Persona-Driven Event Planning Toolkit: Part 1

As any experienced event planner or event marketer knows, you must understand the attendees you would like to have at your event, and how you will give them what they want. In other words, you have to be absolutely clear about your buyer personas. Once you understand your different attendees and their needs, you can create the perfect journey through your event for all of them.

How to Find the Best Attendees in the World

First things first. Who are the people to whom all your event marketing efforts are directed? Once you are clear about this, you’ll be well on the way to determining what types of offerings your event must provide, as well as technical requirements, amenities, and entertainment. Understanding your natural audience gives you the resources you need to create the perfect show for them.

You’ll need to be clear about the demographics of your prospective event attendees. This means basic information like age, gender, occupation, lifestyle preferences and geographic location. But you’ll need to dig even deeper. What types of publications do they read, what sort of leisure time activities do they enjoy, what kind of music, food and movies do they like, what kind of clothes do they wear? These all go to giving you a better idea of where you can find them online, and what type of content will generate the most positive response from them.

Defining relevant content and topics of interest to your personas

Event attendees are busy people. If they are going to attend your conference or symposium, then they are expecting valuable and impactful take-aways. Resources for event planners need to encompass the latest industry trends and topics, valuable tools that will enhance their productivity and cutting edge ideas that help to expand their thinking. As an additional benefit, if your target marketing is on point and you identify your personas properly, you will create an opportunity for dynamic networking exchanges between like minded individuals, likely to produce fruitful new business relationships.

Giving your attendees the sessions they really want

At any given event, you will most likely be hosting a variety of different personas, including exhibitors, presenters and attendees who occupy many levels on the decision making chain. You’ll want to make sure that session management reflects the needs and priorities of all of them. Depending on the event set-up, you may want to develop separate tracks of presented content, such as breakout sessions, where people can choose which track they find the most compelling to attend. For example, offering tech panels for the developers and back end programmers in your crowd, top level industry trend data for marketing, sales and branding for executives, and plenty of best practice information for planning and policy professionals.

For more information on how to custom tailor an event for your attendees that meets your business objectives, check out Part 2 of this series!

Download our Marketing Personas E-Book to learn more about understanding your attendees and creating messaging & content to meet their information needs.