You are on page 1of 1


Often event organizers have a limited understanding of their attendees, with insights based on a few demographic questions collected through the registration process and perhaps a short post-show survey. Holes in information about the attendee audience compromises an events ability to focus on key target customers and prospects, allocate list acquisition resources to the right segments and launch compelling and engaging, and ultimately successful marketing campaigns. What is needed is a target persona marketing program which offers a way to assist an event marketer to gain a deeper understanding of her primary attendee target markets. This richer knowledge enables organizers to tailor show offerings and marketing programs that resonate with key audiences as well as identify ways to establish a deeper rapport to improve retention programs. Achieving these end results is not easy and requires a careful, managed approach including planning, research and strategy. To be successful, the event marketer should build a strategy which enables a deeper understanding about how to better serve current and future customers as well as how to best reach them with timely and valuable information. Building this program entails a three-phased approach: Phase One, Profiling Existing and Prospective Attendee Target Markets. Surveying current attendees will provide key insights on why they choose to be a customer as well as further define who they are (e.g. age, gender, media preferences, professional needs and aspirations, etc.) and how best to communicate with them. Surveying prospects who do not come to events will uncover who they are, why they do not come, who among them are the best candidates to attract to future events and how best to reach them. The end result of this research will be a definition of three to five primary target audiences or personas. It will paint a picture of the types of the best individuals or personas that come to future events. Phase Two, Qualitative, Anecdotal Research: The first step will paint the picture of the personas, conducting 50+ in-depth interviews with members of these groups will bring them to life. Event staff will receive firsthand experience speaking to customers, hearing how they talk about issues relating to event and business issues and needs that are most important to them. This last phase is as much to assure that the research findings are correct as well as to deepen the engagement of event staff with event key target customers and prospects. Phase Three, Crafting Strategy, Tactics and Metrics: Armed with a very powerful understanding of core target audiences, the next step is to define a marketing strategy and tactical campaign that aligns with the wants and needs of each target audience and that speaks to them in their language and through the media they regularly consult for their business needs. Key measurables will be defined to monitor progress and to determine the effectiveness of the approach. The end result of this process positions future events to better align with the wants and needs of primary target audiences and hence will help grow and retain the future attendee base. Warwick Davies is the Principal of The Event Mechanic!, a consulting company which helps event organizers realize greater revenues and pro ts by xing broken events and launch new ones both in the United States and internationally . His clients include event organizers in the information technology, healthcare, biotechnology construction and design engineering and executive event markets. Previously, Warwick was responsible for internationally recognizable event brands such as Macworld Conference and Expo, LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, and the Customer Relationship Management Conference and Exposition worldwide. For more information on The Event Mechanic! and past SISO The Event Mechanic! columns please visit He can be reached at or at (781) 354-0119

Copyright The Event Mechanic!!