The Importance of Market Research in Planning Your Event
by Eugene Loj
Really knowing a target market is the foundation of getting people to your event. Event organizers frequently call me in a last minute panic . . . They can’t understand why people AREN’T buying tickets for their event. After going through a bunch of probing questions, my response is almost always the same - “You’re having problems selling tickets to your event, because people aren’t interested in what you have to offer.” It sucks having to tell people this – especially when they’ve worked so hard planning their event.
Truth be told, it doesn’t matter how much work goes into planning your event. If people aren’t interested in what you have to offer, they’re not going to show up! If you want to pack your event, focus on finding a passionate marketplace that will automatically (or as close to automatically) attend your event.
A passionate target market is a huge reason I focus intently on air shows and beer festivals – it’s pretty easy to sell tickets! All you have to do is say there’s an air show or beer fest and people practically show up. When planning your event, look for markets that are “rabid” for your type of event. You can find rabid markets by doing a little market research.
Leverage the Magazine Rack!
Here’s a great way to find a passionate marketplace . . . I give credit to Perry Marshall (Adwords Expert) as being the catalyst for this idea.
Here is what you can do - Go to your local library or bookstore and spend some time at magazine rack. If you’re looking for HOT marketplaces and niche specific topics, the magazine rack is an amazing resource. Magazines represent specific topic areas that generate enough interest that advertisers are willing to purchase ad space. Ad space is highly indicative of marketplaces where people BUY. You want your event theme/topic to match up to a BUYING (passionate) marketplace.
Magazine racks are great, because they allow you to look through a plethora of target markets. Maybe there isn’t a perfect topical match for your event idea. In this case, try to find the magazines that are the closest match for your potential event. If there is no close match, you might want to consider not planning that event at all.
Zero in on Trends
Can you find a magazine that match up to your event idea? Is there a series of magazines in one topic area? Take a look through the magazine(s) – what are the articles about? What kind of products and services are being advertised? Look for article trends and industry hot buttons. If you can find the magazine at your local library, even better . . . Libraries frequently keep previous issues of their magazine subscriptions. Go back through previous issues and dig into the articles and advertising. Again, look for trends.
Most event organizers don’t have the budget or time to influence their target market. Stay away from the notion that you can convince people to show up to your event by buying enough advertising – it doesn’t work and will leave you broke! That’s why the magazine rack is go great . . . It will clue you in quickly to passionate target markets and trends.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- Event Marketing from the Magazine Rack
- An Extremely Dangerous Event Planning Mistake
- Event Marketing Research - Know Your Target Market!
- Knowing Your Event Patron
- Event Planning: The Customer Avatar and Your Event
- Get Great Ideas from an Event Marketing Field Trip
- Where to Advertise Your Event
- Modeling Other Event Marketing and Promotions
- Event Marketing: Ask Your Patrons What They Want
- Your Event Promotion and Marketing Strategy - Start Point
- The Event Promotion System
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