

Hack days use team building activities to help achieve business objectives .


At Apex, we understand the immense effort that goes into preparing for events, and we work with you to help reach your goals and achieve a truly positive and personalised event experience. If you’d like to find out more about how we can make your events a success contact us today to find out more, or give us a call today on + 44 (0)1625 429370 to discuss your requirements in more depth.

[1] Gartner Inc.: Technology Research

[2] Eventsforce

Paul Ashford

Paul Ashford is a founding director of and has over 25 years’ experience in live events and conferencing. He has a particular interest in creative communication and team dynamics and advises Apex’ clients on how to build teams and convey their key messages in visually stimulating and effective formats.

Apex Event Management and Exhibition Stands

Apex Event Management and Exhibition Stands