The trend of personalization is only continuing to grow, and this article will give you some event planning ideas to put that trend to good use.
Personalization is taking over the marketing world, and event marketing is certainly no different. Attendees at your event want to feel like they are taking part in an experience that is relevant and valuable to them. Through the use of data collection, it is possible for event planners to personalize multiple aspects of their events- from pre-event marketing to post-event follow ups.
In fact, 73% of surveyed event planners prioritize personalization and data-driven marketing when planning events. However, less than half of event planners said that they utilized this personalization “most of the time”!
Personalization is becoming more and more crucial- both to consumers and to the bottom line of businesses. ROI is the name of the game, and personalization is putting up some pretty impressive numbers. 88% of marketers who are utilizing personalization report measurable improvements, with over half of those claiming improvements are up by more than 10%.
If you are an event planner or marketer, you may be wondering how you can take advantage of personalization strategies to provide a valuable experience to the attendees at your next event or conference.
Read on for event planning ideas to make your event more personalized.
Use your customer personas when marketing the event.
If you are already using personas in your marketing strategy, then you know they are so much more than demographics. Through careful research and observation, your customer personas can provide a much more personal overview of your target audience.
Therefore, when you get to the marketing stage of your event planning, you should be putting those personas to work to generate buzz. For instance, maybe you have segments within your email list that correspond to different personas; craft different marketing emails with each audience’s needs in mind.
Let’s give an example: let’s say you are planning an in-house event for the launch of a new product, and you plan to invite customers. Analyze your ideal customer personas to see which aspects of the event will be most appealing to each group (if you have more than a couple). Will there be live music, and who is most interested in that? Will there be networking opportunities, and who is most interested in that? Craft any and all pre-event marketing tactics (email campaigns, social media posts, etc.) with specific personas in mind.
Events are no longer for the sole purpose of “making sales” or “generating leads.” Event planning should be done with the idea that it will be a mutually beneficial experience, for hosts and attendees alike. Personalizing your pre-event marketing will help convey that value to potential attendees.
Personalize the check-in process.
When attendees buy a ticket or RSVP to your event, you should already be gathering some information on them. For instance, what industry do they work in? At The Event Planner Expo, not only are there event planners in attendance, but there are also CEOs, Sales and Marketing VPs, HR Professionals and many others. If you are planning a similarly diverse event, chances are that the aspects that interest each attendee are different. When event attendees check-in, you should have some of their information readily available so you can point them to the parts of the event that they will find the most valuable.
Apps are a great way to accomplish this, as well. If you are utilizing an app to keep attendees in the loop on the day of the event, they can not only use it to check-in to the event, but also to check-in to specific sessions. You can then send them targeted messages through the app or ask them to provide feedback on the sessions they’ve attended. Positive and even negative feedback will allow the app to provide suggestions for other sessions they may enjoy using AI.
Use AI to step up your personalization efforts.
AI is technically defined as “machine intelligence,” and that can mean different things across industries. In terms of event planning, AI can be a big asset in personalizing experiences to different attendees, especially if your event is utilizing a mobile app.
Not only can AI suggest relevant sessions based on previous sessions attended, but it can also help to link attendees with one another for networking purposes with “matchmaking software” and answer simple questions through the use of chatbots.
AI is yet another event planning idea for you to make your next event as valuable to attendees as possible.
Continue personalization efforts post-event.
You should be following up with event attendees and using content to extend the life of your event marketing long past the end of the event itself. Utilize all the data collected before and during your event to make your subsequent content marketing relevant and valuable to its recipients.
For instance, maybe you decide to post a blog article on your website recapping a particular session. Include that blog post or the link in your next email newsletter to the people who either attended that particular session or who were interested, but missed it. If you decide to release a video on social media about your event, make sure you are posting that video in the ideal channel for interested viewers who will be more inclined to share it with their networks.
While all your event planning should be done with the idea of providing value to attendees, there is no denying that events are also a great place to generate new leads for your business. Follow up with those leads through an email newsletter or drip campaign; use data and information that you were able to gather on them during the event to personalize these campaigns to their needs. That personalization will no doubt increase your chances of moving that lead down your sales funnel and, ultimately, converting to a sale.
Data collection and personalization can prove to be overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You may learn that you have an excess of data than you know what to do with or that you neglected to gather important information. It happens!
It may take some trial and error, but mastering a personalization strategy can be an extremely effective way to make sure that everyone can benefit from your next event!