March 25, 2019

Event Strategies

Strategies for Attracting the Right Event Audience


Corrine Stratton

How do you get the right event audience to attende your virtual and in-person events? Follow these key strategies.


A B2B event represents a great opportunity to drive net-new prospects to your brand and nurture your current leads and customers.

Run an event that isn't terrible with the event planning workbook.

6 Tips for Driving the Right Event Audience

#1. Define your audience

First, who exactly do you want to register for your event? It’s important to clearly define your audience so you can craft an event that provides value to them. A good place to start is by defining the goals of the event - what audience composition do you need to achieve those goals?

A handy tool for defining your audience is a customer or buyer persona. Personas are great for understanding who your target audience is and where they come from. A buyer persona in the B2B space should include things like the type of company the person works for, their role in the company, and their level of authority for decision-making.

You’d need to understand what makes the person tick or what motivates them (as we’ll get into in a minute). From a B2B perspective, the wider goals of their company might also come into it. How does what you do relate to the target audience achieving desired objectives.

#2. Define your event's persona

This sounds very obvious, right? Yet strangely enough, a common mistake in B2B event marketing is to be too vague about who your event is for.

If you put yourself in the mind of a likely B2B prospect, they are scanners. They want to understand at a glance what something is about and who it is for. Be clear upfront about who your event is suitable for. This helps those who aren’t suitable to self-select out of it. People want to go to events that are designed for them and provide value as much as you want the right people to turn up.

#3. Understand audience motivation

Understanding what motivates your audience is the central factor for getting the right people to attend your B2B event. Why would they actually want to attend your event? Any B2B audience will have to take a break from their busy schedules to attend, so there needs to be a strong impetus to do so.

B2B events are about providing a solution to a pain point and creating opportunities for your audience. They need to see your event as a must-do part of their professional lives. You might need to spell out the importance of attending your event for them, and showcase how your event will deliver those benefits. For example, you might highlight:

  • Opportunities to connect with others who may be prospects for their own business.
  • Solutions to support their business objectives
  • Opportunities to network and form connections among other business people.
  • Opportunities to learn something of value to themselves or their business.

Understanding what motivates your target audience will allow you to create the right messaging that get your prospects in the room.

#4. Use a targeted approach

Sometimes people are reluctant to narrow down their marketing efforts to a targeted approach. They fear that doing so will cause them to miss out on potential prospects. However, taking too broad of an approach is also risky. By trying to appeal to everyone, your message gets watered down and appeals to no one.

A targeted approach starts with a clear value proposition that is designed to appeal directly to your desired audience. A strong value proposition is clear to your audience within seconds of landing on your registration page. It’s a clear statement providing them with a good reason to attend. For example; “Join 300+ of your IT Security peers to learn how cybersecurity is impacting healthcare.”

Another key aspect of targeted marketing are the channels you use and how you use them. There’s no sense in wasting time and money marketing to people who are unlikely to become a customer, so using tools such as audience segmentation for paid digital advertising can be very useful.

#5. Set clear expectations

Be clear about the content and format of your event. Remember that you’re talking to a busy B2B audience and they want to know exactly what they’re getting.

include a few bullet points about what will be covered right on the registration page. You can even include a brief agenda., As much as possible, it’s important to have key themes and topics available early. This helps to let your audience know what they will get out of the event too.

#6. Simplify event registration

The registration process can be a delicate balance. In order to gain qualified leads, you need to gather some basic information. But asking for too much information, or a long registration process can significantly reduce the number of registrants.

So ask for the basics like name, company, job role and contact information. Too many form fields can be seen as barriers to entry.

Final thoughts

The success of your B2B event depends upon getting the right audience to your event. After all, there’s no sense in presenting to an audience that doesn’t find value in your event and won’t be part of you achieving your event’s objectives.

The first step is to clearly define who that audience is. What are their preferences and goals? What motivates and appeals to them? Understanding this helps you to take a targeted approach to marketing your event.

Link to the workbook, How to Run an Event That Isn't Terrible.
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