What is the most disruptive method you have used to gather data during an event?
I think it was when we made people “high-five” us. In this event we asked questions to the audience through a person carrying a luminous poster on his body and a counter in each hand. The poster contained two opposed messages, one in each side of his body, saying something like “I’m married” and “I’m single”. The messages changed at different points during the day and were always about personal preferences or characteristics that defined people. Every time a person high fived our poster carrier on his right or left hand, a point was added to the corresponding counter. The curious part of this initiative is that the data we were interested in were not the answers from the audience to each question, but finding out the type of questions people are most willing to answer.
The brand that organised this event (a spirit company) wanted to use this data to define their communication strategy. Companies like this one are usually very disruptive, because they belong in a sector characterized by social transgression and as a result, they can allow themselves to go a bit further in their events.
Do you think the new GDPR will pose a challenge for data gathering in events?
With regards to gathering information during events it seems we are getting too scared; in reality, I (as cofounder of a company that specializes on data) am not interested in finding out people’s names or any other private information that could bring about a problem with the GDPR. We need a different type of insights; the ones that bring intelligence and add value to events. I believe we have to make an effort to break the cleptomania of data and gather only the information we are going to use. The problem is that, since it is a cheap resource, we all try to hoard too much and this is where our integrity disappears. If we use data responsibly and wisely, we can offer an innovative and exclusive service to our clients without having any problems with the law.
It’s also true that the way we ask for data is essential. It’s not the same checking a box in an email that taking part in a fun activity like the one I just talked about. The user can go from protecting their privacy to collaborating with us voluntarily, with a genuine interest that eliminates their feeling of invaded privacy.
What is the type of data that brings more value to attendees during an event?
To me, the most important thing to feel for a person attending an event is that he can compare himself to others. If I, as a user of a service or buyer of a product, can compare my data to what other people think and do, I can analyse my own behaviour and find out to what extent I have understood the event and taken part in it. Understanding our own behaviour in relation to others is what brings more value to attendees’ experiences.
Besides, this has to happen in a way in which the attendee offers his data and does not feel his information is being stolen or taken away without consent. We are in a commercial world and if data has value, the user also wants to know what they are trading this information for.