...DATA AND GDPR: ALL CHANGE, OR MORE OF THE SAME?

Expanding and managing databases is central to the strategy for shows and Promosalons. GDPR constitutes an opportunity to commit fully to an inclusive approach.

Today, more than ever, data collecting, securing and processing are central to activities and investments for Promosalons and its show members. The challenge is to marry effective marketing and respect for personal data, while taking into account the new obligations imposed by the General Data Protection Regulations, or GDPR, which come into force on 25 May this year.

Managing data on “previous visitors” is one of the historic tasks which organisers ask Promosalons to handle. These databases (previous visitors, pre-registered visitors, whether or not they attended) have to be updated, cleansed and completed. But the essential work of local offices is to search for new targets. They have to be identified and approached in a way that respects the current rules in every country when it comes to using personal data. Until now, the application of European rules could vary from one country to another, even within the European Union.

A consistent approach

Current loyalty rates among international visitors to French shows are showing a slight decline. A number of economic, contextual and competitive factors can explain this trend. Between 60 and 80% of international visitors are first-time visitors, depending on the show and sector. Shows are publicised by direct marketing from Promosalons, or visitors see the combination of activities (digital, viral, media, relationship-building) carried out by the local offices, by show teams in France or other associates, and of course by the exhibitors themselves.

This synergy between activities to build loyalty among former visitors while canvassing for new ones is vital for our tradeshows. That is why Promosalons has invested more heavily in the past two years in networking* tools and skills. For example, its new visitor CRM system guarantees higher standards of data collection, processing and protection. Promosalons trains its teams to ensure consistent working methods and traceability and to measure the effectiveness of its actions. For Promosalons, compliance with GDPR is just another step along a well-trodden path: identifying key players, collecting data while respecting rules and accepted practice and ultimately tailoring data handling and content management to the real needs of business today. Basically, to be compliant with this new regulation, which in itself is another opportunity.