Target Market: How to Find Target Audiences For Events (You Want to Attend or Host)

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target market for events

When it comes to event marketing, having a clear target audience is vital. Attending or hosting events where you connect with the wrong type of person can be a colossal waste of time and resources. 

If you think your audience is everyone, you’re wrong. In aiming to reach everyone, you will struggle to truly reach anyone. On the other hand, you might think you know your target audience, it’s the same as for the rest of your marketing strategy, right? No and yes. 

For events, there’s more to it than that. And here we’ll be diving into both sides of the coin: how to find your target audience for events both for event marketers choosing which events to attend and for those organizing events to invite the right attendees and speakers. If you fit the bill for either, keep reading!

Target Market Definition 

A target audience or target market is a pool of people that fit a specific criteria that you want to reach with your marketing. This is usually decided by founders and management teams when they create your product, service or company. Although it might change as your company grows, you launch new products and in new markets.

The marketing team uses this criteria to flesh out exactly who to target in marketing activities. You should always have your target audience or ideal customer profile (ICP) top of mind whenever strategizing, planning or completing marketing activities. We’re talking, everything from your strapline to your ad copy should be tailored.

Target Audiences for Events

For most companies, your target audience isn’t usually one type of person, for example in a B2B SaaS company, your target audience might be split into 3 versions of ICPs or buyer personas. Maybe your ideal user is a delivery team member, but in order to sell to them you have to get approval from other key stakeholders and decision makers. In this instance, there may be 3 different types of target market segments, each with different pain points and demographics. Therefore your marketing efforts need to account for these audience segments and messaging needs to be adapted accordingly. 

The same goes for events. While your ideal customer profile for your B2B SaaS company might be CFOs as they hold the key to technology spend, your event research might find that CFOs are unlikely to attend a lot of in-person events in your area. But, there may be a member of the Technology team who is the end user and would massively benefit from your product going to an event you were planning on attending.

By segmenting your target audience, you give yourself more chances to get a foot in the door with people who can open up discussions with the right internal decision makers. It also helps you decide who from your business to send, based on which target audience member is going to be there. 

Whether it’s hosting them or attending them, events present a fantastic opportunity for businesses to reach all different audience segments. And this should be top of mind in your event strategy.

How To Find the Right Target Audience for Events?

Determining the right target audience starts off with questioning: how does this event get you one step closer to reaching your marketing goals? What is your ideal result from it? Once you pin your goals down, you can get started on your personas.

  1. Segment Your Audience

Like we said, for event marketing to work it needs to be targeted to that audience. Different events will serve different purposes towards how you reach your goals. In order to make sure you reach the right target audience by attending or hosting events, you need to lay this out in your strategy. Set clear audience segments to make a clear cut plan. For example: 

Let’s say you work for a company with an HR app and the current target market is HR teams in Finance companies. Your segments might look like: 

Segment 1: End user – HR personnel for finance companies

Segment 2: Key stakeholder – Head of HR/HR Directors

Segment 3: Decision maker – COO who signs off all operational contracts and technology

Now, under each audience segment, explain the personas and what characteristics they have. For example:

Segment 1: End user – HR personnel for finance companies

Characteristics: Professionals aged 25-40, finance industry, from New York city (due to location of event), struggles with keeping on top of workload, properly logging all employee issues and completing new HR initiatives.

Repeat this for every segment.

  1. Create a List of Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs)

Next, make an ICP list for each segment. An ICP list names specific people from specific companies you want to engage through events. Start with listing at least ten companies and then research people that fit your different audience groups. For example:

Segment 1: End user – HR personnel for finance companies

Characteristics: Professionals aged 25-40, from New York city (due to location of event), struggles with keeping on top of workload, properly logging all employee issues and completing new HR initiatives.

ICPs: 

Joe Bloggs, HR Manager at Goldman Sachs

Jane Doe, HR Officer at American Express

Jessica Taylor, L&D Associate at Morgan Stanley

And so on! 

Your list doesn’t have to include every member of your target audience, its purpose is to give you an idea of the right kind of target persona and to give you goals to work towards. Of course, the more detailed and lengthy the list, the better. Especially to align with Sales who will be involved in events too. 

  1. Use Event Intelligence Software to Find Events Your Target Audience Attend or Speak At

To discuss this properly, we need to split this into the scenarios we mentioned before:

  • Scenario 1 is how to find the right target audience for attending B2B events 
  • Scenario 2 is how to find the right target audience attendees or speakers for an event you’re hosting or organizing

Scenario 1: How to Find the Right B2B Events to Attend 

Event intelligence company, Vendelux, makes it easy to find which events your target audience are attending. With a database full of 30k+ B2B events from around the world, a simple search on Vendelux can give you detailed information (name, job title, company, email, phone number etc.) about who will be going to or sponsoring that event. So you can find new prospects and reach out to them before the date. 

It doesn’t stop there. Not sure what events to search for? You can reverse engineer your search by looking for or uploading your ICP list to see what events they usually attend and using Vendelux Fusion, forecast which ones they’re likely to be at in the future. So you can start engaging with ICPs way ahead of time and make data-driven decisions.

Scenario 2: How to Find Attendees, Sponsors and Speakers for an Event You’re Hosting

If the right speakers and attendees are at your event, it’ll attract even more of your target audience who want to join in on the hype. Meaning more marketing and exposure for your company too, win-win!

Whether you’re planning a large conference, or a local round table, get the most out of your hard work by ensuring your target audience are not only in attendance, but also adding to the event as speakers and sponsors.

A quick search in Vendelux can tell you who out of your target market might be interested in all the above. In-person, hybrid or online; search by location, format, topic area and more. Save hours researching for the right event invite list, so you can secure people’s time before others get a chance.

Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at how Giorgias increased event RSVPs and generate more leads

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