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January 16, 2014

Event Tech Preview: How Can Big Data Help Event Bookings?

At PCMA's Convening Leaders in Boston, we met with Active Network Business Solutions Group Senior Vice President JR Sherman to learn about Active's new eRFP tool for hotels and venue sales teams. 

The new technology, Active MarketView 3.0,  will let event experts respond to eRFPs up to 70 percent faster than previously (based on product testing). The program, part of the Smart Events cloud, has a redesigned user interface that will let managers respond to the eRFPs using a single page, and brings together spend management and marketing. 

Active acquired meetings technology company StarCite two years ago, and Sherman said that they have spent the intervening years focusing on re-platforming and preparing to handle big data. (The program was formerly StarCite's MarketView.) The goal, he said, is to break down the wall between marketing teams and procurement sources and share more information about events. "We can aggregate data for customers across their whole [portfolio] of meetings and events, and also aggregate spend in order to be more efficient and drive down costs." 

As data from users on both sides of the process is gathered, Sherman continued, planners will be able to understand what types of events in different times and places perform best in driving certain audiences. "We can help locations attract associations and corporate customers," he added. Users will be able to see if Philadelphia, for example, is doing better with medical meetings than Chicago, or vice versa. "By bringing this data together, we now have touchpoints in every vertical of understanding who and what types of audiences and demographics are in what geographies. We can use that for the destinations to attract different conferences." 

The new tool connects buyers from small- to mid-sized businesses  associations and Fortune 500 companies with properties in Active’s supplier marketplace. Through the program, venue managers can answer eRFP questions from meeting planners with pre-populated responses, such as information about meeting location specifications, default language, and default currency.  Additionally, answers to eRFP questions are automatically saved, so hotels and venues can answer different parts of the eRFP in any order without having to follow a computer wizard. 

International Meetings Review will run a video interview with Sherman in the coming days that will look more deeply into the latest trends in event technology and how big data can affect how conferences are managed. 

For more information, visit www.activeevents.com.

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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox





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