Why do you need to find the target audience for your event? Can’t you just tell everyone about it and wait for the ticket sales to roll through?
You can, but it’ll be expensive and time-consuming.
It’s much better to identify your exact target audience so that you know who you’ll be promoting your event to.
You might think that everyone will be interested in your event…and they might be. But not everyone is likely to actually buy a ticket and attend your event.
There could be any number of reasons for that:
- Tickets are too expensive
- The venue is difficult to reach
- The timing of the event doesn’t fit with their schedule
It makes no sense for you to spend time and money promoting your event to people that are not likely to attend it.
By identifying your target audience, you’re able to zero in on the exact people you want to attend the event. They’ll also be the ones most likely to buy your tickets.
Read on to learn how to identify your target audience with six tips that’ll help you get started.
How to identify your target audience
The key to determining your target audience is to know as much about them as possible. The more detailed information you can get on them, the easier it’ll be to promote your event.
Here are some of the characteristics that are common in event marketing:
- Marital status
- Income level
- Education level
- Geographic location
- Ethnic background
- Religious beliefs
- Technological knowledge
We’ll now go through some of the ways you can quickly identify your target audience.
Tip: You can use this cheat sheet as a reference if you forget anything.
1. Look at your past attendees
If you’ve organised a similar event in the past, you’re already several steps ahead. You can now have a closer look at your past attendees to understand your target demographic.
If you’ve been following our blog, then you will have collected feedback after your event. That feedback will help you determine if you’ve brought the right people to your event.
The event itself could’ve been great, but you simply had the wrong crowd attend it. Use your ticketing platform to help you dig into the data of your past event attendees.
2. Look at your competition
If you don’t have access to previous event attendee data—or you haven’t put on an event before—you can simply look at who is attending events similar to yours.
Go into full stalker mode and look at everything they do:
- What does their website look like?
- What tone of voice do they write in?
- How do they promote on social media (and which platforms)?
- What kind of content are they using (blogs, images, video, or audio)?
- What kind of comments and engagement are they receiving?
Write everything you find down and look at it closely. You should now have a much better idea of what kind of audience to promote your event to.
Tip: Use this template to help you carry out a proper competitor analysis.
3. Ask colleagues in the event industry
If you’re lucky enough to know someone who has arranged events similar to yours, then reach out to them.
Buy them a coffee and pick their brains about who their audience is, where to find them, and what kind of marketing they respond to.
You should of course not ask someone in the process of arranging a similar event at the same time as you. Friendly competition is fine, but that’s stretching it a bit.
Don’t happen to know other event organisers? Check out some of the following LinkedIn groups:
- Event Planners and Coordinators
- BizBash—Event Planners Gather
- Event Planning & Event Management
- Event Pros
4. Send a survey to your mailing list
If you’ve created a mailing list, use it to find out more about the people who’ve subscribed and their motivations.
You can create a pre-event survey and ask them about their background, interests, and anything else you think might help you better identify your target audience.
Here are some questions you can ask them:
- What makes you excited about this event?
- Who would you like to see perform or speak?
- What kind of food or drinks would you be interested in?
- Where do you keep up to date with events?
Tip: Use our list of free event survey tools to help you design a professional pre-event survey.
5. Create an attendee persona profile
It’s essentially an example of the typical event attendee. You can create such a persona from the information you’ve collected from past attendees or competitor events.
For example, if you know that roughly 70% of people attending events like yours work in finance, then your buyer persona will work in finance.
If you know that your kind of event is typically attended by men aged 30–50, then your buyer persona should be a 40-year old man working in finance.
Tip: Read more about how to create a buyer persona for your event.
6. Find out what your event does for the attendees
It’s useful to dig a bit deeper to find out the exact reasons your ideal event attendee is interested in your event.
It’s tempting to think that this point is straightforward. After all, are people who attend cooking classes not merely interested in learning how to cook?
Yes and no. If you find out why they are interested in your cooking class, you’ll be in a much better position to appeal to their interests…and have them attend your event.
For example, if your cooking class focuses on Japanese cuisine, it might appeal to people who’ve travelled to Japan or otherwise have an interest or ties to that country.
Your event marketing strategy could then focus on all things related to Japan. Create an experience, rather than merely telling people to come and learn the true meaning of wasabi.
Tip: Read more about the reasons people attend events to help you dig a bit deeper.
Who are you gonna call?
If you’re organising a haunted house event, then you should definitely call Ghostbusters. But otherwise, you’ll hopefully have a better idea of who to invite to your next event.
- Look at you past attendees
- Analyse your competitors’ audience
- Ask a friend in the industry
- Survey your mailing list
- Create an attendee persona
- Find out the real reason they attend events
So…who are you gonna call?