Getting the most out of events: Developing digital tools for the trade

The Project

Reed is the world’s leading events organiser. In 2015, Reed hosted 7 million people at 500 events in 30 countries. Yet, despite working in multiple markets and across numerous industry types, they didn’t have a global understanding of the different motivations and needs of attendees visiting their events.

Great business only happens face-to-face – that’s why I go to events.


The Challenge

Reed wanted to identify common needs and points of difference across their global event attendees to identify informed opportunities for their digital strategy. Specifically, they wanted to define key behavioural typologies in order to prioritise areas for investment, identify new areas for product development and bring attendees to life across the whole Reed business.

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The Solution

We helped Reed identify and bring to life 7 key behavioural typologies that existed across event type, industry and market. The end result helped Reed:

  • Galvanise the rather fractured different Reed business units around their attendees core needs
  • Prioritise spend on digital innovation for short term impact and identify longer-term opportunities for digital innovation.
  • Tailor digital tools to specific events where certain typologies are more prevalent to ensure the best user experience
  • Each behaviour typology had a film to help bring it to life

The outcome was so well received that it was shown to the senior management team at their annual conference and is now being toured around each separate business unit across the globe to ensure it is taken forward as a central strategy for each event.


We took Reed’s existing research from individual events to develop hypotheses about the different motivations and needs attendees have when going to events. We then used the Sound Wave to speak to attendees of events across multiple sectors in 7 countries. This helped to draw apart the different behaviour typologies which we then validated through a quantitative survey with 7000 attendees in 7 markets. Finally, we conducted in-depth 1-2-1 interviews with attendees across the globe to really delve into their motivations, needs and behaviours – bringing each behavioural typology to life through short documentary-style films.

It’s Time to Seize The Day!


Client Love

“The Sound took 60+ hours of customer input from 8 different business units across our global organisation and skilfully condensed this into a set of behavioural archetypes which are now helping us focus our event strategies on increasing customer value when attending events”

Ade Allenby – Global Digital Innovation for Reed

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