From our experience with organizing (and helping businesses organize) thousands of live events, we've realized a fundamental truth: Brands that invest in knowing their audience always come out on top.
A thorough understanding of your audience brings many advantages, but we’ve honed in on the top two that encapsulate them all:
1. It Boosts Audience Engagement
Knowing your audience transforms the live event experience from a passive, one-way interaction to a dynamic one, creating an engagement loop. That loop is a continuous feedback system where your attendees’ preferences fuel the event's structure and content, which, in turn, increases audience interaction. Brands need to invest time in audience research and understand their cultural contexts, consumption habits and preferences.
One method, applicable to both virtual and in-person live events, is to collect feedback from attendees. In a virtual setting, this could take the form of embedding polls directly into your live events. In-person events, on the other hand, might utilize physical feedback forms or interactive voting systems.
This knowledge forms the basis of your event strategy, guiding the choice of platform, the presentation style and the content itself. Whether you're holding an in-person or virtual event, it’s crucial to incorporate interactive elements that reflect your audience's preferences and habits to spark their interest and participation.
Once you’ve built your engagement loop, regularly monitor and analyze its performance. You should track key metrics like participation rate, audience feedback and social media shares, as these will help you refine your strategy for stronger results.
2. It Leads To Higher Sales
High audience engagement often serves as a springboard to increased sales.
Deep knowledge of your audience helps you craft relevant content and live event segments tailored to your audience's unique needs and desires. That elevates the perception of your brand, making attendees more likely to convert and thus escalating sales figures.
This approach reduces reliance on the ”spray and pray” method often observed in generic event planning and instead substitutes it with a focused, audience-centric strategy that resonates with your attendees and drives tangible results for your business.
How To Spot & Target The Right Audience
Hosting a successful live event begins with identifying and targeting the right audience. A vital first step is learning who your base is and what they want — and that requires careful listening.
Listen To Your Base
You develop a deep understanding of your audience by meticulously observing their responses to past events and leveraging insights from other marketing channels. This approach provides a window into their preferences, engagement habits and consumption patterns.
Monitor past events to pinpoint the aspects that resonated most with your audience and those that fell flat. That feedback is invaluable, as it enables you to tailor future events to match your audience’s preferences and expectations.
Gathering insights from other marketing channels also provides extensive knowledge of your audience's preferences. For instance, observing the themes and styles that generate the most engagement on your social media platforms can inform the content of your live events.
Similarly, pay close attention to your audience's reactions and preferences to align your live events more closely with their expectations and desires. Doing so enhances attendee engagement and strengthens the bond between your brand and its followers, setting the stage for continued interaction and loyalty.
Scale Back To Scale Up
A common mistake many companies make is trying to appeal to everyone. However, such a broad approach can dilute the brand message and cause a disconnect with your most valuable potential consumers.
Instead, you should create more personalized content by focusing on a narrower audience — those who are most likely to engage with and buy from your brand. This approach cultivates a stronger connection between your brand and its audience, in turn driving higher engagement and, ultimately, better results.
By scaling back (and up), you can increase engagement, boost sales and strengthen your brand image among the people who matter most.
Ashley Levesque is the VP of Communications at Banzai, a virtual event platform and engagement solutions provider. In her time as a marketing and communications professional, Levesque has built departments and functions from the ground up in industries ranging from manufacturing to SaaS.