Live events organisations will need to use data to quickly understand what has changed in terms of customers, sales, and communications in the aftermath of COVID-19’s destruction to the industry, according to Activity Stream executive Martin Gammeltoft.

The company’s vice-president of commercial operations told TheTicketingBusiness that he thinks the whole industry is learning how central data will be in the recovery process.

He said: “It’ll be a period of unprecedented uncertainty, and many organisations will be reopening with smaller budgets and, maybe, smaller teams, so both sales and marketing will have to test and evaluate all initiatives and learn as quickly as possible.

“We’re seeing many organisations improving their ability to analyse and segment their audience, enabling them to target their efforts more effectively, and AI will be a great technology for supporting marketers.”

When live events eventually return, Gammeltoft (pictured below) says it will be the “death of the gut feeling,” as he suggests organisations cannot revert to doing things without data on customers, sales, and communications.

“Crisis often spurs transformation of an industry, and I think the understanding of the importance of data will be one of the key changes going forward,” he said.

While Gammeltoft sees data and artificial intelligence as the key to recovery for a shattered industry, he also notes how his firm has adapted.

Activity Stream, business solutions provider which provides data tools as-a-service for the sports and live entertainment industries and gives organisations the opportunity to use technology such as machine learning and cross-industry benchmarking, has been using the downtime to rework most of its platform and will be relaunching with a whole new infrastructure and a lot of interface improvements.

Gammeltoft said this would help the company to be able to move forward at speed. He added: “You could say that the initial shock pushed us to be creative and prepare ourselves for the future.”

The company has revisited all its strategies and plans amid the COVID-19 shut down, and, as it expects a lot of uncertainty in marketing, it has opted to focus on developing tools to assist marketers in segmentation and campaign management.

He continued: “You could say that because the market went quiet, we got a unique chance to focus on product development, with the organisation being available to collaborate on design and innovation. I’m very proud of what the team has achieved in this period.”