b2b event data compliance

Data privacy is not a new thing for event marketers.  

If an event marketer has engaged with you at any point (as a prospect or a customer), they’ve likely learned a lot about you. If you’ve registered for the event, they know your name, your email address, location, name of the organisation you work for. Depending on the nature of the event, they may even know your food preferences, the products you use, your T-shirt size and possibly more.

The point being, these are details that most people will not want to be made public. A Merit expert adds, “And, even before GDPR came into practice, event marketers had the responsibility to secure reams of private customer information. So, the introduction of GDPR only made the need for privacy and data security more concrete and lucid.” 

For example, let’s say a brand sponsored your event. It’s likely that they will want to gain access to the database of your event attendees. Post GDPR, this is not something you can do without consent. As an event marketer, you need to get the consent of your attendees before sharing their information with your sponsors or partners.  

There are a number of nuances in the realms of data management and data sharing post GDPR. In this blog, we explore these nuances and dive into why it’s critical for event marketers to function with compliant data. 

6 reasons why data compliance is essential for event marketers today 

1. Avoid lawsuits and fines in your own country

The first and most well known reason is, in many countries, there are strict data protection laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. Like we are familiar with by now, these laws govern how personal data can be collected, processed, stored, and used. If you, as an event marketer, fail to comply with these regulations, it can result in you facing significant fines and legal consequences. 

2. Establish and maintain trust of prospects, customers, clients and attendees

Using compliant data can go a long way in building trust with customers, attendees and partners. When people know that their personal information is being handled responsibly and in accordance with privacy laws, they are more likely to engage with your event and the brand. On the other hand, data breaches or misuse of personal information can severely damage your reputation and lead to a loss of trust. 

3. Improve the reliability and accuracy of your data

Compliant data often goes hand in hand with accurate and up-to-date information. By ensuring data compliance, you can have more reliable and high-quality data, which allows for better targeting, segmentation, and personalisation of marketing campaigns. This, in turn, can lead to more effective and successful events. 

4. Compliant data and high-quality data go hand in hand

Compliant data can enable you to identify your target audience more precisely. By having explicit consent from individuals, you can tailor your messaging and promotional efforts to align with the interests and preferences of your potential attendees, increasing the chances of attracting the right audience to your event. 

5. Improved data security

Compliance measures often involve implementing robust data security protocols. This reduces the risk of data breaches and unauthorised access to personal information. As an event organiser, you have a responsibility to protect the data you collect and store, and using compliant data will help ensure that this data is safeguarded appropriately. 

6. Protect yourself from international lawsuits and fines

Especially post pandemic, events have become common and global, and as a marketer, it’s likely you are collecting data from attendees across different countries. In such a scenario, you need to ensure compliance with international data protection laws to navigate the complexities of cross-border data transfer and avoid potential legal conflicts. 

What does data compliance look like during events?  

Here, we explore five scenarios where you (as an event marketer), might think it’s legal to share attendee data, but it actually isn’t according to the ongoing data protection laws. 

Post-event follow-ups 

After hosting a successful event, you might be eager to share attendee data with your sales team to follow up with potential customers. While this might seem like a reasonable step to convert leads, it’s crucial to remember that attendees’ personal information is sensitive.  

To share this data with your sales team, you must obtain consent from the attendees explicitly. Without consent, you risk breaching trust and violating data protection regulations. 

Partner collaborations 

Collaborating with partners for future events can be mutually beneficial. However, sharing attendee lists with your partners is not something you can do without the consent of your attendees.  

Attendees provided their data for the specific event they registered for and sharing it with third parties requires a separate and clear consent process. Always seek permission from your attendees before sharing their data with partners. 

Market research 

Gathering attendee data for market analysis can provide valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviours. However, using this data for market research purposes is not permissible without explicit consent from the attendees.  

If you plan to use attendee data for anything beyond the original event’s purpose, you must inform attendees of this intent and obtain their consent beforehand. 

Promotional opportunities 

Sponsors and partners may express interest in obtaining attendee details for promotional purposes. While it may benefit both parties, sharing attendee data with sponsors requires the attendees’ explicit consent.  

Avoid assuming consent or making it a condition of registration. Instead, provide a separate opt-in option for attendees to agree to share their data with sponsors. 

Internal analytics 

Analysing attendee behaviour through internal analytics can help improve future events. However, sharing data within your organisation should be done cautiously and only with consent unless this data can be collected anonymously.  

Ensure that all internal staff members who have access to attendee data are aware of the data protection guidelines and the importance of obtaining explicit consent before using the data for analytical purposes.  

Merit’s Expertise in Marketing Data Intelligence 

Using our proprietary technology, we source, filter and qualify marketing data from thousands of online sources. We further enrich the data with expert research to deliver accurate contact lists that yield maximum conversion rates. Merit’s marketing data has proven to: 

  • Multiply your event RoI with the best target data possible  
  • Drive attendance at niche events and conferences 
  • Be accurate, up-to-date and tailored for your exact audience  
  • Be fully compliant (GDPR in particular), transparent and audit-friendly  

We are more than just a list broker; with a proven 10-year track record in building and validating over 100 million global contacts a year, our clients can rely on us to target relevant and engaging audience groups. 

To know more about Merit’s marketing expertise, visit https://www.meritdata-tech.com/service/data/marketing-data/

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