To not know your audience well is the biggest mistake you can make in event organising.
On the flip side, to drive the point home: to know your audience well is to set your event up for success.
Events are hard work, often endeavours fuelled by passion to get others excited about a cause, an activity, an interest, a business, or a movement. Think about it, why do you organise your events? Most, if not all of you, would agree that it comes back to being a people-centric affair – we organise events with others in mind, to inspire action, teach a skill, share knowledge, build a community, and so on.
Given the people-centric nature of events, it only makes sense that at every point of the event planning process, your target audience is kept in mind – their demographic, interests, motivations, and behaviour, so as to craft an event that will capture their attention and attendance. Simply put, going beyond scratching the surface of knowing your audience, hence the emphasis on “well”, will help to inform a myriad of event planning decisions such as:
- Marketing your event: Which marketing channel will be best in getting the most word out to your target audience? What time will your audience most likely be on those channels so you can plan to push out marketing material then? What messaging will they be most receptive to given the unique interests or problems they have? What type of content will they engage with most – would it be highly visual content, blog posts, podcasts, giveaways, or other forms of content?
- Coordinating logistics: Which day and time of the week will they most likely be able to attend your event? Which venue would be most convenient and synonymous with the vibe of your community?
- Planning the programme: What can your event have that will provide value or be of keen interest to your community? Would it be a particular topic that addresses a problem they face, an influential thought leader they will want to meet or hear from, a renowned performer they want to catch, or simply to network with a good mix of others in the community? What is it they would give up both time and money for in attending your event?
- Ticketing: Are they typically a last minute bunch of ticket buyers? How should you price your event so as to naturally curate the attendees who come such that they’re truly interested in attending yet still make it an accessible event for your community?
All these questions need answering in planning for an event. Knowing your audience well will help address them.
Download our free template to thoroughly understand your event’s target audience, otherwise also known as an event attendee persona.
In filling out the template, you could start with yourself as a point of reference (given you are more likely than not a reflection of the community you seek to draw to your event) and expand from there by speaking with others whom you identify as being a part of the audience you wish to have at your event. Personas you develop should be a detailed representation of a typical person amongst your target audience, the more specific you are, the better.
Continually work on your initial draft to develop an accurate picture of your event’s target audience to have more success in attracting them to attend, because events are more fun to experience with equally passionate others!