How to Create a Personalised Experience That’s VIP-y Not Creepy

How to Create a Personalised Experience That’s VIP-y Not Creepy

Clicking a button to provide our social media profiles or Google accounts has become as commonplace as flashing your driving license to get into a pub. Most young people who are digital natives don’t think twice about providing personal details in exchange for access because they know it also comes with an experience tailor-made for them. According to the consumer insights platform Attest, 77% of Millennials think personalisation by brands is helpful. In spite of data privacy concerns, most consumers of any age are generally comfortable with giving up some degree of personal data… as long as they get something of value in return.

Digital marketing and ecommerce have very sophisticated ways of using data to personalise a customer’s experience, and we’ve come to expect websites to remember our preferences, resurface products we browsed in the past, and even to remember our name. 

But do customers have those same expectations of personalisation for real world brand experiences? They may soon. 

Emerging technology is allowing event marketers and retailers to tap a wide array of touchpoints to capture data and offer a streamlined, personalised experience like never before. But what is the right balance to not make attendees feel like guinea pigs or focus group members? What do attendees expect? What value can you offer in return? And what’s most worthwhile in terms of ROI?

Keep it Streamlined and Subtle

Registering for an event is the primary moment to capture valuable data on your attendees. Asking for things like job titles, postcode, or food preferences can really help paint a picture of who you’re engaging so you can tailor the event to meet their needs. But you don’t want to go overboard asking questions and deter them from going ahead with signing up. 

The best practice is to require only the essential information, like name and email address, and leave other questions optional. Integration with common platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google can also help pre-populate fields in a registration form to make signing up incredibly smooth while capturing key profile data that can be used for personalisation. Quander Companion, our registration app, even allows customers to register for the experience using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger so it can feel more like texting a friend than filling out a questionnaire. 

With smartphones in hand, today’s customers are also becoming accustomed to checking in with on-screen QR or barcodes at everywhere from airports to concerts. We offer a highly customisable Check In web application that’s quick to set up and helps attendees breeze through.

Once inside an event, there’s many ways to continue to capture attendee data and tailor their experience. And you don’t have to butt in with questions and clipboards to do so. Quander Pulse uses low-cost WiFi tracking sensors to capture data on footfall so we can understand traffic flow and see trends in how much time people spend with specific products or experiences. Machine learning camera technology is also making it possible to gather demographic data and use facial recognition to tag customers when they create photo or video content.

Provide Value in Return

Beyond giving you useful insight to who’s attending your event, all this captured data also enables you to personalise their experience in joyful ways and make attendees feel catered to. And the more fun they have and the more value they can see in the personalised experience, the more willing they will be to share personal data that helps you serve them better and grow your business. 

Of course personalisation isn’t always left to algorithms and AI. The human touch can really be a breakthrough element, especially when combined with technology that makes magic happen. 

We had the opportunity to work with Wasserman Experience on a project for Nespresso at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on a brand experience that was not only personalised, it was truly personal. To bring to life the “coffee redefined” spirit of their new Vertuo system, we partnered with artist Cathy Thomas on a unique photo booth where visitors were asked, “How will you redefine yourself?” The individualised answers were translated on the spot into one-of-a-kind, hand drawn illustrations overlaid on the photos to visualise each person’s aspirations in a beautiful, share-worthy image.

Here’s a few more examples we’ve implemented for our clients:

  • Provide smart badges or RFID-enabled wristbands at check in to unlock an experience tailored to the customer’s registration preferences
  • Personalise the content on digital signage based on who is standing in front of it
  • Offer interactive content with a menu of options so it’s not a one-size-fits-all experience, and make it fun with photo and video experiences as souvenirs
  • Tailor remarketing to their preferences — send relevant offers via email, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to customer segments based on the data captured at the event

All of the above also helps us learn about our customers’ preferences and demographics. At our green screen photo booths and news studio at Sky Studios at The O2, customers can pick their favourite scenes and pose with their favourite celebrities. The content in Sky Studios is tagged so that when customers submit content we add tags to their profile. For example, if you take a picture of Lewis Hamilton, we add Sports, Formula 1 and Lewis Hamilton to your profile and can recontact you with news of your favorite sport in the future so you never miss out. 

The ROI of Personalisation

Customising a user experience can get complex and costly, but we’ve learned a few tricks to make sure our clients are smart with their investment. For one, our turnkey software and hardware solutions help keep costs down so you’re not reinventing the wheel or creating e-waste, which means you can offer a personalised experience built on out-of-the-box technology. Easy peasy.

Best of all, the Quander Dashboard lets you build customer profiles based on how they personalised their interaction with your brand. You can segment customers as they interact with experiences, which feeds into the content optimisation process. And as you remarket them after an event, you can track whether an offer has been redeemed and what product was purchased online or in store, allowing you to assign a monetary value to a customer — which is the best kind of ROI metric to measure the success of a live experience.

Custom is the New Standard

As the line blurs between our online and offline worlds, and mobile technology and IoT enable new ways to bring personalisation to live events, exciting new experiences are possible. With careful planning and the right tools, you can make every attendee at your next event feel like a VIP.