You have a hybrid event on the horizon, meaning there’s a buzz of excitement in the air in your organization. This is sure to be fun, educational, engaging, and perhaps financially rewarding if you plan the event correctly. While you may immediately think of creating plenty of networking opportunities or curating the perfect messaging for the keynote speaker, we encourage you to take a step back.
Think about your audience. Who will be coming to this event, either in person or online? Without knowing the answer to this question, your planning is really just hopes, dreams, and guesses. Let’s dig further into this right now.
Why Knowing Your Audience is so Important
You want your audience to enjoy the experience and walk away (or perhaps click out of the tab) feeling like they gained value from the event. You can’t achieve this without knowing who they are. People like to learn, engage, and network in different ways, and your event attendees are no different.
Before you start to consider what types of interactive content you can use to engage your attendees, you must first know who they are and what they're interested in!
Knowing your audience helps you figure out what content and messages people care about. Let’s say you have a hybrid event coming up in the higher education industry. Understanding industry nuances is only the beginning of tailoring your event. What is the topic of the actual event? Educational topics could range anywhere from alumni events to new student registration.
Let’s go a little further and say it’s an alumni event. Not all alumni are the same! Is this an event geared towards your female alumni or past students who were members of a student organization? Your business school alumnus will enjoy and engage with a different type of event than, say, your student athlete or Greek life alumnus.
Audience Analysis There’s an old saying that states “You can’t sell sneakers to a snake.” The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Communications tells us that this concept is known as audience analysis. It involves identifying your audience and adapting an event to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. A few audience analysis factors include:
- Audience Expectations of the Event or Messaging
- Their Knowledge of the Topics Being Presented
- The Size of the Audience
- Their Attitude Toward the Topic
Most audience members and event attendees are generally most interested in things that directly affect them or their community. An effective event speaker must be able to show their audience why the topic they are speaking on should be important to them. How can you do this without knowing who the speakers are presenting to? You can’t! Identifying the audience through extensive research is often difficult, and thankfully no longer necessary. This is possible with today’s modern technology.
How to Gain Insight into Your Future Event’s Audience
Clearly, you need to know your audience. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tailor your message appropriately or ensure everyone is as engaged during the event as they can and should be. By now, we’ve established that female entrepreneurs with a MBA will engage best with a different type of event programming than the alumni of your school’s drama program. The question becomes, how do you know who’s actually coming?
Thankfully, this isn’t an answer you’ll need to come up with on your own. Developing solid event registration forms goes a long way towards understanding your audience and ensuring your event content caters to their preferences.
Event registration is how event professionals secure attendees and thus how you secure potential revenue. That’s not all it does. It also gives you valuable insights into who is coming to the hybrid event.
The Technology Behind Event Registration
Drawing people into your event often starts with a great-looking event website. You also want a clear and easy registration process to increase the number of people who complete it. We recommend you keep the number of pages and forms to click through to a minimum so you don’t lose anyone halfway through the process.
Your form should ask a lot more than a name and email address. Include registration form fields that are valuable to your organization, without prying too much or asking information your attendees may not feel is necessary.
Let’s stick to the same alumni event example from above. Asking people registering for your event their name, what year they graduated, and what field their degree is in will go a long way towards tailoring your event to your audience. On the other hand, asking them their annual income and marital status is not. This is why using a customizable hybrid event platform is so vital to making the process seamless for both you and your attendees.
Hybrid Event Platform Solutions From Aventri + MeetingPlay
The meeting and event industry is constantly changing. Improvements in technology have made it easier for planners to engage with attendees. Changes in health regulations have made virtual and then hybrid events a necessity. What hasn’t changed, though, is the importance of keeping your attendees engaged. You can’t do this without knowing who is attending, and you can’t do this without the right event registration software.
We know that as you look into your options, you’ll see Aventri + MeetingPlay stands above the rest.
Event planners should be spending their time planning events, rather than getting bogged down in technology. Let us handle that part for you! In order to do so in the best way possible, we’ve recently merged with MeetingPlay to create an industry-leading hybrid event management platform that provides the functionality that organizers need to run a successful event, from registration to analyzing your success. Request a live demo today to see how it works.