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How to avoid a total event disconnect

Here's the irony of today's recommendation. For years, event organizers and clients insist that they know their event attendees. Yet, when they are given the same post-event survey as their event attendees, the answers are entirely different.

To be clear, the event organizers are asked to answer the post-event surveys as their event attendees.

Even more jaw-dropping, after years of reviewing post-event survey results by their own event attendees, the organizers still provide entirely different answers.

A few years ago, an event organizer angrily told me, "nobody is going to tell me what performers to hire at our event!" To which I responded, "what about your event attendee?" My inner a-hole voice continued (but not out loud to the angry event organizer) "you know ... the same people who make your paycheck possible!"

To be super successful with your event, you need to make sure you truly understand your event attendee.

As the late-great John Collier said, "enter into a conversation already occurring in your prospect's mind." That means putting aside your own personal beliefs and biases. And that's not easy to do! It's also key to hugely successful events.

I'm going to present a powerful marketing concept from two of my marketing mentors, Eben Pagan and John Carlton. It will help you better connect with your event attendee.

Years ago, Eben came up with the concept of a customer profile. He calls it a Customer Avatar. In the event world, your profile is the ideal prospect for your event. You use your customer profile to better plan and market your event.
Specifically, to laser target your marketing message and advertising placements.

Simple Questions to Build Your Event Customer Profile
Here are some quick questions that will help you create your customer profile for your event. The questions below are derived from John Carlton's Simple Writing System.

-Who is your ideal event attendee? (Demographics & Psychographics)

-What are your event attendee's wants, needs or desires regarding your event?

-Do they have an irrational fear or desire?

-What message can you present to your prospective event attendee that drives them toward action?

By answering the questions above, you will better understand what someone attending your event wants and how best to serve them. This is also tremendously powerful for making marketing and advertising decisions.

Over the years, I've seen several event marketing disasters that could have been prevented with a customer profile.

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. If you alreadyhave an event, an attendee profile will help you grow to the next level.

Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event: