The crucial question: who are you going to invite to your event to achieve your goals? Although it’s likely that you already had a specific target group in mind when you set those goals. Either way, this is an important choice that will determine both the course of your event and its outcome.
Six targeted questions to choose the right target group
Not sure how to go about it? An answer to each of these 6 questions will put you on the right track. Even if you still have to think about it, depending on your event. Let’s get to work!
Which target group matches my objectives?
If you have formulated your objectives clearly, then the answer to this question will never be more than a shot in the arm, even if the outcome is not always clear to you.
When defining your objectives, you probably thought of the most obvious target group, but rarely is everything so clear-cut. You’ll have to think about it anyway.
Internal or external?
With the internal target group, you are aiming at almost everyone who works or has worked in your company, together with their partner and possibly their children. From the youngest to the oldest, from the worker to the self-employed and the administrator.
Not a very homogeneous audience. However, you can of course segment this group (for example, by limiting yourself to senior executives) according to the objective of your event.
In the case of an external target group, you aim at suppliers, customers, the press, local residents, etc. Anyone who is in some way connected to the organization, but not part of it. This connection to your company may, for example, represent a possible interest in your product or organization and, therefore, potential prospects and customers.
Generally, you will determine quite quickly whether you want to target an internal or external (product presentation) target group. Or both (opening of the new company building). Here again, there is no easy answer, and you will have to weigh up many elements.
Even if the boundaries do not have to be strict, it is important to make clear choices.
How do you reach the chosen target group(s)?
You most probably already have the contact details of your (internal and external) contacts. Ensuring that an invitation to your staff party reaches its recipients should not be a problem.
If you want to reach a broader target group, such as “IT network specialists”, you can choose to rent or buy the contact information from an address broker. This way, you will know exactly how many people will receive your invitation.
How do I get my target group(s) interested in my event?
“What’s in it for me?” This is invariably the first question your guest will ask upon seeing your invitation. Because as strange as it may sound, no one (except possibly your friends and family members) wants to spend their precious free time at your event just to please you.
But let’s be honest, at the end of the day, you’re also asking yourself this question when you choose the people you’re going to invite. So remember, as a general rule, a person will only come to your event if he or she also benefits from it in some way. It’s up to you to make sure that this is the case. So create a win-win situation.
What do I expect from my guests?
Here is an important question that you will have to answer clearly: why do you want all these people to participate in your event?
Do you want to strengthen the relationship with your customers, persuade them to sign or buy something, generate new leads, or strengthen the cohesion within your own company? The answer to these four questions will point your event in so many different directions.
How many people do you want to invite?
The answer to this question depends on various factors. Obviously, the budget you have set, the space available on the chosen site, and of course the size of the target group in your file.
But quantity is no guarantee for quality. More does not necessarily mean better. So make quality (according to your objectives) your primary concern. So, choose 25 guests who are genuinely interested in your product, rather than 85 guests who are mainly motivated by the free oyster bar.
Another factor that you should clearly consider before issuing your invitations and leads us directly to a crucial point: no-shows.
What you clearly need to know about no-shows
Guests who register for your event and don’t show up, called “no-shows”, are a real problem in the world of events, most often when it comes to free events. Free for the guests, understand. Because it will always cost you money.
Some sectors suffer more than others. Until a few years ago, it was assumed that for external events that did not have to be paid for, some 35% of the people who registered did not attend in the end. This problem seems to be particularly entrenched in the IT sector, although the situation seems to be gradually improving.
Today, we are aiming for a rate of less than 10%, although this figure remains high. Especially when you know that every no-show, every empty chair, costs you money (think of venue rental, catering, heating, etc.). In addition, they also reduce the yield of your event.
This percentage is a little lower for paid events. And that makes sense, because a person who pays is more likely to participate.
In the meantime, a few professional organizations have agreed to take action and have created The Promise, whose sole purpose is to reduce this phenomenon through awareness. They are focusing on the moral aspect of waste. They even created a video clip for the occasion.
The Promise contacts (in a nice way) the no-shows and kindly lets them know that it’s a shame not to have participated in the event. It then asks them if, in exchange, they would be willing to support one of the good causes proposed.
This will make the no-shows aware that their absence did not go unnoticed. Next time, they may think twice and avoid randomly registering for events.