I am about to take the MB2-719 certification, this certification covers the Dynamics 365 for Marketing Application. I plan to create a series of blog posts that collectively should help anyone else preparing for this exam. In this post I will look at events.
This post is the second of two describing the functionality we have in Dynamics 365 for Marketing connected with events. You can view the first post here.
In the first post I explained now we create an event and include all of the details information about speakers, sessions, tracks and so on. In this post we’ll look at how this information used. Beginning with how people can register for the event, and then moving onto how we will record their attendance. I will also touch on the customer journeys we might want to create connected with events.
The Event Portal
The event portal uses the portal feature of Dynamics 365, I guess you could customise the portal but quite often you will find it can be used right out of the box. As the pre-configured portal will contain all of the information you entered against the event. Including details of the event, sessions, track, passes, speakers and more. Below you can see how my event portal looked after configuring my event. (This example just happens to be a real event for the user group in Birmingham I’m involved with!)
You can access a home page which will list all of your live events. Then from there you can open the events and navigation around four main pages. One each for sessions, tracks, speakers and passes. Additionally clicking “Register now” will navigate the visitor to a page which will allow them to register for the event.
Additionally contacts can sign into the portal to manage their registrations.
To invite someone to an event and also confirm they are registered (etc) you will no doubt create a customer journey. Whilst revising for MB2-719 I found this to be a complicated process! This is simply because there are quite a few scenarios to consider.
But to help us there is an out of the box customer journey template for events. This sends out an initial invite, if people don’t’ register for the event a reminder email can be sent. And when they attend the event a thank you message is sent. In real scenarios you’ll probably want to tailor this journey but the out of the box template does give us a good start point.
Whilst creating your customer journey you will want to send out event invites. This is done by creating a marketing email, as we have already seen with other customer journeys! However we can add an event block to the email to create a “button” that will directly link to the event’s portal page.
As people register for your event you start to see this information in the “Registration and attendance” tab of your event. Additionally you will also be able to see any responses they gave to custom registration fields.
Opening the registration will allow you to drill into more information. Including which sessions they are registered for and also a QR code. The QR code (for example) could be printed onto event badges to make the check-in process more streamlined. As you could easily can the persons attendance at the event and specific sessions.
Attendance / Check-In
We can create check-ins in one of two ways. Either attendees could be flagged as attending the event and (or) individual sessions. The registration ID is entered (or scanned from a QR code) and then you select the check-in type. The available types are “Event check-in” and “Session check-in”. When selecting “Session check-in” you will additionally have to provide the session registration and session details.
Tip: At an event you might want to think about using this check-in process on a mobile phone or tablet. Using a mobile device would not only be convenient but will also make scanning of QR codes simple.
Event check-ins can be seen on the registration and attendance tab of the event. Additionally our customer journey will commonly contain triggers based on the attendance at events. As after attending an event we might want to send out a thank you and maybe a survey to measure the success of the event.
Post Event Management
After an event you might want to do several things;
- Post event survey – you may wish to use the voice of the customer functionality to send our a survey to judge the success of your event. (I will cover the details of voice of the customer in a later post.)
- Sales hand off – Dynamics 365 for Marketing is tightly integrated with Dynamics 365 for Sales. Leads may have been generated as a result of people registering for an event. You might want to use the lead scoring feature to help progress people who attended events into sales. (By making them “sales ready” based on scoring logic.) I explain the concept of lead scoring here.
- Reporting – gaining insights into how your events performed will be useful information when planning future events.
We have already seen that you can view large amounts of data about event registrations and attendance directly on the event form. Additionally out of the box we get an event management dashboard. This gives an overview of event-planning activities and other KPIs for all events. It also includes a wall feed that tracks all activities that are linked to the event-related records.
I hope that my two posts on event management will have helped introduce the topics we need to revise for the MB2-719 exam. I’m in no doubt that I’ve also learnt how complex planning an event can be. (That’s no surprise as events can be large undertakings.) But despite events being complex organisational challenges I feel we have also learnt that Dynamics 365 for Marketing contains some pretty comprehensive functionality to help support this challenging process. Enjoy!