Buyer personas for events: what’s the difference between Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne?
News, Future Meetings, MICE Think Tank
24 Nov 2017

Buyer personas for events: what’s the difference between Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne?

The buyer persona concept is widely used in online marketing. For event organisers, it offers a lot of potential, answering the questions of who are your attendee personas and why should you as an organiser, location or hotel align your event marketing accordingly.

 

For a long time, us marketing professionals have been taught that target groups are best defined using demographic criteria, i.e., age, net household income, hometown, etc etc.

However, this concept is actually very limited. Just take the two gentlemen mentioned in the headline above. Both are well-to-do Brits, married for the second time, they love dogs, are about the same age and spent their winter holidays in the Alps.

Now, would you choose the same communication strategy for Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles if you wanted them to attend your event? Would you use the same event methodology and technology? Probably not …

 

Bored attendees? Missed the point? It doesn’t have to be like that!

Buyer personas help describe your potential event delegates on the basis of psychosocial criteria. They represent model customers and make it easier for you to put yourself into the position of your target audience which will then in turn enable you to fully customise your event for this specific type of person with respect to knowledge transfer, experience value and networking offers.

In this context, the focus is less on demographic criteria but much more on aspects such as the day-to-day challenges your participants are faced with, their motivation, the communication channels they use, why they attend meetings, conventions and events, why they maybe don’t and which technology and methods they expect to be used at your events.

E-commerce giant Otto Group operates more than 100 different online shops, e.g., AboutYou, otto.de, SportScheck, Heine, MyToys, Limango, Schwab or Bonprix. Demographically, all of them target almost identical audiences. The buyer personas, however, differ, with different requirements and preferences.

In an environment of increasing competition, focussing on your customers, respectively event delegates, becomes crucial. Event organiser wanting to be successful in the long run need to be able to hit the right note, make the right offers, use the right methods and communication channels and thus perfectly customise their event for their participants

Online Marketing Rockstars, a yearly event and platform for digital marketing professionals, is a very good example for this. The focus is completely on the event delegates and how they live and breathe. As a consequence, the online marketing festival has now become a real community of professionals, attracting about 50,000 visitors who attend the event in Hamburg each year.

How to define your buyer personas?

Give them a face and (fictional) name. Try to put yourself in their position as best as possible and answer questions such as what motivates them, which challenges are they faced with and how do they communicate.

You’ll quickly realise then that there’s very likely more than just one type of participant at any given event but usually not more than five to six different ones. Once you’ve profiled these personas, you can find out more about them via interviews, surveys and other types of research.

All of this creates a picture that will help you align your marketing initiatives and meeting design accordingly. As an added advantage, once you’ve defined your buyer personas everyone in your team as well as external agencies and freelancers will have a common understanding of your audience.

Future Meeting Space: what do different types of participants expect?

Are you interested to know which different types of participants exist  and how they differ? Or how you yourself behave when attending events and how others see this?

Then click on this link and take part in our online survey that we’re currently carrying out as part of our Future Meeting Space project: (UMFRAGE-LINK). After completing the questionnaire you will receive your personal analysis via an instant feedback function which enables you to compare yourself with the ever-growing database of survey respondents.

Also, feel free to forward this survey to your clients! The results of our study will provide you with important input in order to define your own buyer personas and ask the right kind of questions. Plus, you’ll get valuable insights into which event formats, learning methods and communication channels work best for your delegates.

And after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it!?

Future Meeting Space  - Take part in this survey!
Take part in our this survey: http://s.fhg.de/survey-fms

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