Event Analytics – Best Source for First-Party Data Collection

In today’s fast-paced world, successful event planning goes beyond creating a spectacular gathering. To create an impactful event outcome, organizers need to tap into the wealth of first-party data available at their fingertips. This is where event-based analytics can help event professionals make informed decisions, drive engagement, and optimize the success of their events.

Comparing First-Party Data to Other Types of Data

First-party data is collected when a user directly interacts with your product or asset. Here is a quicks comparison with other types of data to give you some context:

First-Party Data vs Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is explicitly provided by individuals, often through surveys, preference centers, or direct conversations. When a customer willingly submits responses to a poll or survey, the first-party data collector gets their consent as it is collected ethically through contact form submission or tracking activity through analytics.

First-Party Data vs Second-Party Data

Second-party data is essentially someone else’s first-party data that they choose to share with your organization. This data can provide new dimensions and audience insights, fostering data partnerships and collaborative analytics. However, there’s room for bias as the data is not tailored to your ideal customers. First-party data, on the other hand, offers direct insights into the behavior, preferences, and interactions of your particular customers.

First-Party Data vs Third-Party Data

Third-party data is collected by external entities and made available for purchase or licensing. While it can offer scale and diversity, it often lacks the contextual relevance you have first-party data. 

Why Do Event-Based Analytics Matter?

Event planning is an intensive and expansive endeavor. It can be costly, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. Historically, program planning has required some guesswork from the event organizer, and it can be difficult to create a truly impactful experience for the audience.

image showing key challenges to event planners

Event organizers face a variety of challenges – each very different from the other. Depending on the scale and industry, the event may be welcoming a diverse audience. So, meeting the expectations of all attendees without proper research, data, and planning can be daunting.

There is also increasing pressure to match competition and ever-evolving industry trends. Even after the event is live, you need to keep a pulse on attendee response and action feedback (if possible) to improve the experience. But where do you gather this feedback?

This is where event analytics come in. These include the first-party data points about your event that you can measure, manage, and analyze to power better decisions for future events. 

Event organizers are taking more and more interest in data. At vFairs, we noticed a spike in marketing analytics alone. In the past quarter, there has been a 2.5x increase in online queries regarding event reporting. This shows the increased value organizations are putting into data.

image showing 2.5x spike in vFairs search console queries about event analytics
vFairs Analytics Graph on Google Search Console Showing 2.5x Increase in Analytics Queries

This is just one example, but the kind of insights you can extract from an event vary based on the event delivery model (virtual, hybrid, or in-person) and your event goals. Getting your hands on first-party data directly from the events highly enhances your marketing efforts.  You can get answers to these common queries by analyzing first-party data collected from events :

  • Where are we getting our registrants from?
  • What kind of content are audiences resonating with?
  • What parts of the event are generating the best ROI?
  • What parts of the event are creating the most engagement?
  • What was the overall attendee sentiment towards the event?
  • What sessions and speakers are attracting the most attendees?

Benefits of Tracking First-Party Data from Events

Analytics and reporting event platforms offer several benefits for event planners and organizers. Here are some key advantages that first-party data and event analytics can help with: 

To Enter the Cookieless Future

Cookies are a thing of the past, now user data will not be tracked across sites and social media. With increased focus on user data privacy, third-party data tracking will no longer be available to marketers. This can lead to knowledge gaps and incomplete feedback loops about consumer behavior and preferences making it harder to reach customers across the internet.

The obvious solution for the cookieless future is collecting first-party data which is time-consuming and often expensive. However, events present an opportunity for marketers to get their hands on accurate insights with the consent of the attendees. 

This first-party data will offer insights into user activity, preferences, usernames/passwords, items in their shopping carts, and online queries and emails.

Power Better Decisions for Future Events

Tracking first-party data with event-based analytics provides valuable insights that help organizers make informed decisions. By analyzing the metrics, organizers can make data-driven choices regarding event content, budget optimization, resource allocation, and event marketing strategies

Make Real-Time Adjustments

Organizers can monitor attendee engagement, session popularity, social media engagement, and other key metrics in real-time through a well-developed first-party data strategy. This information allows for immediate adjustments, for example, sending notifications for a session with a low attendance rate.

Measure Event Performance

Event planners can measure the success of their events and determine ROI by tracking metrics such as attendance, session ratings, lead generation, conversions, and feedback. This way organizers can evaluate the impact of the event as per their goals and justify the event’s value using first-party data.

Enhance Marketing and Promotion

You can evaluate what’s valuable to event audiences with first-party data collected by event analytics. Also, it’s easier to understand attendee behavior since the first-party data is from your highly targeted audience. Thus, you can make changes in marketing and promotion of future events. 

Components of Event Analytics

Event management platforms assist with event-based analytics through first-party data collection, analysis, and visualizations.

image showing components of event analytics

Data Collection 

This is where the first-party data is captured through the platform. It goes beyond just primary contact data. Virtual events and mobile event applications offer immersive experiences that your audiences stay engaged with for much longer. Event reports can give you more information about what’s popular and what they are less interested in. There are more interaction points across the event journey for you to get data from.

Data Points to be Collected from Virtual and In-Person Events 

Events also offer a unique opportunity whereby audiences are willing to share their data to gain access to your content. 

In virtual and in-person events, these first-party event-based analytics can be collected by the following features:

Registration Forms, User Profiles & Preferences

You can utilize registration forms as a way to solicit any user data your marketing teams may require including contact information and user preferences. You can also collect first-party analytics including psychographics, firmographics, and demographics by tracking individual user journeys

Surveys and Polling

Marketers can solicit feedback from attendees through in-event or post-event surveys & polls. They can also request detailed responses, star ratings, or multiple-choice responses to collect specific information from the attendees. This first-party data can shape future marketing campaigns. 

Session Tracking

Organizers can test what the audience resonates with through multiple topics, tracks, presenters, and content formats. Through the first-party data collected from the event management platform, they can track check-ins to presentations and webinars, clicks on external links, views on videos, and the number of downloads of available documents. 

Chat Rooms

You can understand topics of importance and interest to your audience through chats that take place within the event through first-party data. You can also view and export chat logs, and share them with relevant sponsors & exhibitors for better event reporting. 

Lead Generation

You can show value for sponsors & exhibitors by sharing their lead-generation activities from the event. You can also allow sponsors & exhibitors to view contacts scanned by the booth (onsite), contact cards exchanged, and meetings booked for targeted lead retrieval.

Engagement & Gamification

Event hosts can set up activities for the attendees to participate in, and track how they helped them interact with the event as a whole. You can set up points-based leaderboards, scavenger hunts,  social media walls, photo booths, and more. These interactions will be recorded and provide essential data to help with future events. 

First-Party Data Analysis

Every event marketer needs to explore the fascinating world of event-based analytics and first-party data while understanding its role in shaping the outcome of events. A first-party data strategy can elevate all three stages of the event lifecycle.

image showing lifecycle stages of event analytics

Role of Event-Based Analytics During Pre-event Planning

By leveraging web traffic data, social media engagement, and trends in ticket sales using relevant tools, event planners can gain a deep understanding of the demographics of their target audience and tailor their events to meet their specific needs and expectations. 

The analytics on attendee preferences, and engagement metrics can help design effective first-party data marketing strategies. Hosts can start setting event goals based on past event performance and develop event agendas accordingly. Event analytics also helps planners line up potential speakers based on the type of content their audiences are interested in.

Using Event-Based Analytics for In-event Execution

Marketers can use real-time analytics tools to monitor event performance and analyze attendee behavior and engagement. By tracking metrics such as session attendance, social media engagement, and feedback, organizers can make on-the-spot decisions to optimize the event experience and ensure success. 

Hosts can also understand audience behaviors through their interaction with the virtual event platform or mobile app and track trends in audience preferences and traffic within the event. 

With first-party data collected from event-based analytics platforms, you can also perform: 

  • Funnel Analysis: This helps you understand where each event lands in the sales funnel and how it leads up to a point of conversion. You will be able to isolate different events based on the first-party data and investigate points of friction and steps that are working well. 
  • Audience Segmentation: This analytics method will help organizers segment attendees based on their interests, preferences, and behavior, enabling personalized content delivery, targeted marketing, and tailored recommendations. 

Improve Post-event Evaluation with Event-based Analytics

Organizers can continuously refine their event strategies by measuring event performance against the set goals and analyzing attendee feedback through surveys. They can determine what activities assisted in improving ROI and include those first-party data strategies in future events to pave the way for greater success.

event analytics


Event-based analytics help strengthen partnerships with sponsors and exhibitors by providing shareable visuals. Hosts can share post-event reports and metrics dashboards to give a clear view of event performance. These reports enable them to assess ROI and make informed decisions for upcoming events. 

First-Party Data You Should Track

You can track various data points and event stats through an events platform. The variety can get overwhelming. As a starting point, here are a few key metrics you must track to keep a pulse on your event and ensure its success.

Follow the Registration Trends 

Keep track of the number of registrations and their demographic information. This first-party data provides insights into the size and composition of your audience. Follow the registration trends and learn what was the most popular ticket type, were people purchasing tickets for groups, were people interested in VIP tickets, and what was the response to promotional tickets.

Track Attendee Engagement Metrics

You should monitor attendee engagement throughout the event, including session attendance, interactions with exhibitors or sponsors, and engagement on social media platforms. These first-party data metrics help assess the interest and involvement of attendees in different event sessions.

Get Customer Journey Reports

Event organizers should generate customer journey reports to get insights into customer behavior and understand how they navigated throughout the event. Here you can look for patterns, drop-off points, and popular areas among the attendees. 

Gather Feedback from Attendees

Organizers can get feedback from attendees through surveys, polls, and post-event evaluations. This way they can measure attendee satisfaction for specific sessions and get overall event ratings. This provides valuable insights into areas of improvement for future event planning.

Integrations to Enrich First-Party Data Collection from Events

Several integrations can provide enhanced capabilities for event organizers. Here are some you should consider for enhanced first-party data collection: 

  • ChatGPT: You can converse with the AI chatbot to get insights into the event with the ChatGPT integration into your event management platform. 
  • Zapier: You can move your event data to more than 3000 apps with Zap integration by setting up automatic event triggers. 
  • HubSpot: This CRM integration allows organizers to gather all the event data regarding leads, partners, and clients in one location. This data can be easily transferred to and from the event management platform. 
  • Marketo: This popular tool helps marketers track and nurture leads through the conversion funnel. It will automatically pull all the data about event attendees and create leads. 
  • SalesForce: Keep track of your data and contact your customers through this tool. You will be able to manage marketing, sales, business, and IT, all within the same platform. 

image showing vfairs integrations

Future of Event Analytics  

Event analytics is an excellent source of first-party data for event marketers preparing for a cookieless future. As interest in event-based analytics grows, so will its capabilities to inform decisions. One immediate advancement is the role of AI.

First-party data points collected from attendees in an event environment will prompt machine learning tools to predict attendee behavior and make suggestions based on what the algorithm believes a specific attendee would prefer. 

Eventually, AI will be able to take user data points and create completely customized, interactive experiences for users based on their past engagement and inputs. 

With event management platforms, organizers would be able to use AI technology to generate reports and get the figures easily. You can talk to a chatbot and ask questions about first-party data. You can check booth status, event status, webinar views, event attendance, and even the average scroll depth. Use this information to improve the UI/UX of future events and make decisions on the fly during the event. 

Event Analytics – Best Source for First-Party Data Collection

Aqsa Ayub

Aqsa Ayub works with vFairs as a content writer and has been writing for six years now in different industries including tech, B2B, sustainability, social issues, and politics. Besides writing, she enjoys reading non-fiction books on history, politics, and biographies.

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