Podcast
Episode
9

Taggbox's Neeraj & Zuddl's Bharath share insights on tracking user engagement in hybrid events

What’s the best way to gauge the success of your hybrid event? How do you know if your attendees were engaged across sessions? The answer lies in the data. Find out what you need to analyze in order to measure engagement in your upcoming virtual and hybrid event.

Episode Highlights

User engagement in hybrid events
Tools to analyze event data points
Actionable insights post analysis

Kishore 

Welcome to Backstage with Zuddl. I'm your host Kishore from the very own marketing team and this is a podcast where we share eventful stories from thought leaders across industries to give you epic insights into the world of events and beyond. Welcome back, good people. Have you ever wondered how even planners gauge the success or failure of an event? Well, as with other things, numbers reveal the truth. Now, data can be used to really kind of analyse how attendees, sessions and every other element of an event from every stage of the life cycle performed. And this is why this episode is very special, because we have a conversation that our CEO and co-founder but it had with needed single the co-founder and CEO of tag box. So without further ado, let's go to the conversation right away. Enjoy. 

Neeraj We are talking about user engagement, a hybrid event. I must say it is the backbone, I think of the hybrid event. So first, we understand how the hybrid came in the future. So during the pandemic we realised that, you know, so there was an invention of virtual events, but using it for two years there was a great for human connexion. And then fortunately that situation, situation got ended and then physical event started happening. But then again, virtual event opened a door to connect to both online and offline. This is where this dark cloud hybrid event came in the picture. Now, when I talk about the hybrid event, I think engagement is the key way because it's very you know, it's very easy when you are sitting on a screen and you just one look because, you know, mobile can distract you. So it's against the distraction. So a very great example, not just for the events of Netflix, how Netflix has come up with an interactive series wherein they're asking people to interact with the remote they choose activities between and me with this. They keep them engaged. They keep them, you know, attached to the screen. This is very important. They also understood that while watching watching a series or TV, just one phone call or just one notification can distract. So then again, it's in the context of hybrid event. It's very important that you keep users engaged. But but keeping them engaged, I divided into two but one that your content should be very much relevant and should be very, you know, very, very connected with the game of what what can be. The simplest example of a hybrid event is Apple event. So how Apple does that, they don't they don't lose any activity of using any any platform or something. But still, the content is very much relevant. They they they reach out to the relevant audience and we find this engaging and the content is a king. Now, once the content and content is in place, the second thing which comes is the engagement tools and activities. So, for example, the world can be the Q and this can be there also can be that these these activities keep the end user engaged. They will continue to to, you know, to to the session or to the event. So I, I must say, I mean, if you if you want to have a hybrid event, content should be in place. And then you make sure that you are using proper activities, proper tools to a to make sure engagement is happening. 

Bharath: Yeah. Yeah. I think there's a couple of great points in there for sure. Right. And yeah. And I personally believe that hybrid even sees the future events. You just cannot ignore the you just can't ignore that. Like people inherently really enjoy meeting people great. Like meeting people in person. And like you said that people crave for that personal connexion, which is very, very important. But I guess at the same time, like you just cannot ignore the reach that like the virtual world gives you it. Like you don't want to kind of restrict yourself and just reach to like 100 people or 200 people of people based on the size of the venue and based on your budget trade. So obviously, yeah, like it just like a lot of benefit of having a hybrid event is you can still make those in-person connexions possible and at the same time you can have the reach. It just makes it amazing. It's very, very important for organisers to be clear. What do they expect from the hybrid event? So I think one what as and in my mind there are two outcomes like that people made one trade, one outcome is they can just think of it as two completely different, even straight leg. I like in-person being a separate event and the virtual component for often being a separate, even separate experience altogether wherein you're only leveraging the content from the event to reach to more people. You're not really you're not really bothered about the engagement rate. And I guess like a good example would be the after the product launch is there's no engagement there, it's just some great content and you want like hundreds and thousands of people to be able to watch it and not just restricted to the people who are sitting in the event, I guess, and upcoming product lines that they have in September is hybrid, but there's no real engagement there as such. Right. So I guess it really depends on the outcomes that the organisers want. So the first one just being making it ideal for the reach, in which case engagement is not so important. But the second outcome can be that I just want there to be engagement between the in-person attendees. Like the attendees were not in-person, the people who are attending it from globally, anywhere on the planet, and the same goes for speakers anywhere. And you can have a line-up of speakers and not necessarily everyone needs to be in-person. Like you can have some speakers attending the conference, like you can have a panel of speakers of five speakers and have some of them join the conversation virtually. Right. Which makes it amazing because your ability to attract the best speakers just goes up significantly if then if they don't require to be in-person. Right. So I guess it really depends on how engaging you want the hybrid event to be and really depends on the use case rate, like a product launch probably that doesn't have to be as engaging. It can be one sided, great content. Just talk about the features and functionality of the product, but see if, for example, if it's a customer conference and you have customers globally all over like all over the world, it's very hard for you to ask them to come to a particular like to come to a space or to come to one physical space. But at the end of the day, you still want to engage them, which means that like you have to kind of then the whole engagement changes. Then you want tools or platforms that enable you to have that interaction between the physical and the world. Let me. Exactly. I so yeah, I totally agree with this. I mean, I mean, even in the product lines, if you if you keep engagement, I mean, for example, a contest or hashtag and if you ask people to, you know. So how how OnePlus or Apple launched their event, they ran a hashtag campaign and they create a buzz on it for them as a platform to to make sure that the hashtag is performing. So, yeah, obviously, engagement is is the key. I mean, if, if you're a part of a hybrid event, if you are ignoring engagement, I don't think that would be a good idea. Yeah, yeah. Good point. I get it. I think like what you're what you're talking about is like there's still a difference between engagement and interaction. I think like everyone uses these two words interchangeably, but yeah, like probably interaction. Like when we talk about interaction, we can talk about like back and forth between two different people, like back and forth between like, you know, people sitting across different geographies using the platforms or the I think can be engagement where an anonymous athlete talking to a specific person, but it's still engaging like like a good example is what you talked about it like having like a hashtag and then a campaign and, and help you kind of build more brand awareness for your product launch of things. Exactly. I mean, so this will also, you know, people inspire people. So once you see someone is posting using a hashtag, this will also inspire you no matter what nationality you are. I mean, it can get global reach. So this is like indirect interaction which is happening. But on behalf of the brand, which is an amazing point. Yeah. Yeah. And there's nothing like word of mouth, so. 

Neeraj: Yeah, obviously. See, the great part with the hybrid event is that it's very much, you know, possible to read and record the data since you are, you know, obviously for that you need a bit of a hybrid system. But then again, it will it can help you getting more and most important insights during the event before the event at the Boost event. So if I talk about the before the event, I would say people should use email marketing tools. They should have given most of the campaign which which which should we should ask we should tell people that these are the important events or sessions which are happening. They should be predictive of email, reminders of the session. This is very important. If you I mean, you cannot ignore this because this happens whenever you sign up for an event and we just slip out of a main. So it's important that you order an email campaign, come to the next would be, I think, social, which plays a very important role. If you don't have a hashtag event hashtag, I don't think that would be a great idea. It's very important that you you have what you've been tested and you start promoting it before the event. So for that, obviously tactics can be very useful. So what that does is basically it help you understand the social sentiments. It helps you understand the social listening, what people are actually talking about the event, if there is positive or if there is any particular post which is getting more engagement, that will get you an idea that this particular session is going ahead. You can spend a week recording live, pulling the result of labelling. You should you should check that how many people have interacted and what they actually like about the event. And I and and obviously I mean these all insights will really help you out planning your next event then you will have the next event. You'll know that 80% of the things which you have done in the previous event was right overall, or you could optimise and, you know, plan better and execute the next event. I think these are the important things which every every event manager, every organiser should keep in mind for social events. 

Bharath: It's pretty simple to measure data and because like, like say for example, with Zuddl you can pretty much like get every action that an attendee takes. It pretty much captured it. So I guess it's pretty easy to kind of get some of these insights for the what you say, like the virtual component on the western side of things. But I guess for hybrid events like especially for the whole in-person event part, it becomes very challenging to measure what's working in like what session world and what session didn't. I think that's where the whole hashtag and like encouraging people to kind of post on social media walls and things like that. It becomes very, very relevant because like in hybrid events, it just cannot be quantified through data. It also has to be qualitative data. And like you talked about, right, like if you see a bunch of people talking about one session, like, you know that like that session is like people like, right. You don't need like 80% of your attendees to talk about that session. They even if it's like a small sample size, it's still it's still a qualitative proof that like people all relate to that session, right? 

Neeraj: So yeah, I think, yeah, things like social, like tools like social media was and what tag box provides can be very, very effective in hybrid events to measure data where and you cannot like you cannot really measure it the way you can do it in virtual event. I think. Yeah. So it's very important that when you have the data, you take it all for actual time. For example, during before the event, if you are running the email campaign, you make sure that you keep the rate in control. There should be less phones through the relevant users who are getting the e-mails. I mean, the e-mail boundary should be very less. Similarly, if I talk about what I read and the conversation between the people attendance rate, obviously the people who are visiting the event page and versus how many of them are interesting. So this this does I mean, there must be an item rate. It should be, let's say, more than 10% that the traffic coming on a website. What is are many of them registering for the for the event? So this data should be in place and you should you should make sure that if it's not happening and then analyse. I mean, what what is what is what is not working? Maybe it's the content which people are not understanding. Maybe something's not working on the browser and it is a technical issue or we're not shooting or you not sending e-mails to the relevant audience. So is it is also important. Again, social media can really help anything of getting vegetable insight, which can tell you that if if some some campaign campaign is not performing, then you make sure that you optimise it on time. And before they when your campaign should be about image optimised, it should it has a great reach and clicks and make sure that you are getting X percent of of traffic from social to your event, hashtag event page or even app. So the level insights is an important role. I mean, if you if you keep things in mind that these these are the KPIs and these are the rates of attendance or, let's say, new generation you want to keep. So you make sure that during the event, before the event and after the event, you keep those data in mind. And if something is not working out, you immediately fix this and make sure that it works. So I think actionable insights is very important. I think if you are talking about like the actionable insights that the people should or even the organiser should look out for. 

Bharath: I think we can divide that into three sections. One is pretty one. One is during post-event dates in pre like, you know, some great points that you have mentioned, you know, things like watching out for like if you're doing an email campaign and watching out for the open rate and the click through rate and how many people are racing from there. And also the conversion rates on the website rate to see if you need to kind of change any messaging and things like that and or design or things like that to make sure that like you're able to get to the right attendees to register for your event rate. And then I'd say the next part is during the event. I'd say that like some really important things to watch out for is things like, you know, what is the ideal duration of an event? What is the ideal deviation of the session rate like? When do you see the drop offs happening? Like, is it like 3 hours, 2 hours? Two and a half hours is an ideal session being like 30 minutes or 25 minutes, basically watching out for things like that rate. And also on topics like what are the topics that are working out? What are the speakers that are working out like? What are the kind of interaction that is working out? So I think just keeping an eye out for all of those things will help you optimise likes over something if you're doing like a three day event rate. I think you can still kind of look at all these insights on the first day and see if you can kind of adjust things with the second or third day to see if you can kind of improve engagement, reduce drop offs and things like that. Right. And I'd say once the event is done, it's about really learning from the event. And it's basically like a cycle, right? Like once the event is done, you analyse all this data and you try to understand what worked and what didn't and try to implement it for your next event rate. And I think at a high level are some really interesting things for you to be measuring would be things like where are your students coming from, grade water, what are the demographics, what are the countries that they coming from? What are the profile? What are the titles of these people? So you can mix them in your target them, you can target the relevant people with relevant messaging. And also to understand, you know, things like what are the topics that worked like? So that makes sense. When you're creating your agenda and you're creating a speaker list, you're creating it by having a better understanding about your audience and what they liked and what they didn't like. So we should help you curate the next the next event and make sure that that it is successful. 

Kishore This was Backstage with Zuddl. If you'd like to hear more episodes, don't forget to subscribe. You can also listen to our episodes on Spotify, Google, or wherever you stream podcasts. Don't forget Wizards and dot com to know more about how you can begin humanising events. 

Meet the guest

Neeraj Singal

CEO & Co-founder, Taggbox

Engineer-turned-marketer Neeraj Singal co-founded Taggbox in 2018 with the idea to bring the value of users and their opinions to a global brand's advantage. What started as a curation of user-generated content via Social Wall for events multiplied into different verticals and a clientele of 10,000+ tech & Fortune 500 megacorporations.

Meet the guest

Bharath Varma

CEO & Co-founder, Zuddl

Bharath founded Phoenix Live, a premier event management agency in 2015 which has hosted more than 300 conferences for multinational companies like Microsoft, Google, and Deloitte. Bharath grew Phoenix Live to a team of over 60 people with offices in 4 different cities.

hosted by

Kishore CS

Content Lead, Zuddl

Kishore is part of Zuddl’s very own Marketing team. A content creator and enthusiast since 2012, Kishore’s experience ranges from web content and internal communications to copywriting and brand identity.

Kishore CS, Content Lead, Zuddl