March 26, 2014 by Jeff Hurt
It’s not about you!
Seriously, I really mean it; it’s not about you!
There is not a more accurate line about marketing your conference than that!
It’s not about you.
It’s not about your organization.
It’s not about your speakers and your sponsors. It’s not about what unique partnerships you’ve created. It’s not about how your conference is different from your competitors’ event. It’s not about your brand.
Frankly, no one cares!
Effective conference marketing is about them. Your ideal paying attendee. Your target market.
The challenge with so much of our event marketing and branding techniques is that we think it’s about us.
Most conference marketing tries, desperately, to tell others what we—the conference host organization—do.
We believe we have the superior conference. We think if we tell people that we have the better or superior event that the masses will flock to us, pay for registration and become loyal followers.
Yet, the more we try to tell others how fantastic our conference is, the less we succeed in increasing market share!
Great marketing is not about you, your organization or your conference.
Great marketing talks about your potential target attendee. How your conference experience solves their problems and meets their needs. It’s all about what your conference can do for them.
If you want your conference marketing to work, you must keep in mind – It’s not about you!
Focus your marketing efforts on them just as you focused your conference education programming on them.
“But wait! Conference marketing is an art form,” you say.
As David Ogilvy says, “…You cultivate the mystique of creativity. Some of you are pretentious posers. You are the glamour boys and girls of advertising community. You regard advertising as an art form…”
Your potential conference attendees could care less if your marketing wins awards. They pay you to attend the conference to network, learn and do business, nothing else.
When conference attendance is up, you claim your marketing worked. You take credit for it.
When conference attendance is down, you blame the education programming, lack of networking and location.
Your conference marketing headlines should promise the potential attendee something of value, not a creative sentence.
To reach your conference target market, the paying attendee, you must speak to them about things that are important to them—not you!
Everyone one of your conference marketing pieces should answer the “So What?” question!
Talk to potential registrants about them, not you.
Answer why they should attend your event. Tell them how your conference will help them get ahead, solve their problems and do their jobs better.
That’s what will make the difference in reaching the target market!
Hat tips to author and publisher Pete Mitchell for his thoughts about marketing which led to this post.
Why are we so focused on pushing our brand and organization over helping potential attendees? What tips do you have for creating conference marketing for and about your target market?
Filed Under: Attendance Marketing
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