Every aspect of your event promotion needs to start with a comprehensive understanding of your target market. Make sure you truly understand your customer or potential attendee before committing to any marketing or advertising campaign. In the case of events, your target market is represented by your ideal event attendee. I cannot stress this enough. Target market research that’s laser-focused is a big deal.
Focus on Their Interests First, or Else!
People won’t buy tickets for an event, or even attend a free event, that doesn’t hold their interest. Especially in today’s social media driven marketplaces. A lack of interest is one of the biggest reasons events fail.
If you want to pack your event, the best place to start is with a hungry market. Fortunately, niche events (ethnic festivals & beer festivals) have a small but very hungry (thirsty) market. You need to make sure you fully understand your target market before you begin.
If you have a new event, target market research needs to be your first planning step. Start by asking yourself, “What are my target market’s wants, needs, and desires as they pertain to my event?” When asking the question, it’s really important to take your ego out of the equation. Focus on the market’s ego. Not yours.
Your Event Customer Profile
I’m going to present a great marketing concept from two of my marketing mentors, Eben Pagan and John Carlton. Years ago, Eben came up with the concept of a customer profile. In the event marketing world, your profile is the ideal prospect for your event. Eben calls the embodiment of your customer profile an Avatar. The idea is to use your customer profile to better plan and market your event.
This is really important: Most new events fail, in some cases spectacularly, because they fail to have a good customer profile in place. The result is trying to sell an event that people are not interested in attending. No amount of marketing budget will help you, if you don't give the customers want they want.
Simple Questions to Build Your Event Customer Profile
Here are some quick questions that will help you create a great customer profile (Avatar) for your event. The questions below are derived from John Carlton’s Simple Writing System.
- Who is your ideal customer? (Demographic & Psychographic)
- What are your customer’s TOP wants, needs or desires regarding your event?
- Do they have an irrational fear or desire?
- What message (advertisement) can you present to your prospect that drives them toward action?
By answering the questions above, you will better understand what someone attending your event or potential attendee wants and how best to serve them. The questions above are tremendously powerful for making marketing and advertising decisions.
Over the years, I’ve seen several event promotion disasters that could have been prevented by engaging in a simple customer profile exercise. Please make sure you have a well thought out customer profile in place before you start any event.
The profile you build represents your ideal event prospect and should drive everything you do with your event website and your event itself. The profile should also drive your advertising and marketing decisions.
I realize that target market research isn’t the most exciting activity, but its importance is paramount.
There is zero benefit in planning or creating an event if people aren’t going to attend. Doing a little homework up front can save you a ton of money and agony down the road.
Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event:
- The Importance of Market Research in Planning Your Event
- An Extremely Dangerous Event Planning Mistake
- Your Event Promotion and Marketing Strategy - Start Point
- Event Planning: The Customer Avatar and Your Event
- Two Amazingly Powerful Event Survey Questions
- A Killer Social Media Promotion Strategy for Your Event