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What GDPR means for your Event’s digital marketing

What GDPR means for your Event’s digital marketing

GDPR refers to the General Data Protection Regulation that was passed in April 2016 (after four years of preparation) and goes into effect in May 2018. Currently, it will only be an official law within the European Union, although some international companies have announced that they will adhere to it and enforce it worldwide in regards to their own business operations.

From a consumer standpoint, this regulation is good for personal security, particularly if you’re concerned about your privacy or worried about your personal information being compromised or acquired by third parties.

For corporate and small events, however, the situation is slightly more complicated, especially if you rely heavily on the digital world to run your business.

What GDPR does, in the most basic terms, is allow the customer to pick and choose what personal information of theirs is received and retained by your business. Instead of needing to give you all of their contact information, for example, they can give you only as much as they feel comfortable with; they will also be able to contact you later to reclaim their information if they no longer wish for you or your business to have it. As a result, there will need to be new data safeguards put into place for all affected businesses in order to better meet these new standards of digital safety and security.

There is also the issue of what to do with personal information that has already been received and might not be stored in a manner consistent with the new standards presented by the GDPR. There is also the potential for customers to use the GDPR to file requests for your company to remove certain aspects of their personal information from your records.

One of the key components to complying with the GDPR and maintaining the security of your customers’ information is to know and understand what happens with your customer’s data when it’s submitted to you.

Is their data simply entered into a form on your website and deposited in a secure information bank that only you have access to, or does it pass through other third parties who might potentially compromise or expose that information? Furthermore, will removing that data from your system be easy if your customer submits a request for it? Or will it be a complicated process? These are all important questions you will need to start asking if you hope to successfully navigate in the digital side of your business in the wake of the GDPR’s approval.

Ultimately, you will need to work out the specific process for all of this on your own; every single business or company is different and unique in terms of what customer information they need to obtain and retain in the first place, so it’s a given that how each business responds to the GDPR will be different as well.

And while the early stages of GDPR’s implementation may be uncomfortable and frustrating, rest assured that ultimately these extra security measures are for the best, both for your customers and for your business.

Zack is Symposia's marketing manager and is responsible for all Symposia’s marketing content and brand assets.

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