When it comes to promoting your conference, organisers must remember that when you target everyone, you actually target no one.
In order to personalise your communications, it’s essential that you understand exactly who you’re talking too. This is where target personas come into play.
What are personas?
Personas are fictional characters who represent your ideal event attendees. Defining these personas from the outset allows you to create more tailored content for your potential attendees.
Personas help you to better understand the needs, challenges, and aspirations of your target audience, bringing a human element to your content and overall marketing initiatives.
As a conference organiser, it’s likely that your event will serve many different segments or personas, but it helps to zero in on your most valuable fans – those you want to connect with most at your event.
Personas should be built upon two key components:
- Buyer profile – relevant demographic and geographic details that describe your ideal attendee
- Buyer intent – relevant psychographic and behavioural characteristics that shed light on the decision-making process of your ideal attendee
Example Number 4
Meet Conference Colm! Colm is Head of Business Development at a large tech firm. He is happily married with two kids and while he works long hours, he values time with his family outside of work, particularly at weekends.
Colm is highly career-oriented and always looking for opportunities for professional development. Colm is a member of several networking groups and tries to attend at least one conference or networking event per month.
He attends conferences stay up to date with his industry, promote his company, and make new business connections. Colm pays a lot of attention to the event topics and speakers, event tech, and who else is attending the event. Colm ultimately wants to position himself as a thought-leader in his field and would like more opportunities to speak at events.
- 42 years old
- Married with two kids
- Lives in Dublin
- Head of Business Development at a large tech firm
- Values professional relationships and is highly career-oriented
- Earns approx €85K per year
- Spends disposable income on luxury goods (like watches) and the latest tech
- Willing to invest a lot in professional development opportunities
- Finds information by browsing online, on LinkedIn, and through email updates
- Primarily browses on his phone
- Avid LinkedIn and Twitter user – he uses social media to stay up to date with industry news and to make new business connections
- Regularly posts industry updates, company news, and professional achievements
- Listens to podcasts on tech and professional development during his commute
- Subscribes to business and tech publications like Wired, VentureBeat, The Economist, and Business Insider
- Enjoys long-form written content and podcasts
Hopes and Dreams
- Wants to position himself as a thought-leader in his field
- Highly social and interactive, Colm wants to continue making new connections and building professional relationships
- Aiming to be promoted at his firm
- Wants a significant pay-rise
- He would like to get some speaking opportunities at local conferences and events
- Hopes his children will be ambitious and make a good living
What influences him?
- His colleagues
- Tech industry experts
- Tech and business publications
- Networking groups
Worries and Frustrations
- Worries that he’s not progressing quickly enough in his career
- Wants to make more money
- Working hard means he struggles to have a good work-life balance
- Protecting his children and making sure they get the best education possible
What is he looking for from a conference?
- Opportunities to build his network – he will actively seek out specific target individuals to connect with at events
- Looking for hands-on experiential learning that will help him to progress in his career
- He wants to receive content and actionable advice that he can apply to his job right away
- He likes to experience the latest event tech
- He wants to hear from inspirational speakers who are relevant to his industry
- He likes to get takeaways that he can easily share on the spot on Twitter and LinkedIn
- He’s busy and often taking time out of work to attend conferences, so he wants the event to start and finish on time
- Willing to spend extra to upgrade to a premium ticket option
What conferences will he attend this year?
Now you’ve met Conference Colm, go market to him! You know where he hangs out online, his biggest influences, and what he is really looking for in a conference.
Never under-estimate the power of personas when it comes to mapping out your marketing strategy. Your most valuable attendees are the key drivers of your event’s success. Getting to know them can help you make your content more customer-centric and ultimately lead to greater attendance, loyalty, and killer ROI.
For more tips on creating the perfect personas for your marketing strategy, check out our cheat-sheet on The Power of Personas.