When planning an event, you NEED to know who your target market is. It is not everyone.
A “target market” is the main group of people you are aiming to attract. They will have some similar characteristics, such as age, location, interests or demographics.
Are you targeting families with kids, seniors, or the 18-25 year old party crowd? What are their interests?
The more specific you can be the better. This will really help you direct your marketing the most effectively, saving you time and money. It will also help your plan your event with these customers in mind to make it a better visitor experience.
Identifying your target market doesn’t mean these are the only people allowed to attend your event (unless you choose to restrict it; ie. a 19+ event), it just means these are the people that are the most likely to buy tickets to attend your event.
For example, this is our target market for the rodeo:
- Ages 25-55
- Women with income of $30 000 – $90 000
- Has children ages 3-12
- Lives within 1 hour of the event, probably in a rural/farming area
- Owns a vehicle
- Interested in animals
This doesn’t mean that men or people from 2 hours away can’t attend. Identifying your target market just means that this type of person is most likely to make the plans and purchase tickets to your event.
You can also have a secondary market (ie. Ours would be grandparents who live within an hour who come with their grandkids).
Now that we know our target market, we put our marketing in places where these people will see it. For example, not that many people in our primary target market read the newspaper, so we don’t waste money on ads in the newspaper. Almost all the people in our target market are on Facebook, so we put some money into Facebook ads that will reach them.
Knowing your target market will also help while planning your event. Adding little details that people in your target market will notice and enjoy really helps makes the event a more enjoyable experience.
This might mean getting food vendors that will be appropriate, or providing services that your target market visitors will benefit from. For example, if you are running an event targeting seniors, you will want to make sure that your seating and event grounds are accessible to people with limited mobility. If you are targeting families with young children, make sure you provide things for the little kids to do between main events to keep them happy and in turn keeping the family staying longer at your event.
(above – we do a “sheep scramble” during the half-time intermission at our rodeo. It is a huge hit with the kids!)
Take some time early in your event planning to clearly identify your target market. What are the most important characteristics of the people you are trying to attract? Think about things like: age, interests, income level, physical location, etc.
Knowing your target market is crucial to planning and marketing your event…. What is yours?