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4 Steps To Help You Understand & Make The Most Of Your Audience


The first step of developing and executing a successful event is identifying who your audience is and what value your event will bring to them. But how do you go about doing that? And, to take it one step further, how do you attract the right attendees to your next event?

4-Step Plan To Help You Understand & Make The Most Of Your Audience

Here’s a quick 4-step plan to help you understand why audience is so important and how to make the most of your event’s biggest asset—the people who are there:

Step #1: Take A Good Look At Your Current Audience

As an organization, you need to break down what butts are really in your seats. For example, you have a table full of CEOs. Do their companies have members that have been there for 20+ years, or are they brining in new talent? How is your programming going to resonate with them in both scenarios? And maybe you have entrepreneurs in attendance who don’t want to hear about the past; they want to learn about their future. How do you accomplish that without alienating your veteran members? No matter who your audience is, your event must be catered to reach each individual person—or as many as you possibly can.

Step #2: Think Through Who You Want In Your Audience

Now that you’ve identified who your audience is, it’s time to focus on long-term attendee goals. You have your CEOs locked in, but maybe your industry is shifting, and stakeholders suddenly need to focus on opportunities for upcoming generations. This is where you should start considering programming: Minor changes such as creating a ”Shark-Tank”-style panel instead of a traditional panel can appeal to the younger crowd while getting your veteran attendees to look at an age-old topic in a different light. Create a two-way conversation through a real-time online Q&A platform. With these simple changes, you can entice new professionals, consumers, entrepreneurs, and even media to attend your unique event.

Step #3: Think About What Will Bring This Target Audience Value

Your attendees are there to learn, network, and experience something new. No matter how practiced they may be, the only way to stay on top of quickly changing industries is to stay connected and educated. So, what can you offer them that no other conference can? Refined information, specifically catered to not just your members but your attendees. Book a keynote speaker that may not be a prominent member of your industry but can have a huge influence on your attendees’ future choices. Add an award ceremony if you don’t already have one. Choose someone in your industry that has shown true leadership in their community and give that person an opportunity to serve as a speaker in a breakout. Every little detail of your conference has an impact on your attendee’s decision to return.

Step #4: Take Advantage Of The Element Of Surprise

Let’s say your attendees are predominately veteran attendees who have seen it all. What networking opportunities are you planning? Lounge furniture is always nice, but what about a chocolate fountain? Actually, scratch the fountain. The important thing is to try changing your mindset and incorporating something you’d never expect to be popular, because 9 times out of 10, it will be. And we’ve heard it all.

An adult size ball pit customized with your branding? Believe me, it’s a blast. Bringing a beach inside complete with lounge furniture, umbrellas, and lemonade carts? Yes please. But if that’s too much for your event, a low-key and high-impact favorite is the Black Light Graffiti Wall. Who knew, right? Just treat your attendees to something new that will keep them talking.

Now that you’ve begun your audience analysis, it’s time to go forth with the confidence to design an event that treats everyone as a first-time attendee—and is sure to guarantee better turnout and repeat attendance.   

Your Next Steps

Have any additional questions for our team about this topic or any other related event engagement topics? Interested in learning more about our service offerings and how we can help you to mange and produce a stellar live event this year? Contact the LAI Live team today!

You can also fill out the form below, call us at 202-783-0300, email us at, or live chat with a member of the team right now.

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