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One of the questions most frequently asked when we meet an event manager for the first time is how to maximize audience acquisition. Gauging from how often we hear this question, it appears that audience acquisition is a challenge for many. That’s a shame because audience acquisition doesn’t have to be complicated; however, it does demand proper strategy and process, a watchful eye on results being generated and ruthless efficiency.

  1. Every successful AA plan starts with defining your target audience and understanding each segment’s unique needs and challenge. Whether this is a simple matrix or full-on personas, powerful campaigns begin with clear definition.
  2. Document your strategy and comm plan including each tactic, its execution, content and timing; who’s responsible for it; and a detailed schedule.
  3. Content is king. Successful events have strong content strategies and aggressive timing. Education is the number one reason people attend events and data shows that 65% of potential attendees won’t register until the conference agenda and session information is live. Want people to commit to attending your event? Accelerate your agenda go-live date and show people what they’ll learn so they can decide for themselves that it’s worth their time.
  4. Messaging should be direct and compelling. Event comms must clearly and quickly articulate the benefits an attendee will realize by attending your event. This is about them, not you.
  5. Your website is your most important comm tool. Its content needs to be rich, relevant and easy for visitors to get to what’s meaningful to them. Update site content frequently as new speakers, sessions or events are confirmed.
  6. Events are immovable objects so treat your comm deadlines the same way. A consistent cadence of targeted communications delivers better results than haphazard execution, every time.
  7. Watch AA metrics in tandem with registration reports. Learn from what’s working and what’s not. If retargeting is pulling well then pour more budget into that. Conversely, if a tactic isn’t generating expected returns, evaluate how you’re using it and what should be changed. AA plans are organic and must evolve to be effective.

We know from producing virtual events over the years – and it’s been validated since March when many clients pivoted – that the same rules apply to audience acquisition for virtual events as live events. The primary caveat being that you need to drive increased upfront registrations because virtual events often have higher attrition rates that must be compensated for. Other than that, points 1-7 above apply equally to in-person and virtual events. These principles are just a few we employ to help clients deliver successful events. If your event could benefit from a more targeted audience acquisition strategy, we’d love to talk with you and share our process. Simply drop us a note at: and we’ll set up a time to chat and learn of your specific event goals and related needs.

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