Most of your customers are not activists


In the current US political system, there’s a battle for the extreme. Both the far left and right are holding sway or at least getting all the attention. But despite that attention, it would behoove everyone to remember that most people tend to be moderate in their views, preferring to move slowly, day by day, rather than embrace massive change or revolution.
 
It’s the same for our event customers. In general, they don’t want ‘revolutions’ or disruption. Even minor change is unwelcome if it might mean unknown results where their interests are put at risk. Therefore, as event organizers, we need to be careful in our approach if we expect success in terms of metrics like event registrations and booth sign-ups. Our customers want results that are proven and tested; they’d rather not bet on change – with its unknown consequences.
 
In my mind, it’s lazy marketing to promise disruption, revolutionary impact, or change. And don’t get me started with events with taglines like “it’s all about change (or revenue or people, etc.)” When I see such promotions, I consider it equivalent to triggering an explosion, satisfied that “at least I got their attention!”  Such generic, open-ended claims indicate a lack of insight and are a signal to me that their proponents don’t know their audience nor what it takes to get that audience to act. I would also guess that they are not the top events in their market segment. If they are, I suspect they won’t be for long.

Knowing your audience means understanding the personal and business objectives of their customers (check out this article on developing target personas here). 
 
This track of thinking comes from my attempt to up my own game in terms of sales. As part of that effort, I’m reading Julie Thomas’ ValueSelling.  Third party perspectives are always healthy ways to avoid letting experience become complacency. Complacency is really just another word for laziness.
 
How lazy can we allow ourselves to be and still have profitable events? Do we dare risk finding out?
 
People want predictable outcomes not revolutions and activism. Make you find out what they want and need and provide them as central pillars in your events…

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