It’s a lot harder to think of brilliant things to say if you don’t know who you are saying them to.
Imagine yourself standing in front of a faceless crowd – you don’t know if they are men or women, how old they are, what their interests are… Now imagine yourself trying to get really enthusiastic about describing your event and why that ominously silent crowd should come and be a part of it. Yuck, right?!
Envision this instead:
You are sitting in a comfy chair in a coffee shop across from a good friend that shares your interests. You’re telling them all about your event and they are sitting on the edge of their seat, leaning towards you and nodding their head. They would LOVE to participate in your event so talking about it enthusiastically comes naturally to you.
When you are putting together your promotional materials for your event – the key to success is envisioning yourself talking to that person in the coffee shop. Your target audience is the person that is going to love your event. Pure and simple. Your message will resonate with them.
Your target audience is unique to your event. Who is the ideal participant for your event? That’s who you should be talking to.
The first step is to narrow down who your ideal participant will be. This part can be difficult because it will feel like you are crossing potential participants off your list. Just remember – trying to be all things to all people will be way less effective than speaking directly to the people who are most likely to have a positive experience at your event.
Luckily narrowing down who your ideal participant is not hard at all.
Start with the obvious. Think about gender. Are you mostly going to be appealing to men or women – or both. This doesn’t mean that your event has to be just for women – or just for men. This is more about which gender is more likely to be the one that will take the initiative to buy the tickets or register.
Your ideal participant will probably be in a definable age range. Keep in mind – this is your ideal participant not every single person that comes oto your event. Figure out what the age range is for your ideal participant.
Your ideal participant may be from a particular part of the country, a specific city or even a specific city. Make note of that info.
And then get into the good stuff.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON INTERESTS OF YOUR PARTICIPANTS?
Obviously the topic/purpose of your event is going to be a common interest. But we need something even more than that if we are going to identify your IDEAL participant.
You’ll want to drill down a bit further.
For example – one of my events, Band on the Run, the audience has an interest in ‘Running’. Obviously that is very broad even when I have narrowed down gender and age. I still feel like I am talking to the faceless crowd – not the friend in the coffee shop.
When I say I want someone who has an interest in ‘Running’ I don’t necessarily want someone who is looking for something like a Boston Qualifier event. I’m looking for someone interested in running but in this context:
- Sees running as a means to an end – get into better shape
- Likes running with friends & the social aspect of running – being part of group, going out for a treat afterwards
- Likes to reward themselves for working hard at something like running
For your event – take the broad interest your event might fit into – perhaps it is a Music Festival, a Triathlon, a Roller Derby… and then get as specific as you can about the type of interest your ideal participant would have in that broader topic.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP:
Now that you have an idea of the gender, age, and specific interests of your target audience – build a fictional participant.
When it comes to actually creating your promotional material, especially writing the text, it is exponentially easier if you have a person in mind that you can talk directly to.
Here is an example of a fictional character created that would be interested in Band on the Run:
Susan is 42 and lives a busy life in the city with a full time job and a family. She would like to get into better shape (and fit into the good-intention dress hanging at the back of her closet). She regularly meets with a group of girlfriends that have similar lifestyles and also want to get into shape. They run together on Sunday mornings and then go out for coffee. They talk about taking a fun girlfriend’s weekend away – with a healthy twist to it so they can feel good about it.
Feeling stuck on this? Here are some brainstorming ideas (not all of them will be applicable – so pick what works for your event).
- Imagine what kind of TV shows they watch or movies they would like.
- Think about where they would shop and what brands they would like.
- Are they married or single?
- Are they parents, grandparents?
- Do they have lots of disposable income?
- What are their hobbies?
- What established similar events are there to yours that they might sign up for?
When you create promotional material for your event – imagine that you are talking to your fictional character. I find this especially helpful when I am writing emails but it also works very well for social media posts and advertising material.
Want to get feedback from other event organizers defining their audience. Join the FREE Facebook Group just for event organizers: http://bit.ly/eventorganizergroup
This blog post is a detailed explanation of the first step in my CHECKLIST FOR SUCCESS download. Feel free to download it below.