Personalisation Part 1: Engaging your Audience Pre event

Personalisation Part 1: Engaging your Audience Pre event

Event personalisation has been a key trend this past year and looks set to increase in importance moving through to 2018. In the first post of our three part series, we take a look at some pre event techniques that will allow you to shape a programme that truly connects with your audience.

Whether it’s an internal conference or a customer event, engaging your attendees is crucial to achieving your desired outcomes. Devising a programme that is specifically geared towards their personal preferences gives you the best chance of attaining top level engagement. Here’s how:

Plan your strategy based on existing data

Unless you’re launching a brand new start up, you should have accrued a large amount of data from previous events. Whether collected through a custom built app or good old fashioned feedback forms this information is key when it comes to personalisation, so use it to full effect.

What were satisfaction rates? What were the most popular sessions? What elements required improvement? If you don’t feel the data you have to hand is sufficient, use it as a starting point to conduct further research.

Use your data to better understand your target market

If running a customer event, understanding your target market is crucial to personalisation. Who are your repeat attendees? Analyse their demographics and use the results to build an understanding of their consumer habits. Where are they most active online? What are their preferred methods of communication? Knowing how they think and how they digest information will allow you to construct your marketing efforts around their personal preferences.

Equally as important are your non-repeat attendees. Remember, the whole point of personalisation is that one line of communication does not suit all. Use data relating to those who did not return to build a separate set of customer profiles and plan alternative marketing methods based on their preferences. 

Promote user generated content

Your event will no doubt have a related website and a presence on a social platform. Whether this is public via sites like Twitter and Facebook or on an internal platform, encouraging attendees to contribute their own user generated content will promote a sense of inclusivity.

Allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions in the run up to the event will make them feel valued and foster a deeper level of engagement. It will also offer the opportunity for you to address your attendees’ specific points of interest when composing your event programme.

Gear your content to what your audience wants to hear

If you followed the steps above, you should have a good understanding of what worked well, and what didn’t, at previous events. Use this as a basis to formulate a plan for content at your event, and how that content should be delivered, and personalise it further by allowing attendees to have their say.

If you have a selection of topics, run voting polls through your website or social media to see which areas resonate most with your audience. True, you may have specific messages that are crucial to communicate, but if you frame these within content that appeals to your audiences’ interests, they’re more likely to stick.

Also consider asking how they would like these topics to be delivered – would they prefer a keynote speech, or to interact with content in a workshop or breakout session? Allowing attendees to contribute to the way the event is shaped not only makes them feel valued, but ensures that your messages will be received to maximum effect on the day.

Of course, every event comes with its own nuances and each approach to personalisation should be based on the individual event type and its objectives, but we hope the above overview gives you a great starting point. Keep your eyes posted for next month’s article on how to approach personalisation at the event itself.

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