It’s been all over the news, and anyone in the events business has gotten wind that the latest tech giant has pulled its global conference out of San Francisco. While this makes for big headlines, companies continue to overlook the most important factor of all: It’s not just where your event is held, but who should attend.
Even with the exodus out of the Bay Area, major tech conferences are back in full force. But, there is much room for improvement from an ROI standpoint – largely driven by the dated mindset of “fill all the seats.” For too long, the goal has been to pack the conference — standing room only, equals success. But what good is that if you’re not generating real business opportunities? It’s time to take a hyper-targeted approach to event audience acquisition. That might mean fewer attendees, but having the right attendees is more likely to impact future growth.
Quality over Quantity
We recently started working with a client on their first flagship proprietary user conference in three years. The success of this event will hinge on the ability to attract and captivate the right audience. This starts with a well-structured strategic narrative for communications and then executing the right demand generation tactics.
Creating and Cascading the Narrative
Once a compelling theme, value, and strategic direction are settled on, work to expand this into a compelling narrative and value proposition. Then, cascade the narrative from the overarching message all the way down to individual personas, ensuring that every potential attendee feels personally engaged.
The Engine to Drive Audience Acquisition
Each campaign features content specifically designed for each persona, including emails, webinars, ABM outreach, communications, social media ads, and other communication. The idea is to immerse a potential attendee with a tailored experience. The right mix based on your attendee goals will get your message out. Paid, organic, SDR call scripts, emails, newsletters, landing pages, and social content all play a key part in your audience acquisition engine. Get the right mix, and your engine will hum.
Getting a Quick Start
Even with the right media mix, it’s true today that most people will attend an event simply because a rep invites them. We develop “Quick Start” guides for reps, providing the essential information and tools for sales teams to effectively promote their event on social media and other channels. Once delivered, sellers are equipped with the necessary resources to amplify their event. It includes event details, target audiences with personas and buying groups, conversation starters, a social media toolkit, and ready-to-use email templates.
Event demand generation requires a holistic approach, from crafting a compelling narrative to executing a well-timed, persona-specific, channel-optimized promotional plan. Tools such as UXPRESSIA keep you on track as you prepare, engage, influence, convince, and finally register your attendees.
With this framework in place, we have taken the first, hardest steps and set the stage for a successful event. We’ve all felt the void of in-person interactions, but no matter where it’s located, in-person events are poised for a brighter, more inclusive, and dynamic future where the power of human connection remains at its core.