Saying you want to have an event is easy. Coming up with general ideas of what and why you want to have an event is easy. Figuring out if people will want to actually come to your event is not as easy and finding out if people will pay to attend your event takes even more work.
I sit down with Lany Sullivan to talk about “getting butts in seats” for your event.
We look at analyzing your current audience to see if you have what it takes to sell event tickets. We also give you some ideas on how you can work to build the type of audience that will buy tickets and take time away to attend.
So her is the video with a transcript below.
Before planning your event - Analyze Your Audience
Video Transcript -
Things you should know before you start planning your event.
Who is your audience and what would they like to see in an event?
Hey guys, I'm Sheryl Loch with Ginger Roots Media and I do digital marketing strategy. And I'm here with…
[Lany] Hi guys, I'm Lany Sullivan and I'm an event producer and I do conferences events and workshops for international clients.
[Sheryl] Okay, today we're going to start with before you ever start planning your event, some things you need to look at. You're going to want to know about your audience.
Now where is your audience?
What platform are they on are they on, Facebook, Instagram, your email list, your website?
Where is it that they want to communicate with you?
So we also want to know are they engaging?
Do they like your posts?
Do they comment?
Do they have any interaction with you at all?
We need to find out all of these things before you start your event and we need to know are they currently buying from you. If you've put out any type of product or service have they even got out that credit card and bought anything yet or are they just kind of sitting on the sidelines consuming some of your free content?
Now if they are buying from you, what have they bought?
Have they bought certain books or services you offer or are they buying maybe someone else's products that you're promoting not really buying from you. We need to figure that out. And their participation with you. So there again we're going to look at are they participating with content that you're sharing from other people or your actual content, your input, your thoughts, your ideas?
Lastly, we need to figure out what would they like in an event from you and possibly other people you would have included in an event.
So Lany, what has happened with events that you've seen where they didn't do all of this work before they even started planning?
[Lany] So I've got a couple of examples for you guys.
So one of my clients they had an event and they didn't have an audience.
They thought they had an audience, but really when it came down to it, when Sheryl and I started investigating where, yes we investigate you, we started investigating what was going on why were they not selling tickets. It's not something that I usually handle in an event.
I'm not really concerned about your ticket sales, that's your place, but when I start diving into it, they didn't have an audience and so and they weren't promoting it right. Which is another issue. People weren't buying, they hadn't sold anything prior, so they did this event cold turkey.
No audience, no tribe, no webinars, no lead ups, no products, nothing. So they had a $2,500 to $3,000 ticket to their event and by the week of the event they were desperately selling $25.00 day tickets.
[Sheryl] That's two zeros taken out that price tag.
[Lany] Yeah from $2,500 to $25.00, so that's obviously a really huge amount of money to lose, but they didn't have a tribe, they didn't have anybody to buy from or to sell to, I should say.
I was talking with Alexi a few months ago and we, Alexi Panos, and we we're talking about you know people who were doing events and you know I'm obviously I'm an event planner so I want you to plan an event because that's what I love. However, I don't want you to be stupid about it.
If you are doing an event and you're like, I'm going to do this event and we're going to sell $3,000 tickets and your tribe hasn't bought a flippin $10 ebook from you they're not going to buy.
And that's what Alexi and I were talking about you know if they need to buy $10 and then $25 and then $100 and you need to get them used to paying money to you. And yes, they want to be there with you and yes, they want to be close to you. But not always do they want to pay the green hard cash. So make sure that you know like Sheryl said, are they buying?
Have they bought anything?
Have you put a product in front of them to test them?
To test the marketplace and to test your tribe to see what they're interested in doing. Then also having a team to help you build your tribe and help you promote your event it's actually really huge.
So, there's a group that I know, they just did an event and they're doing, they do two events a year, and they have five to eight people on their team. Everybody makes a cut of the profit, they have five eight people working the event, showing up to the event, and promoting the event. So everybody gets a cut of the pie.
They're all showing up, they're all putting in work, but they have five to eight people promoting the event. They're not doing it by themselves, they're not a single solo event creator, so they're collaborating, they're pulling in their tribes. They all have their own individual tribes. So you know can you collaborate with somebody who has an audience and how can you pull in both of your tribes?
Then my last example is, you know maybe you've run some events and it's time for you to up your ticket price. So the good thing to do is start with a lower ticket price.
Start with a hundred and fifty dollar ticket price, start with a $300 ticket price. You know, do smaller events and then your second or third or fourth event in, you can take those ticket prices from $297, to $997.
I was just talking with a lady the other day and she's been running her event for a couple years between the $250 and $300 mark breaking even on her events. She's giving away massive amounts of content, a huge value.
I said it's time for you to up your event cost from $300 to a $1,000 so she's going to do that. She's obviously not going to break even, she's going to make profit, 5 figures of profit and she's excited about that.
So you can start little, you can sell a $50 workshop day, you can sell a $100 two-day event.
You know, may not be the huge win that you want, but you can actually do that.
All right Sheryl, so what's our next step after all of that?
[Sheryl] Okay so now you know what kind of information you should be gathering.
One thing I want to point out, that I'm sure you'll agree with, is being honest with this information. This isn't something where you want to look at and say oh I have a big audience, they love me, they interact.
[Lany] You might lie to yourself please.
[Sheryl] We want you to be honest with these numbers. Keep track of them over time. This may not, I mean you go through your platforms now your list and start looking, but you have to be honest about these numbers. You can't say 10 people bought from me and nobody has. Or look at these numbers, keep track of them.
So now that you know what to start checking on these different platforms, your website, your email list, all your social sites.
Why is this information going to be so important?
What are they going to, what are they going to garner from gathering all this?
[Lany] So you guys gather all this information it allows you to decide what type of event you actually need to create.
Sometimes it's just a lunch and learn, if you're in your local community. You can do a lunch and learn. A simple event a $10 - $20 cost at a local restaurant, partnering up. I mean that's the basic, basic, basic. But it also will tell you what people are going to buy.
Are they going to buy that lunch and learn?
Are they going to buy a one day conference?
Are they going to buy a two day and then a three day event.
Why do you think people show up to MarketingProfs in Boston? This big massive conference.
Why do you think they show up to MozCon up in Seattle?
Why do you think they show up to these big massive trade shows and conferences every year?
Gabby Bernstein is throwing a big retreat, I think in just a few months why do people show up? Because she's done a research, she's looked at their tribe, they've all looked at their tribes they've done it.
I mean these are all established events, but they weren't established events when they started.
So they've done their research, they've done their homework, they surveyed, they've tested their marketplaces out, they sold products, they've built their tribes, and now they're running successful events. Two, three, five and ten years later. So this information really helps you streamline what you have.
Streamline what you want to create, streamline what you're audience wants to show up for. Because that's massively important!
If you create something that they don't want to show for, they're going to be way hands off about it.
Alright so how do we find out some of these final answers?
[Sheryl] Well you're going to be looking, like I said at all of your numbers on your social sites everywhere.
You're going to possibly have to put out different types of content to see what they're interacting with.
You need to put out at least an introductory offer of some sort for services or product.
Then if you have current clients, you're going to want to start surveying them.
Seeing what they're interested in.
What they would come to an event, what would they would pay for?
And survey your followers, so whether you have an email list, followers on social platforms, wherever they are, start putting out paid surveys and gathering that information.
The more info you have about your current people, the more likely you are to put together an event in the long run that serves what they need, what they want and that they will pay for.
So anything to add?
[Lany] So just again, don't lie to yourself and serve your tribe and do the research and collect the data.
So thanks for watching and go take some action!