How to identify a target audience for your event

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When it comes to planning and then marketing an event, the term ‘target audience’ can get bandied around a lot. You may have heard it’s important to make sure your promotional content is written in a tone that appeals to your target audience, for example. 

Or that you should be using data about your target audience to help you decide what goes into the event itself. 

This is all well and good – but first, you need to understand exactly what an event target audience is, and how to define yours. 

Let’s get started. 

What is a target audience in event management? 

In event planning, your target audience is a set of people that can be defined in a certain way, and which you can expect to be interested in your event. For example, it might be that the people who are interested in attending your nightclub event are typically adults aged between 18-30 who are interested in electronic music. 

But things can get much more detailed than that – and there can be different segments of your audience too. (So, groups of people who are quite different from one another, but are all equally interested in your event.) This sometimes gets called audience segmentation. Some of the main ways to define audience segments are:

  • Geography: audiences can be broken down into categories based on where they live. You might, for example, find it’s more worthwhile targeting your promo activity towards people who live in the same city that. your event’s going to be hosted. 

  • Demographics: How old are the people who are interested in your event? What gender are they? Are they married? Religious? Do they have children? You get the picture! 

  • Behaviour: Do they usually buy tickets for events early? Or leave it to the last minute? Are they really active on social media at events? What seems to impress them most?

Knowing who your target audience is is a crucial part of being able to use your resources wisely. Not only does it mean you can focus your marketing activity on people who actually care about your event, it means you can make sure the event itself impresses them too.

Let’s take a look at how to define yours.

How do you determine the target audience for an event?

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  1. Use your ticketing platform to learn about your past attendees

    Any ticketing platform worth its salt should allow you access to data about your past ticket-buyers. This is probably one of the most valuable insights you’ll ever get when it comes to audience research. Ticket Tailor lets you customise your checkout form with questions – providing a good opportunity to learn more about your customers. This is a great opportunity to find out the age or georgraphy of your tickets buyer.

    Ticket Tailor also gives you key data about ticket sales. When looking at this kind of data, pay close attention to when people are buying your tickets. Do the majority buy early birds? Was there a surge in sales after a particular kind of marketing activity? Looking at this will help you figure out the optimal times to drive your promotional activity. It’ll also help you to determine things like early bird ticket prices/incentives. 

  2. Use analytics on your website or box office page

    Using something like Google Analytics to learn about who’s visiting your event website or online box office page is another great way to learn about your target audience. Ticket Tailor lets you connect Google Analytics with your box office page, making this process super easy. 

    This is a great way to learn things like the location of people who are visiting your site, as well as other useful information like whether they’re mostly looking at your site on mobile or desktop. On top of that, you can glean key demographic data like your audience’s age, gender, and more. 

  3. Send surveys to your subscribers

    This can be a really useful step if you don’t have any past attendee data to use – but do have email subscribers to a newsletter or a mailing list for your event. Try sending out a survey asking them about things like:

    • Their demographics 

    • Why they’re interested in your event 

    • Where they’re located

    • What other events they regularly attend

    • How likely they’d be to buy a ticket to your event 

    • How they heard about your event

  4. Carry out short, spontaneous social media surveys

    It could be as simple as sending out a Tweet asking who’d be interested in your type of event, or you could do a quick poll on your Instagram Stories. 

    Social media enables event planners to connect with others in a casual way – which can end up being really effective. People may be put off formal-feeling surveys, but responding to a social media post is quick and easy – providing a great gauging tool for who exactly might attend an event like yours. 

  5. Use social media insights 

    Social media platforms also offer their own valuable data (you just need to set up business accounts for your event). This works in a similar way to using Google Analytics for your ticket box office page. For example, Facebook Audience Insights lets you learn all sorts about people who have interacted with your event page – including their age, gender, location and even things like the languages they speak. You can do the same on Twitter and Instagram.

    And there you have it – five ways to dig deep into your event’s target audience, all the better for improving your marketing and offering in general. Getting to know this kind of data really can be the golden ticket to event planning success. Good luck!