Your event messaging is more than just what you write in emails and social posts. It impacts every aspect of your event planning and execution, from your website to onsite signage. The right messaging can make or break whether or not someone attends your event.
Run an event that isn't terrible with the event planning workbook.
Check out our quick guide below for tips and resources you can use to nail your event messaging and make sure the right people register AND attend your upcoming event.
8 Ways to Nail Your Event Messaging
Know your target audience
A clear understanding of who your target audience is essential to your messaging. I am going to go ahead and I say it is the #1 factor that should shape how you talk about and promote your event. Understanding your target audience will shape:
- Your tone
- Your content
- The format of your messaging
- Your channels (more on that later)
Events often have more than one distinct target audience. Multiple audiences mean taking the time to segment your messaging (especially when it comes to outreach!). Though it is more work upfront, it will make all the difference in ensuring your outreach resonates with your prospective attendees.
Understand where your event target audience fits in your pipeline
When it comes to your event messaging and outreach, you need to understand where your prospective attendees fit in your pipeline? Are they customers, current pipeline, or net-new prospects? Segmenting your list based on where they land in your funnel will allow you to craft messaging that correlates with their relationship to your brand.
For example, potential attendees that are currently being nurtured through your pipeline should get personal outreach for their sales rep, while net-new prospects can get targeted with social campaigns and emails followed by calls from your SDRs or BDRs.
Articulate your event’s value
You are asking a lot of your prospective attendees to attend your event, so you need to make sure from the start that is clear what they will get out of your event. Some questions to ask yourself when developing your messaging include:
- Why does our event matter?
- How will this event impact our prospects? What is the benefit to them?
- What are they taking back to the office to help them do their job?
- How is our event different than other events?
Think about highlighting the unique factors of your event including your speakers, fun incentives or activities (baseball game anyone?), whether or not there will be food. These details matter and need to be included throughout your outreach campaign.
Use the right channels
There are so many channels out there, and one size does not fit all when it comes to your messaging. So how do you decide what channel(s) makes the most sense for your event?
It all comes back to understanding your target audience.
- Where does my target audience spend their time?
- How does my target audience consume content?
- Who does my target audience want to hear from? What would have the most impact? (a personal note from their Account Manager or a LinkedIn post from our CEO, maybe both).
Your channel choice also impacts your overall tone and how you frame your messaging. In the end, be open to testing different channels and taking the time to learn about what works for you and your target audience.
Being smart about social
Social media can be one of the most daunting and most important aspects of connecting to your audience. At the end of the day, it’s about staying engaged. Like minds build communities and social media offers you platforms to engage with and build a community with your target audience.
When creating social content for your target audience, the most important thing to consider is the platform. What sites is your audience using? How often are they using them, and for what? Utilizing this information in conjunction with your attendee personas will allow you to develop a social strategy to keep your audience engaged.
If you’re hosting an event for CMOs of consulting firms, you may consider using platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook to post articles, podcasts and infographics to draw their interest. However, if you’re hosting an event like Coachella and your target audience is millennials and Gen Z, you might consider engaging on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Most importantly, your social activity should stay consistent. With the amount of information internet users are exposed to, going offline for too long can result in your social presence being forgotten. Similarly, over-utilizing social media could lead to your audience seeing your posts as spam and possibly ignoring or even unfollowing you.
Consider having someone live Tweet or Snap the event as it’s happening, and don’t be afraid to capitalize on audience FOMO. The power of social media is only growing, and learning what social platforms your audience uses and how they use them can offer you insights and opportunities otherwise unattainable.
Don’t miss a messaging opportunity
One lesson we have all learned the hard way, is that just because someone registers, does not mean they will attend. Your event messaging needs to be well thought-out and intentional throughout your whole event process (though this blog just focuses on getting the right people to register and attend).
Banzai has found that a company’s customers are likely to attend an event at a rate of around 70%. Registrants in your pipeline attend at roughly 50% and net-new prospects attend anywhere from 25-50%.
Our goal is to make sure everyone who registers, attends. So it is essential that you remove all barriers that may prevent someone from attending. Once someone registers, utilize your confirmations, reminders, calendar invites, logistics emails and calls to give them all the information they need to attend.
In the end, it is about closing the gap between registration and attendance by giving your registrants the information they need in a clear and effective way. This includes venue details, directions, dress code, guest rules, agenda, food and beverage details, parking instructions, etc. Do not give them a reason to say, “ummm maybe I just won’t go.”
What messaging lessons have you learned from producing B2B events?
Don't forget day of event content
To reach your audience on the event day, your presentation should consider the theme and approach. What do your attendees have in common? What are their job titles? How old are they? What’s their level of education? The answers to these questions will enable you to design the layout of your event.
With basic attendee info in mind, you can begin determining how to go about displaying your content. Perhaps your event is for medical professionals who work in sports. You could design your presentation in the theme of a game or match and include an interactive game for your attendees to play that demonstrates and/or involves your content and solutions.
Or maybe your audience consists of people in the culinary industry. In this case, you could thematically design your presentation as a multi-course meal and provide attendees with a small dish accompanying each new solution or piece of content.
Who your audience is should play a major role in determining the language of choice and degree of professionalism you utilize at your event. If your event is for millennial programmers, you may choose to take a casual, straightforward tone for your presentation. But if your audience is decorated accountants, you may opt to present your content and solutions in a more structured and formal voice.
There is no one correct way to mold your voice to your audience, but by leaving room for adaptation while utilizing attendee personas and paying attention to what your audience does on social media, you can develop a model of communication to engage with, interact with and sell to your audience.
Event follow up messaging matters
Now that your event is over, it’s time to re-use your content strategies from outreach and social to continue the conversation with your attendees and further the professional relationship.
Send your attendees follow-up content shortly after the event while it’s still fresh in their minds. If you’ve tailored your outreach, social and event content to your target audience, it should be easy to continue that trend in your follow-up content.
Use audience-appropriate social media to post-event photos and videos tagging attendees and encouraging them to spread the word. Consider sending your attendees an event summary email with group photos, free content and a call to action.
For audiences like the ‘young programmer’ example used earlier, consistent follow-up on social media can help them stay engaged and on-the-look-out for your next event, while repetitive emails may fall to the wayside. However, with an audience that communicates primarily via email (educators, for example), you may consider personalized emails thanking them for attending the event and possibly inviting them to meet again.
This is not to say you shouldn’t send personalized emails and follow-up invitations to younger crowds (you should), it simply means you should get to know your audience, learn which communication mediums they’re most active on, and engage in their discourse.
Create an event follow-up plan before the event and consider sparking the follow-up at the event with an invitation to meet directly after or within the same week. This invitation should be relevant to the theme of your event, which should be easy as you’ve already created the event theme (sports, food, etc.) with your audience in mind.
The sooner you engage in follow-up activity, the more likely you are to retain attendees and further the relationship. Adapt to your audience and adjust accordingly.