Infographic: Analysis of The SHRM Event Attendance

Posted on 23 Aug

At LeadSift one of the big uses of our intent data – is it’s power in leveraging event marketing tactics even if you are not at an event. To be clear, intent data can predict who is going to (before) and who went (during) to an event. It allows you to survey the field and cherry pick the leads you want to follow up with, without the cost of being there.

No stand, no employees and hotel bills. No gimmicks to bring people to your stand. Just analysis of the attendance at the individual and company level.

So, we analyzed the SHRM event, one of the largest conference in the HR space.

Analysis of SHRM

So what can intent data tell you about an event, what does it tell us about SHRM ’19?

First of all, we know the attendee’s names. If you’re thinking about how your competitor’s big event is coming up soon, talk to our Driftbot and we’ll send you the CSV file with the names. You can use it to consider how you’d use this intelligence vs their event.

Second, we know every attendee’s job title and company. We have their LinkedIn profile, Twitter profiles too if they have one.

Lastly, we can analyze the seniority levels of those who attended. We use this data to understand which industries are present at events, if the crowd is full of decision makers and to decide if we should run event marketing campaigns against events in future.

So let’s get into the SHRM conference analysis…

 Industry analysis

Which industries were most prominent in the crowd? As SHRM is an HR event, we would expect mainly HR companies.

We were surprised that only 15% of the crowd was made up of HR companies. Our assumptions about the audience was that you would only go to this event if you were in that industry.

But this is the power of intent data, we proved our own theory wrong.

On reflection, 85% of the crowd came from other industries. When you think about it, every business needs an HR function. So naturally there could be a person or team in attendance from any business with an HR professional in the building.

Company sizes in attendance

Do enterprises attend SHRM conferences and similar events? Is it mainly consultants walking around? Let’s take a look.

26% of the crowd is made up of companies with between 1 and 10 employees. But 21% of the crowd comes from companies with 11 to 50 employees. Interestingly, as we look into the data and see how many people from bigger companies attended, we see smaller and smaller numbers. Not just this, but the “1 man band” companies made up a tiny segment of the crowd. So it seems a lot of start-ups attended.

Many events do not attract enough attendees from these types of companies, so we were surprised to see as much of the crowd coming from these companies as we can see here.

Attendee location

SHRM runs events around the world but at the time we analyzed this data, the USA event was their big priority. So we can expect to see a lot of US based attendees, possibly some from Canada.

We’re surprised to see as much as 6% of the crowd come from the UK. Only 2% made the (much) shorter trip from Canada to the event, even though another 2% of the crowd came all the way from India.

What did we learn from this? Look at events ahead of time. We have all been sent emails from salespeople trying to meet us at events, use this data. If you know where people come from, you know the different challenges they face and can target them with messaging or sales outreach accordingly.

Attendee job roles

What job roles did the SHRM conference attendees have? Predictions from our team were that mostly HR teams would be there, but with every event there are salespeople and some marketing team members. If senior leadership employees are attending, they’re likely from the smaller companies there or speaking at the event.

As expected the HR teams were most prominent along with the sales and marketing folks. The data shows a higher level of Founder/CEO attendance than we would expect. But thinking back to previous data on the company sizes section of this infographic, many of the companies here are small. If you’re a 1-10 employee company, your CEO is probably the salesperson. It makes sense that senior leadership would be there when you analyze things further.

Seniority levels

When we analyze any market or event, the results vary. When there is common ground between industries or events, it’s the low levels of senior leadership being part of the event and vast numbers of management/lower level employees in attendance.

Well, that was a surprise. Directors actually were the most common titles in attendance. C level and Owners were very close behind too.

With this data in hand, we’re looking at a completely different audience than we predicted the SHRM event would have.

What to do with this data

Re-think your assumptions. A lot of our predictions turned out to be the complete opposite of what the data shows.

Let the data do the talking. From this data, we can plan an actionable campaign to target attendees of this event if we wanted to sell to them.

Do things differently. If we hadn’t looked at this data and wanted to sell to the audience of this event, we could have ran ads on Twitter and Facebook to people we thought we attending. Now, we can see who went and which companies were there. There’s no need to guess or waste ad budget on people who may just be following the event on social media.

If you want to see the raw data, chat to our Driftbot and we will send you the CSV!

DOWNLOAD INFOGRAPHIC

 

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