An image showing how to determine attendee personas for in-person events.

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Posted on 12/02/2022

How to determine personas for in-person events

Every event organizer wants a successful event. You want all that plan and execution to result in an event where attendees are glad they attended and possibly want a repeat. To achieve this, event organizers need to appreciate that humans make events, and these humans need to be understood and pleased for them to appreciate an event and look forward to a new one. You need to learn how to determine your attendee’s persona to achieve this. This post will show you how to determine your in-person event attendee persona.  

What is an attendee persona?

An attendee persona is a fictional representation of an attendee’s characteristics. You want to represent your audience according to unique characteristics that differentiate them from others. When creating an attendee persona, you’ll want to consider age, gender, occupation, interests, and needs.

With a good understanding of your target audience, you can start planning your event accordingly. For example, if you know that most of your attendees will be in their early 20s, you’ll likely want to plan a more casual event with less formal attire. You will also consider gamification seriously. On the other hand, if most of your attendees are retirees, you’ll want to plan a more leisurely event with activities for them to enjoy.

Regardless of your target audience, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Determining the attendee persona is not an attempt at trying to please everybody. Trying to please everyone can often lead to disappointment, so it’s best to focus on delivering an event that caters to most of your attendees. However, don’t be afraid to add a few unique touches that appeal to those who fall outside your target audience. This can help make your event more memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

How to determine attendee persona

There are different ways to determine your event attendees’ persona. The following list explains each method.

1. Get to know your attendees

An effective method of getting to know your attendees is by conducting a survey. This will help you understand their needs and wants for the event. The survey can also help you determine what type of events they’re interested in, their preferences, and how much they’re likely to spend on an event. You can also use social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to get a sense of who your attendees are. You can include this survey in your event’s registration form, so people can answer specific questions that will help you determine their preferences. 

2. Use demographic data

Another way to determine the attendee persona is by using demographic data. This data can help you understand your attendees’ age, gender, income, education level, and occupation. You can use this information to understand better what type of events your attendees would be interested in and what kind of activities they’d be willing to participate in.

3. Analyze customer data

You can also use customer data to determine the attendee persona. This data will help you understand your customers’ spending habits, interests, and lifestyle choices. You can use this information to create events tailored specifically for them.

4. Look at event feedback

If you’ve hosted events in the past, you can look at attendees’ feedback. This feedback can give you an idea of what type of events people enjoyed the most and what they didn’t like about past events. You can also use this information to improve future events. With tools like the quiz feature on event apps like this, you can obtain key information about your attendees in one event and then use the same information for another event tailored to the needs and peculiarities of the majority of the attendees.

5. Use third-party research firms

If you lack the time or resources to conduct your research, you can hire third-party research firms to do it for you. These firms have access to various data that can help you understand your attendees better.

The importance of creating an attendee persona

An image showing how to determine attendee personas for in-person events.

While we casually mentioned why it is essential to create an attendee persona at the beginning, there are more reasons every event professional should pay attention to creating attendee persona. Below are five such reasons:

1. Get to know your attendees

To create an event that caters to the needs and personalities of your attendees, you need to know them first. Persona can help you understand your attendees more deeply, so you can better plan and organize your event accordingly.

2. Personalize the experience for each attendee

Knowing their persona can create a more personalized experience for each attendee at your event. This could mean different activities, networking opportunities, or food and drink selections. Your attendees will also feel appreciated that the event was tailored to excite them. Such feelings almost guarantee that the attendee will come back for another of your events.

3. To create a more engaging event

A well-planned and executed persona strategy will help make your event more engaging for all attendees. They will feel like they are being catered to specifically, which is sure to leave a lasting impression.

4. To increase attendance

When potential attendees know that an event has been tailored specifically for them, they are more likely to want to attend! Persona can help boost attendance by enticing guests with a personalized experience they cannot find anywhere else.

5. To build relationships with attendees

The best part of events is the networking opportunities! And what better way to network than by getting to know your attendees personally? Persona can help you do just that, so you can forge stronger relationships with the people you meet at your next event.

How to use attendee persona information

Now that you have determined your attendee persona, it is time to start using the information. 

  1. Personalize your event

Use your attendee persona information to personalize your event experience. When you know who is in attendance, you can better target your communications, customize your agenda, and ensure that the networking opportunities are tailored to your attendees’ interests.

2. Create better content

Use your attendee persona information to create better content. Knowing who is in your audience can help you make more relevant and valuable content for your event blog, social media channels, and marketing materials.

3. Generate leads. 

By understanding the interests and needs of your attendees, you can create opportunities for them to learn more about your company and products. You can also use lead capture forms and other tools to gather contact information from interested attendees.

Conclusion

To determine the in-person event attendee persona, we must first understand what motivates them. While there are many motivations for attending events, the three most common are networking, learning, and growing their business.

Once we know what motivates our attendees, we can understand their demographics. For example, if we host an event for small business owners, we would target our marketing toward people interested in learning more about starting their businesses.

Knowing our attendees’ motivations and demographics will help us create a persona for them. This will allow us to understand their needs and wants better, which will help us create a more effective event experience for them.

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