The egomaniac's guide to event failure
Mining your event marketing mountain & "digital dust"

Are your event attendees loyal? Are you sure?

When it comes to event attendance, there is a standard go-to phrase, "we can always count on our loyal customers!"

After completing a recent analysis, my question of the day is, "do you really have loyal customers?"

In this case, a loyal event attendee (customer) should be considered someone who attends your event more often than not. So, if you have 5 events, they've attended the last 4-5 events. Fair enough?

Today, I completed another event analysis study. The analysis involved crunching five years of customer data for a niche annual outdoor event. Its primary purpose was to answer the question, "how loyal are event attendees?"

Thus far, the results have been absolutely shocking. One person summed up the findings this way, "holy f***!"

Because the outcome of the customer loyalty studies could have massive ramifications for how certain niche events are produced, advertised, and marketed. Put directly, throw out what you've been doing for 30-years, because it clearly isn't working ... according to your own customer data!

First, the number of people attending four to five of the last five events, less than 3%! On the opposite side of the scale, the number of people attending only one event in five years, over 80%.

I'm no statistician, but last time I checked, it's nearly impossible to grow any event with those kinds of numbers. Some of the annual events in the study have been going on for over 30 years.

To be fair, the findings above are preliminary. The data and methodology are not perfect, but it is excellent in terms of being able to track customer loyalty.

I plan to hire a "Quant" (Quantitative Analyst) to really dig into the methodology being used and make sure of the accuracy and objectivity of my approach. What's a Quantitative Analyst? In crude terms, a super geek with the combined skills of a computer scientist, finance analyst, and rocket-science mathematician.

In the meantime ... Have you ever looked at how loyal your event customers are? Specifically, using your customer data and matching variables to identify repeat buyers. If so, what did you find?

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