There’s a famous line from the 1989 hit movie Field of Dreams – “If you build it, they will come.” If only this were as true for events as it was for Kevin Costner’s Iowa cornfield. Attendees no longer need events to expand their network or further their education. Events are competing in a market saturated with white papers, webinars, information portals and online communities.
But events are not obsolete. Even as the proliferation of the online world changes the way we interact with one another, the opportunity for person-to-person conversations, handshakes and real offline experiences exists. The challenge is in cutting through the clutter and attracting your share of the audience.
Assuming you know what your key value proposition is, connecting with your audience is first and foremost about knowing your audience. Segmentation of your database is a key step in customizing meaningful messages that will resonate with your prospect. Analyze available demographic information about your current and prospect attendees, along with psychographic criteria such as lifestyle, attitudes, personality and buying motives to aid in developing communication strategies that will appeal to specific segments of your market.
Although new media marketing tactics seem to get the most attention these days, don’t abandon traditional methods of communication such as direct mail postcards and brochures, which are still effective for events. As with all marketing efforts, it largely depends on who you’re trying to attract. When part of an integrated campaign, social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Bebo – to name just a few – can be effective in generating interest, engaging in two-way dialogue and communicating your message. Although these social media channels can be inexpensive ways to communicate, using them effectively requires consistent and continuous effort.
One thing is certain – if you don’t invest adequate time and energy into developing a strategy and plan driven by data-based assumptions, your event could look an awful lot like an empty cornfield.
Don’t let that happen. Find out how Nth Degree’s event services can help you develop an Audience Acquisition strategy guaranteed to generate results.