A few months back, maybe even a little longer ago now, I was listening to Bruno Mars on Spotify. When the album ended, Spotify began streaming a mix of new artists and bands based on my previous preferences. Many of which, I hadn’t previously been aware of. Among this mix was a Brazilian artist called K2 and then this Russian band Little Big.

Now, I don’t speak Brazilian Portuguese and never would have considered looking into Brazilian pop music on my own, but these artists have quickly become some of my favorites. Now, many are on my “heavy rotation” as Spotify calls it.

This is the beauty of intelligent recommendations and personalized experiences.

And, it’s not just for Spotify, but I’ll get to that later…

What is Spotify’s Intelligent Recommendation Engine

If you’re a Spotify user, you’ve probably listened to a “Discover Weekly” playlist out of curiosity if nothing else. If you’ve been using Spotify for a while, you may even look forward to this playlist and listen to it throughout the week. Well, Spotify’s intelligent recommendation engine is the backbone of the Discover Weekly playlist along with your “Daily Mixes”, Release Radar”, and any other recommendations of playlists or artists – just like how it recommended Brazilian pop artists to me after my Bruno Mars album had finished.

It all started with “Discover Weekly.”

Spotify launched its “Discover Weekly” playlist in 2015 and had reportedly reached 5 billion Discover Weekly tracks streamed by 2016. Now this is proof of concept it you’ve ever seen it. Now, it’s at the core of everything Spotify does other than allow you to search specific artists, albums, and songs, and create your own curated playlists.

So, now that you know what it is, are you curious how it all works?

How Does Spotify’s Intelligent Recommendation Engine Work?

Taste Profile

The recommendation engine is able to identify music that may appeal to you based on your taste profile. Spotify intelligently creates a taste profile for each of its users based on their listening history. So, your taste profile is created from your listening history as well as the listening histories of users with similar preferences to your own.

Then, using a clustering algorithm, Spotify groups the songs and artists in your listening history with like songs and artists. It even considers the tone of the playlists you create and subscribe to. All to train the recommendation engine’s algorithm.

Collaborative Filtering

Collaborative filtering is the crux of this highly intelligent recommendation engine. These systems “take consumer behavior data and utilize it to predict future behavior.” It leverages both implicit and explcit feedback to garner these insights.

Implicit feedback takes factors like play times, skips, and repeat listens into consideration when creating your taste profile and predicting which recommendations you will enjoy in the future.

Explicit feedback is taken from your likes, songs added to playlists, and other explicit actions you take that tell Spotify, “I like this song.”

With all this information and more, Spotify is able to create recommendations you will love, just like I loved the Brazilian pop artists it recommended me.

To get more granular, technical knowledge about how Spotify’s recommendation engine works, check out this article by Georgetown University. To get a high-level overview, check out this YouTube video from VoxCreative embedded below!

How to Leverage an Intelligent Recommendation Engine in Your Virtual Events

Personalizing your event to captivate attendees is not an added benefit, it’s a necessity. When people attend your events live, they are physically there and aren’t likely to leave. However, the internet is a vast and entertaining place. If you’re event doesn’t capture the attention of your attendees, they’ll quickly bounce out and find something else to do online.

Utilizing a recommendation engine to enhance your virtual events is built into our platform at Social27 and I’ll talk about that a bit here. Then I want to give you some creative ways to leverage this intelligence to make your events uniquely stand-out in a way only you can. I also hope that my ideas inspire you to come up with your own innovative ideas.

In fact, if you get any ideas for your own event, or that you think other organizations putting on virtual events can benefit from, please share them in the comments!

How Our Virtual Events Recommendation Engine Works

It all starts when someone registers with their basic information. As soon as an attendee fills out the information, we capture it. We also integrate our system with your CRM system so you can tag/segment your attendees as well on the backend for lead tracking or other purposes.

Each attendee is then directed to their “Journey” where they can select their areas of interests or search interests. Once they’ve selected their interests, they are delivered recommended sessions, speakers, and more to give them some personalized guidance on how to best leverage your event to fit their unique needs. Another way our platform helps your attendees have a more personalized experience is with “Happy Hours”. Happy Hours are interest or topic-specific discussions so attendees can easily connect with other attendees who have similar areas of interest and expertise to their own.

As the event creator, you’re given an attendee graph so you can see clusters of like attendees as well as dive into the interests of individual attendees to help guide your content offerings, partnerships, and so on based on the particular interests of your attendees creating a more seamless, compelling attendee experience.

Create a Community (Not Just an Event)

One of the reasons we all love events is the opportunity it provides to meet like-minded people. Sure, the educational talks and panels are a big draw and checking out innovative vendors in the industry is exciting, but it’s the people that keep us connected to the event and inspire us to keep coming back year after year (or month after month).

Try to take a high-level view of the lasting impressions and connections your event provides. How can you utilize chats and virtual meet ups? How can you connect like-minded attendees? I’m going to give some ideas below. Please share your own ideas in the comments!

Designate “Community Builders” to Create More Community Among Like Attendees

What if you have some of your event workers in charge of certain interests and promoting engagement among and between those interest groups?

Consider designating some of your team members as “Community Builders.” These people will ideally share similar interests and/or expertise with the attendee groups they’ll be coordinating. Create special hashtags for attendees with those interests and have your community builders monitor them. Have community builders organize focused chats on specific topics in their area of interest. They can also reach out to attendees with those interests individually to help guide them to the events that will most resonate with them.

This will bring your attendee’s personalized experiences to a whole new level.

Deliver Personalized Content to Your Attendees

On top of notifying attendees of speakers, discussions, and other aspects of your event that meet their interests, you can also deliver additional, customized content. There are many ways you can do this, we at Social27 have intelligent playlists that will populate content based on previously consumed content, but you could also have landing pages or other ways of packaging content ready to go in interest-driven packages.

This will provide your attendees with even more value and preferable in a format they can access even after the event. It also helps your event and/or organization top-of-mind if the content you deliver is highly customized and includes useful resources your attendees will go back to long after your event has finished.

Your Next Step

How will you ensure your virtual event attendees have an ultra-personalized experience and strengthens their sense of community with your organization? Comment below to share your creative ideas! We want to hear them.

Social27 Virtual Events

New to virtual events or want help implementing some of these ideas (and more) into your virtual events? Social27 has been enabling organizations across all industries and sizes to host their own engaging virtual events since 2010.

The Social27 Virtual Events platform brings the best of content streaming, networking with rich profiles, virtual sponsor pavilions, lead generation, gamification with points and badges, AI chatbot support and deep analytics powered by machine learning.