On 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. It’s an EU law that determines how organisations must treat the personal data of any EU citizen, and sets out new rules on data handling and processing for the digital age.
GDPR will mean big changes for the events industry, where large quantities of personal data change hands every day. Here at Akkroo we’ve spent a lot of time looking at what this legislation will mean, with a particular focus on lead capture at events.
How will the GDPR affect the trade show and events industries?
Most businesses who exhibit at trade shows and events do so for one main reason: to capture leads by gathering the contact details of event attendees. There are two things you’ll need to consider, to avoid falling foul of the new regulations:
- Do you have permission to contact them again?
Attendees need to give clear, explicit consent for you to contact them. This can’t be buried within a whole load of small print, and needs to be opt-in, rather than opt-out – so no more pre-ticked boxes on your forms.
- What will you do with the leads you collect at this event?
It’s no longer enough to tell attendees that you want their contact details ‘for marketing purposes’. You need to be more specific. Why do you need their data, what will it be used for, and how long will you store it for?
While it may seem like an administrative headache, the driving force behind GDPR is to give EU citizens control over their personal data, and bring regulations up-to-date with our digital age.
This gives event exhibitors the opportunity to review and improve their lead capture processes. Rather than collecting as many people’s contact details as possible and sending generic emails after the event, you can now focus on collecting quality leads and providing personal, tailored follow-up communications – so people continue to want to hear from your company.
GDPR will have a significant impact on the way businesses can capture, process and follow-up with leads during and after an event. This is why we’re fully committed to helping exhibitors at trade shows and events to comply with GDPR when collecting and following-up with leads. The Akkroo Event Lead Capture solution enables you to:
- Secure explicit opt-in consent from attendees during the lead capture process.
- Provide specific information about what you are gathering attendees’ details for, and what they will be used for in the future.
- Fully customise your event lead capture forms, so you ask the right questions to the right people, and don’t collect any extra, unnecessary data.
- Immediately send a follow-up email to the attendee, confirming when and how you got their details, along with how they can request the removal of their data.
We work closely with our customers to help them adopt event lead capture best practices, and maintain compliance with these new regulations.
3 key takeaways for businesses thinking about GDPR for events
With the deadline for GDPR getting ever closer, more and more companies are thinking about the impact these regulations will have on all areas of their business. Here are our three key takeaways for how GDPR will affect your activities at events and trade shows:
Consent is the hottest topic when it comes to GDPR compliance. What’s your organisation doing to gather consent from event attendees when you collect their contact details?
Some countries across Europe are going so far as to require businesses to secure double opt-in consent from individuals. While this isn’t required under GDPR, it’s becoming more common as it makes it clear that you’ve got consent to contact that person.
- Remember that all personal information is covered
Business email addresses and phone numbers are covered under the GDPR – not just personal ones. This is a common misconception, so these regulations apply just as much to businesses in the B2B space as in B2C.
- Give your team the tools they need to comply
Don’t assume that the techniques you’ve previously used to collect leads at events will still meet your needs in a post-GDPR world. Common lead capture processes such as scanning badges or collecting business cards in a fishbowl will struggle to comply with the new regulations – especially around consent.
Learn more about Akkroo’s commitment to helping our customers comply with the GDPR when collecting leads at events.