Customize versus Personalize

Core-Apps Team

November 15, 2017

    Customization vs. Personalization

    Is there a difference and how it can work for you?

    We hear more and more from event organizers that they want more customization for experience; that their attendees crave personalization; that they want to target specific audiences. But it’s not that black and white and I often wonder if these two terms are getting confused. So we would like to clarify customize versus personalize really means, how they differ and the different data sets necessary to make this magic happen.

    Event app companies as well as other third party providers in the event space create experiences that can be both customized and personalized. The kicker is these terms are often used interchangeably. The takeaway here is that they are quite different. Whether you are working with a CRM system, registration provider, expo management platform or an event app, it’s important to define your expectations so the appropriate experience is delivered.

    You’re probably thinking, “Well I know what each word means”. Of course you do, but do you know what makes them different?

    By asking yourself this simple question, “Is the desired experience built FOR the attendee or tailored TO the attendee?” you’ll put yourself on the path to knowing what your attendee expects.

    Quick definition review:

    Customization – is achieved when you provide the tools to create a preferred experience. The system is built so that it can be tailored FOR someone.

    Personalization – is achieved using data to predict what someone will want to experience. The system is tailoring itself TO someone.

    Each achieves the same goal (an enhanced experience), but the road to get there differs.

    Organizations are different, just like your event attendees and exhibitors. So it’s important to work with partners who provide customized AND personalized solutions.


    Your CRM vendor builds a customized solution just for you. Registration vendors use personalization when collecting attendee demographic information and use that to suggest sessions that may be of interest. Mobile apps are built with the organization in mind in terms of branding and configuration, aimed at the user experience.

    Now, we all know what happens when we assume what someone might want. It’s important to have data to support your predictions, especially in regards to personalization. What better way to do this than by using data you’ve been collecting for years? Organizations are finally putting this data to good use.

    Instead of setting last year’s data aside with the old program books and swag bags, data driven decision making is here to stay. As it should be! Demographic profiles, attendance patterns, session evaluations, sponsorship trends and real-time feedback provide key insights in to how you can be customizing and personalizing your next event.

    If you would like to learn how Core-apps is providing attendees and exhibitors more customized and personalized experiences, please contact us.

    Core-Apps Team