May 30th, 2014 by Vince Bitel
A colleague and I recently reminisced about events in the 1990s, and one conference in particular we’d attended when we were both working for the same technology company. The prime location. The Hollywood production values. The amazing party the last night of the conference where a 25-piece 60s theme band rocked a packed house. There were racks of 60s clothes to wear, and at the staged hair salon, she was given a mile-high bouffant and I was fitted with a wig with long flowing hair down to my…. Good times followed within a jostling sea of dancing IT pros and technology marketers from around the country. Yes, that really happened – right Sandra?
Fast forward to 2014: Why do IT pros attend events?
As my team considers the redesign of our event recruitment landing pages, and how to arrange the content to achieve the best marketing ROI, we sought out the knowledge of our audience of IT pros by way of very targeted focus groups. What compels them to attend a live event in 2014? Is it the location? The big production? The party?
The responses we got from them were crystal clear. Their thirst for knowledge about a pressing problem they’re facing at work, and understanding relevant vendor solutions is what drives them. That’s why they attend, and how a travel expense gets easily approved. The cartoon light bulb went off over our heads, and it was immediately clear why TechTarget events are so successful: Instead of promising IT pros swag and a shindig, TechTarget provides them with solutions to their problems that they can use the minute they get back to the office. So how can we (and you) get that point across as we market events in 2014?
3 tips for gaining more registrations from potential event attendees
1. Be clear and concise about what they will learn
IT professionals are smart people. They know you’re marketing to them, and are receptive as long as you’re candid with them: tell them in simple language why it would benefit them to sit in one your seats. Write it from their perspective and not yours.
2. Be sure to communicate the face-to-face opportunities that can’t be replicated online
One of the biggest benefits from the IT pros’ perspective is that they get to meet the speakers and their peers face-to-face and share specific questions and answers about their specific situations. Be sure to promote Q&A sessions and time reserved for networking with their peers.
3. Give them the tools to convince their manager they should attend
Everyone is very busy. Even if the event is free and close to their office, it’s still difficult for them to carve out time in their schedule. Often, they need to convince their managers they should be take time out of the office, and you want to make this process as easy and compelling as possible. Provide a downloadable PDF that messages directly to the manager about what the attendee will learn, and how their organization will benefit.
I encourage you to share more tips here by leaving a comment, and if you’re interested in learning more about our conversations with IT pros, connect with me on LinkedIn.