CoolData blog

14 December 2009

Why you should capture alumni event attendance in your database

Filed under: Event attendance, Predictor variables — Tags: , , — kevinmacdonell @ 11:46 am

There are many reasons why it makes sense to have a system in place to capture alumni event attendance in your database. Here are a few:

  • Pre-entering RSVPs, if your database allows it, enables an efficient way of producing event bios (what in some shops are called ‘blurbs’), by pulling all the relevant data from your database for the IDs that have an RSVP in their record for the event.
  • Statistics for attendance at key annual events (Homecoming in particular) are much more easily generated when the data is stored in the database. Not just attendee counts, but breakdowns by class year, milestone reunion year, giving, and so on.
  • It’s easy to pull a mailing list of event attendees, for post-event surveying.
  • Event attendance history is a useful piece of information to incorporate in major-gift prospect profiles. Having it in one place (ideally as part of a report) will make it easier to retrieve quickly.
  • Event attendance is very highly correlated with giving. It is a valuable predictor in any propensity-to-give model.
  • You can turn that around, and say that giving is highly correlated with event attendance. Make “events attended” the predicted value in an event attendance likelihood model, to segment which group of alumni should receive a mailed invitation.

Naturally, I am most excited by the possibilities for building ever more robust predictive models, but any combination of these reasons is enough to proceed with some system for tracking attendance in your database.


  1. […] To create an event attendance likelihood model you need at least a few years of actual attendance data. I was lucky – I had Homecoming data going back to 1999, as well as a few years of data for alumni receptions across the country. (Gathering this data pays off in many ways besides predictive modeling. See my earlier post, Why you should capture alumni event attendance in your database.) […]

    Pingback by Building your ‘event attendance likelihood’ model « CoolData blog — 14 January 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  2. […] under: Banner, Event attendance — kevinmacdonell @ 12:52 pm A while ago I urged you to track alumni event attendance in your database. For schools with Advancement departments using SCT Banner, here’s how to use Banner’s […]

    Pingback by Tracking event attendance in Banner, Part 1 « CoolData blog — 18 February 2010 @ 8:52 am

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