Live events give you an opportunity to connect with prospects in a way that can’t be done online. But just like other forms of lead generation, your efforts will only be worth the investment if your event attracts the right people: those who are likely to become customers.

Follow these steps to improve the quality of your lead gen event’s audience and attract more potential customers.

Step #1: Understand your prospects’ motivation

The first step to attracting more qualified people to your events is to understand what motivates your target prospects. Why would these potential customers want to attend your event?

Go beyond your basic marketing personas to understand what factors would bring this audience to your event. Where do they live? What do they do in the evenings after work? Where do they hang out online? Are they more likely to attend an event during work hours or in the evening? You can use this workbook to build out your understanding of your target audience.

A firm understanding of your target audience helps you promote your event more efficiently. But more importantly, this important step helps frame your event’s value proposition in a way that will resonate with prospects.

Step #2: Create a targeted value proposition

When someone lands on your event website or registration page, you’ll need to sell them on why your event is unique — and why it’s the perfect event designed just for them. And you only have a few seconds to make this impression.

A strong value proposition will help set your event apart from the rest. It provides potential attendees with the most important information they need to decide to attend. It’s a clear statement that their time won’t be wasted.

For example, the US-based business conference DeveloperWeek 2019 sums itself up as “the world’s largest developer conference & expo.” They even turn this value prop into a call to action to incentivise attendance: “Join 8,000+ of your peers & colleagues from 70+ countries, 220+ speakers and 100+ exhibitors.”

Once you have a value proposition targeted to attract your specific prospects, audit your marketing materials to make sure they will hook the exact attendee you want.

Step #3: Take a more targeted approach to marketing

With your ideal attendee persona built out, your promotion strategy can focus only on those you want to attend your event.

Online and social media advertising will give you access to hundreds of thousands of potential attendees. But to get more bang for your buck and see a better return on investment (ROI), you can’t waste money on attendees who will never become customers.

Here’s how to promote your event to the most relevant audience:

  • Leverage your email list: Reach out to past customers, prospects, or anyone who’s attended your past events. Getting previous attendees to come to another event can be six to seven times less expensive than acquiring new ones. Not to mention, having a mix of current customers in the room with prospects can be an incredibly effective way to sell your product by word of mouth.
  • Leverage targeted advertising on social media: Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have powerful advertising tools to let you send targeted promotions to the right audience. Upload your current prospects to Facebook then build a lookalike audience to find similar leads. Or, use LinkedIn’s advanced persona-based targeting options outlined in this ebook written with the LinkedIn team.
  • Remarket to interested prospects: Remind people who view your event website to return and register. Use marketing pixels on your website to track who visited an event page. Then, create retargeting ad campaigns to reach the people who didn’t register.


Step #4: Simplify your registration process

To gather qualified leads, you also need to collect important information from your attendees. But be careful with how much you ask people to provide during event registration. Each step in your registration process can lead to a 10% reduction in transactions.

Make sure you’re only asking for the information you need and let technology fill the gaps. An attendee’s company information or job title, for example, may be valuable enough to ask during the registration process. But their age or geographic location can easily be found in your web analytics.

Too many questions during registration will give qualified leads a think twice about attending your event — but there are other barriers you should be aware of.

Learn how simplifying your registration process can help you increase the quality of your event attendees in Make Registration Easy: How to Grow Your Event Without Spending More Money.