How to Build Attendee Personas for Event Marketing

- by Alyson Shane

Do you use Attendee Personas when developing your event marketing plan?

If not, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to understand your attendees’ wants, needs, and what to say to get them excited about registering for your event.

By creating Attendee Personas to represent different types of people who would benefit from attending your event, you can clarify your event marketing messaging so that your readers feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

What’s an Attendee Persona?

Attendee Personas are event-specific versions of the Buyer Personas marketers use to understand their target audiences. They’re called “personas” because they’re intended to represent an individual within a larger group.

In order to do this effectively, we need to dig deep into who these people are and identify their industry, job title, network and/or trade show membership, and other professional details. Other helpful elements include pain points, wants, needs, likes, where they get their news and consume media, and who their influencers are.

What’s the Difference Between a Buyer Persona and An Attendee Persona?

A buyer persona is a persona (fake person) businesses create as representations of their ideal customers. They use these personas for market research so they can craft marketing copy that speaks to their customer’s needs.

Attendee personas are similar in the sense that they also create semi-fictional representations of your ideal attendee, but they focus on different areas that help us understand their needs in relation to our event.

How to Create an Attendee Persona

Creating an Attendee Persona is easy, just make a list of your attendee’s characteristics, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Job title
  • Pain Points
  • Personal/professional motivations
  • Social media they use
  • What they want to learn at your event

Finding Information for Attendee Personas

Start building your Attendee Personas by identifying the types of people you want to connect with to promote your event. It’s likely that your event will appeal to more than one individual type of person, so it’s likely you’ll need to develop several Attendee Personas

If you aren’t sure where to start, try these research tips:

  • Analyze survey data. Take a look at what attendees have said about past events and note the similarities you see between industry, job title, etc.
  • Review your competitors. Identify similar events and take a look at the themes, topics, speakers, and attendees to gain insight into who may want to attend your event.
  • Ask “what opportunities does my event offer?” Are there people who haven’t attended a past event who would benefit from attending now?

Digging Deeper: Who to Ask

Now that you have a basic understanding of the types of attendee personas you’ll be building, it’s time to loop in other sources of attendee information, like:

Your support team 

They interact with your attendees on a daily basis and will have valuable insights into the details that are important to your target audience. Ask about areas like:

    • What are the questions they hear most often?
    • Which social media channels generate the most traffic?
    • What are the most common concerns attendees have?

Your sales team

If you have a sales team, tap into their customer relationship management (CRM) data to identify new event audiences, learn which types of attendees come back every year, and more.

Past attendees

If you can, arrange a video or in-person interview with past attendees. Gathering information from them directly allows you to ask specific questions about their needs, wants, and pain points. 

Other ways to learn more about your attendees is to follow blogs from industry influencers, follow conversations around industry hashtags, and using social listening tools to stay on top of emerging trends and topics.

How to Build Attendee Personas for Event Marketing: Recap

Building Attendee Personas is the fastest way to gain an in-depth understanding of your attendee’s wants, needs, and pain points. 

By doing the work of developing these personas in advance, you can write marketing copy that speaks to their needs and gets them excited about registering for your event.

Do you have any tips for building great attendee personas? Tweet them at us and we’ll update this post with your suggestions!

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