September 24, 2019

Event Strategies

3 Reasons Why the Right Prospects Are Not Attending Your Events


Corrine Stratton

Is your sales team unimpressed with the leads from your event? Read why you might not be attracting the right sales prospects to attend your events.


This blog was originally published as a guest blog on Hubb on Sept 16, 2019. The original post can be found here.

As an event professional, one of the worst feelings is when you put all this effort into producing a great event and then…. crickets. Your event didn't produce the post-event traction needed to increase sales pipeline and prove event ROI. So why did you have a full room but generate little to no opportunities? Here are three reasons why your events might not be attracting the right prospects.

Unclear Target Audience

It’s natural to want to cast a wide net when it comes to your upcoming event’s invite list. You want a full room, great networking, and the chance to introduce your brand to a new audience. The problem with this strategy is that a broad audience means broad content, broad messaging, and ineffective outreach. Who exactly is your event for and why should they care?

A clearly defined target audience is essential to the success of your event. Your target audience might be even more narrow than your organization's identified personas. By identifying who you want to influence through your event (maybe it’s an end-user, a decision-maker, or a key stakeholder), the rest of your event planning will fall into place.

Tips for Identifying your Event’s Target Audience:

  • Meet with your sales reps to define who they need to attend in order to increase and advance pipeline.
  • Review past events - Which ones were the most successful? Which events were not successful? Who were they targeting?
  • Identify the goal of your event - Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Influence the key decision-maker?

Does this mean that your event can only have one, narrowly defined target audience? No! Your marketing event can be geared toward multiple personas, but each persona should have clearly understood characteristics, pain points, and motivations. The important thing to remember is that one size does not fit all when it comes to events. Multiple target audiences mean variations in your outreach, messaging, and event content. By understanding exactly who you’re targeting to attend your event, you can create an effective strategy to ensure the right prospects show up.

Event Content Gets Lost in the Noise

According to Demand Gen Report, 76% of B2B brands say that events are the top engagement tactic for generating qualified leads. More and more companies realizing the value of hosting events means more noise for your prospects to sort through. Stand out and attract the right attendees by having content that sets out to solve their problems. You need to provide more than just a sales presentation. Your attendees want real-world value they can take back to the office and implement right away.

Content Ideas to Attract the Right Attendees:

  • Customer stories
  • Round table discussions with peers
  • Real-world problems and solutions (product-agnostic)

Your clearly defined target audience will enable you to determine the content and event format that resonates. For example, a middle-of-the-funnel event geared toward a prospective end-user may take the shape of a lunch & learn or a hands-on workshop. You are requesting a lot when you ask your prospects to attend your event. Make sure to provide them with valuable content that makes their time away from the office worth it.

Event Messaging Misses the Mark

Now that you have a well-defined target audience and event content that is sure to resonate, you need to make sure your event’s value is communicated in an effective and efficient way. Beware of messaging that is full of jargon or too generic. You have your ideal attendees' attention for a very limited time, so use it wisely! Communicate the value of your event with clear, easy-to-understand event messaging.

Factors to Consider when Developing Event Messaging:

  • The event’s target audience: What matters to your target audience? Is it the chance to network with peers or hear from industry leaders?
  • The event’s value proposition: What problem is your event helping to solve?
  • Messaging channels: How you communicate the value of your event on a landing page is it different than an email or social post.

Your messaging can make or break whether or not someone attends your event. Just because someone registers for your event does not mean your work is done. In order to make sure they attend, your confirmation and reminder communications need to be timely, clear, and provide the information your registrant needs to attend.

Getting the right attendees to register and attend your events can be challenging, but not impossible. By having a clear and well-defined picture or your event target audience, along with valuable content, and messaging that resonates, you will fill up your room with prospects your sales team can’t wait to talk to.

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