Hosting virtual events may be all the rage right now, but popularity isn’t why all businesses should seriously consider hosting one. These virtual events are a treasure trove of data, the kind that companies cannot afford to miss.

Let’s take a look at the three types of data businesses can get from hosting virtual events. We’ll also look at how to gather insights from what can be an overwhelming amount of data. 

Audience Demographics

Gathering audience data is a vital part of any online event. Businesses can segment the audience for different stages of the employee pipeline, smoothing hiring and reducing the time to find a suitable candidate.

It also creates a network and community of people more invested in the business itself. A branded event, especially for a small to medium-sized business, can offer attendees the opportunity to network, meet people in their field, and interact with a business in ways that bring value. This is a long-term strategy to help gain a foothold in what is currently a competitive hiring landscape.

But how can businesses capture and use this data to their advantage? It can be tempting to build an intense and lengthy registration questionnaire or onboarding paperwork. However, it’s essential to resist this first temptation because it only creates frustration.

Pair down all captured data to a few key networking style questions:

  • What is your greatest achievement so far?
  • How long have you worked in the industry?
  • What is your ideal position?

Combine the answers with specific demographic data — age or location, for example — and tie these questions to networking and build a valuable experience for attendees. 

Session Data from Hosting Virtual Events

The next metric is how attendees interact with the offerings. It’s challenging to gather numbers in detail at in-person events, but virtual events allow for nearly granular details about audience movements.

Some typical metrics include: 

  • Unique visitors: What topics are most popular and could signal interest for future sessions (or job positions)
  • Session time: How long do visitors stay? This reveals which sessions are most engaging.
  • Public chats: When attendees connect with each other, they often trade praise and criticism. 

Session data provides insights for future events. Virtual events such as career fairs do provide candidates and networking for business pipelines, but the priority should be providing value to attendees. By growing these events, companies build more significant relationships with the right community and gain a foothold in reputation.

Networking Activities

Events aren’t just fun ways to pass the time. Events create a vital connection to the industry — candidates, mentors, consultants. The event builds rapport and builds a business’s reputation.

In a competitive data landscape like tech, that reputation can help small to medium businesses find top talent despite not belonging to FAANG. Networking data offers insight into creating events that participants want to attend again and again.

This data includes things like networking attendance and dwell time. Another valuable piece of data could be the number of connections attendees make during these networking activities. You can ask outright or take account of the number of one-on-one chats or the number of messages exchanged.

Data for growth

Companies can capture growth data from a variety of sources but a virtual event can put that data in context. During a virtual event, companies have the opportunity to analyze the audience from multiple viewpoints as they interact with each other and the business itself. This new dimension affects several standard data categories.

  • Marketing data: Comparing marketing data with event data provides businesses with insights into how to attract the right people to the business and how to launch future events with a more significant return on investment.
  • Content data: Analyzing the event’s content could provide clues into the type of content an audience resonates with. If companies are searching for talent in the tech field, that content might be a reliable way to attract that talent.
  • Outreach: Understanding which outreach tactics draw in the highest quality leads provides direction for a number of activities, from hiring to launching new products.
  • Sponsor/exhibitor data: Sharing data with sponsors or exhibitors creates a feedback loop designed to foster mutually beneficial relationships with those in the field.

Virtual events provide extra insight into how people interact with the business. For example, product launches often rely on sales data to drive marketing, but a virtual event with a product launch allows companies to see how users feel about the product based on sentiment analysis of public chats. A virtual event provides a new dimension to standard data capture.  

Find the right tools for Hosting Virtual Events

Virtual events provide a wealth of data, but designing the right event takes the right tools. With a robust virtual event, businesses can host career fairs, launch products, and leverage thought leadership.

The data from events can help inform future marketing strategy and build a hiring pipeline that consistently attracts top talent, but only if businesses take the time to capture it. For example, if most event registrants fall in a certain group, companies can tailor marketing to that particular group or make changes to attract a different group. leverages beautiful design and machine learning to help companies launch events with impact. Companies can leverage features for networking while delivering a valuable experience that attendees want to register for again and again. 

Schedule a demo with us to find out how we can transform your virtual event and deliver the data you need to grow.