People are the core of your B2B events.
Their profile and the value they can create for other delegates are crucial in making sure everyone has a good experience.
If you invite the wrong attendees, you’ll notice tendencies such as:
- lack of engagement,
- irrelevant networking interactions,
- and less participation.
People attend events for the chance to mingle with like-minded professionals with whom they can share their ideas or challenges.
If the pool of professionals is scarce and level of homogeneity is low, the quantity and quality of those interactions will be much lower.
But how can we differentiate the right attendee from the wrong one?
After all, these criteria are quite vague.
Everything starts with two questions:
“Whom do I want to serve?”
“What type of attendees can add value to my event?”
When deciding whom to invite to your event, you’ll want to know whom you want to transform through communication and wise message placement. You also need to think about your event audience as a collective intelligence.
Professionals who are in the same room and share the same passion will want to actively participate in co-creating even more knowledge or form business opportunities.
But let’s break down this process a bit.
What should you do when deciding whom to invite at your event?
Here’s a list of steps to consider:
Step 1. Define your ideal attendee
Why are you planning the event?
- To get more customers?
- To create a power hub inside the industry?
- To transform your clients into brand advocates or build relationships within different industry stakeholders?
Depending on your goals, you’ll know exactly what your ideal attendee’s profile should be.
Let’s say, for example, that you want to turn your existing clients into brand advocates. Who’s your ideal attendee, then? Obviously, you should invite your paying clients, but you can refine the profile even more by deciding your event will be for clients who have stuck with you for one or two years and achieved great results by using your products. You also want attendees who generously and enthusiastically talk about your brand, helping you gain a high Net Promoter Score (NPR).
By defining these details, you’ll know where to start and which type of attendees to invite.
Step 2. Understand what your event can offer
One of the risks you’ll want to avoid is attracting people who won’t get much value from your B2B event.
It’s the same as selling a product. There’s nothing worse than selling things to people who don’t actually need them. Best-case scenario, they won’t like your product; worst-case scenario, they’ll leave you a bad review or tell others they didn’t enjoy your product.
B2B events work the same.
Write down the value you can generate for your ideal attendees (fresh insights, great content, insightful speakers, solid networking opportunities, etc.).
Making a list will help you see what your event can offer and who will get the most value out of attending.
Step 3. Research your attendees’ professional profile
As we discussed above, people are seeking to engage in conversations and meaningful business exchanges with likeminded professionals.
That’s why it’s a big disappointment when attendees arrive at an event and discover the networking pool is very scarce.
To avoid this, research the professional profiles of your guests or the B2B brands they represent.
- Are your attendees qualified enough?
- Are the brands they’re representing relevant in the context of your event?
- Are your future guests important players in the industry?
- If not, do you think the attendees you’ll be inviting will be able to contribute to the co-creative sessions or networking dynamics?
The answers to these questions will help you identify high-quality professionals whose presence will level up the B2B event experience.
Step 4. Attract the decision-makers
In some cases—especially when it comes to networking—the buyer-supplier dynamic comes into play.
The value you can provide to your suppliers’ delegates, for example, is by inviting qualified buyers.
And one of the most important aspects of inviting buyers is to choose people who have purchasing power.
In most different companies or institutions, department heads or C-suite executives are usually the ones with the purchasing power.
Thus, to make the buyer - supplier relationship more efficient, you’ll want to ensure the matchmaking between people who provide certain products or services and people who hold the purchasing strings and ultimately make the final decision over what products will benefit their company or institution.
No matter how much thought and effort you put into planning an event, it’s the people you invite who make or break the entire attendance experience.
That’s why it’s important to set aside some time to conduct in-depth analysis and research to determine whom to invite to your B2B event.