Bear with me on this one, because it's crucial to the advertising and marketing efforts of your event ... and it's not what you think.
Every year, at the International Council of Air Shows' Convention, there is a huge discussion about how "our industry is aging out!" It's followed by charts and graphs breaking down the demographic profile of people attending air shows.
Air show chart and graph data is compiled by a biennial spectator survey. This survey includes a series of demographic questions. Yet there is one crucial question that is missing from the survey. When a spectator is asked their age range, there is no follow up question of, "are you the one who purchased a ticket to the airshow?"
Any guesses as to why not asking the purchase question could be an issue?
Because the person giving their age range might not be the same person purchasing the ticket. In this case, there is an older demographic responding to the survey. It's also important to note that the survey is administered by volunteers. And the survey is usually asked of adults, not an equal distribution of participants.
It's critical that you focus on who is buying the ticket to your event. Because if you took an age sample of people within a Disney park, you'd end up with a high percentage of 12-17 year olds. That said, the 12 to 17-year-olds aren't paying for the high-priced Disney vacation. It's probably Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa. They might even be taking out a second mortgage on the house just to pay for the whole thing.
Who's buying tickets to your event determines where you're spending your marketing and advertising dollars. Think about it. Several marketing channels have distinct demographic and psychographic dispositions. As the marketing great Dan Kennedy says (paraphrased), "nobody reads newspapers anymore, unless your over 50 and have a lot of money."
Kennedy then takes the above insight and applies it to advertising and marketing, "you have the right to discriminate who you do business with." Precisely how and where you spend your marketing and advertising dollars.
Which leads to two important questions:
Do you have detailed demographic and psychographic profiles of your event ticket buyers? Are you laser targeting them with all your advertising and marketing efforts?
That means you want to discriminate your advertising dollars against people who aren't remotely interested in attending your event. By ethically discriminating, you can avoid a lot of wasted advertising dollars.