Logic makes people think. Emotions make people act.
Often our event marketing simply over-intellectualizes everything. It emphasizes the number of education sessions, the number of qualified attendees, the hours of continuing education credit, the technology applications available, the years of experience of the speakers, the economic data of the attendees and the like.
But are those the right things to emphasize in your conference marketing materials?
It’s An Emotional Choice
Why do you buy a new car?
Is it because of the features in the brochure? No.
Is it because of the cool advertising on TV? No.
Is it because it’s the newest and greatest model? Not usually.
You typically buy a new car because you need one. Then you have to make a choice.
No matter what your economic status, you pick a car because it feels good…and you look good in it.
Sure some analytical people might make their car choice strictly on objective comparisons like gas mileage or price. However, when faced with a choice of two or more equal vehicles, the decision becomes visceral. It’s an emotional choice.
Finding Out The Why
If you want to reach an emotional connection with a potential event registrant, you need to find out why they want to attend. You need to uncover why attending is personally important to them. Then you market your materials aimed at their “Why.”
Reporter and blogger Sue Pelletier recently wrote about Hugh Macleod’s thoughts on How To Make The Internet Squeal Like A Pig. Pelletier discusses that often conferences that have been around for a long time may have “lost their why.”
“As with any human endeavor, WHY you do something is ALWAYS more interesting than WHAT you actually do…The ‘Why’ is not your mission statement, it is not about ‘Best Practices’ – it is about the heart and soul of what you do – As Simon Sinak says, the ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’” ~ Hugh Macleod
When you as a meeting professional market why you are holding an event, then potential attendees can see if your “Why” aligns with their personal “Why.” Marketing the “what” of your conference is marketing the end result, the product. Sure you’ll have to give out some of the details about the event but the “Why” is more important for an emotional connection.
Segmenting Your Prospects Based On Why
You as a meeting professional need to get to know your audience better.
So many meeting and event professionals spend their time at their desks, closed off from the real world, handling the details. I’ve even heard them say, “I don’t really like people. That’s why I manage the logistics.” They have lost “Why” they are planning the event…it’s for the people.
You need to get out of your office and start building relationships with prospects. You need to determine why people want to attend your event. You need to uncover their personal objectives. Then you can emphasize the contributions and results that attending your event can offer.
Ultimately, your event marketing materials should emotionally connect with what potential attendees value. This means one-size-fits-all marketing is out. Segmented marketing based on value and emotional connections is in!
Why is relationship building important for converting event prospects into registrants? Why do so many event marketers feel that the details about the event–number of sessions, speakers, content, etc.,–are more important than the “why” of the event?