While high attendance certainly is a healthy indicator of the success of any meeting or event, this industry isn’t just a numbers game. And unless you’re basing the level of achievement of your event purely on ticket sales, attracting a massive delegation in the hope that you will make an impact is a total shot in the dark.
Event attendees don’t want to be talked at ad nauseum; neither do they have the time to spend an entire day doing so. With personalised consumption on the increase, it is that much more important to frame who needs to be part of your audience and how to align your messaging to them. When taking a step back and looking at what the event is intended to accomplish, we can then see that the answer lies in who attends each event.
With the frequency of each event being relatively low compared to other media, it is vital to strike a balance between your objectives and who can help you meet them. Outlining some simple points to consider in terms of your audience reach will help define who attends your event and why.
What do you want to tell your audience?
Be expressly clear about your messaging and why your audience is attending your meeting or event. Even if it is an abstract concept, if you cannot define the thrust of your event in two sentences or less, go back to the drawing board.
Why should your audience listen?
Make sure there is something that is either of interest to the individual – in a personal or professional capacity – or at least one small aspect of the event that will make an impact, anything that creates an association to the event.
What’s in it for them?
Whether it is a fantastic speaker line-up or the launch of a new initiative or groundbreaking report, make the delegate feel as if whatever he or she is gaining from the event cannot be found elsewhere. And no, free food does not count as a draw card.
What sort of impact do we want to create?
A talking point. Pique your audience’s interests and tap into their thinking. Move them with emotive and thought-provoking content that will illustrate and support your message. Create a long-lasting impression that they will want to bring up in conversation with family, friends and colleagues.
Follow up, get feedback. Make sure you set the bar for the next event. Keep them coming back for more. Build rapport with your audiences; endear them to everything representing your event because word-of-mouth remains one of the best leads for new business.