Meeting Planners Still Struggle With GDPR, Study Says

Eventsforce research finds issues with consent management and more, though most planners feel they ultimately are in compliance. 


Research released this week by Eventsforce says that though the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, has changed how event planners handle data, compliance challenges remain.

According to the study, 90 percent of planners say they struggle to meet GDPR requirements even a year after the European Union’s data-protection law first came into effect. And though 81 percent believe they are in compliance, ongoing issues include consent management (36 percent), running GDPR checks with event suppliers (30 percent) and controlling how third parties are using attendee data (28 percent).

The study analyzed data collected from 110 meeting and event professionals across the U.S. and U.K., taking into account the overall industry impact of the regulation and changes planners have had to make in the way they organize and manage events. 

“Our research shows that despite the ongoing challenges event organizers are still facing around GDPR, the regulation has also brought about a number of positive changes to our industry, especially with regard to event marketing, data management and data security,"  said Eventsforce CEO George Sirius. “Events are also starting to promote their data-protection credentials a lot more than before in an effort to show attendees that they can be trusted with their most valuable asset -- their personal information.”

Sirius said the issues presented underline the importance of a robust data-management strategy so that valuable data doesn't end up in the wrong hands. 

The study also looked into the role of event marketing in GDPR: 36 percent of respondents claim the legislation has improved the quality and creativity of their communication campaigns. Other changes include more targeted communications (24 percent) and better-quality mailing lists (17 percent).

A full infographic of the GDPR study data is available on the firm's website.