George Bernard Shaw once said: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
I have to say that it is clear that Bernard Shaw was not a marketing man and lived in a different era. This day and age in order to get your message across effectively and achieve progress, not only do you need to adapt your message you have to make sure you adapt it to a specific target market as well. I am not suggesting that you have to offer something to everyone but rather be clear what you are offering and to whom. The same logic applies of course to any launch or promotional seminar you might be planning.
In my line of work I meet all sorts of people and taking a leaf from Bernard Shaw’s analogy they tend to broadly divide into two types:
The Unreasonable Folk who insist that their input is so superior that everyone will be interested in coming along because it is they that are going to be there. When these people organize an event, they often feel that promoting it is a waste of time and unnecessary as it will fill up on word of mouth alone. They sometimes end up with very thinly attended events.
The Doubly Reasonable Folk who believe that their product and service is right for everybody and can be adapted to fit all needs and purposes. When these people organise an event, they often fail to choose a tailored strategy as they are interested in anyone attending. They often end up with popular events which result in low conversion.
Now, I might be exaggerating to make a point but I hope that some of you might be able to recognise something of your thinking in either type…here are a few things that you can do in order to have less poorly attended events or ones that are oversubscribed with the wrong people:
- Be clear on what it is you are promoting at the event, in all our efforts to be helpful we sometimes forget where we are trying to get to with our marketing.
- Get really clear on who this is aimed at and why they would be interested. It is very easy to fill up the event with avid networkers or very new businesses which might be spot on, but just in case it isn’t…
- Create an event promotion plan and set a goal to the number of attendees you are aiming for. Set yourself a challenge and remember that you will lose about 20% on the night.
- Break your target down to activities and KPIs so you can measure and make changes throughout.
- Document everything so you can use it as a template for your next event plan.
I hope this is useful as a guideline and just in case you are planning an event and looking to discuss it in more details, get in touch.