A 7-step guide to create event personas

You need to ensure that your event is targeting the right audience. You need to understand and define your particular niche in order to dominate it.

Here is a tool for you: create your event personas! 

An event persona?

A persona is an archetype of a potential attendee or customer. It is not a specific person, more like an outline of personal attributes synthesized into one fictional person.

Each persona should represent a key segment of your potential audience, so it has to be specific and believable. 

The overall concept is, that once you have created your personas with in-depth descriptions of their personal background, beliefs, and challenges you will more easily know (1) who you want to target with your event, (2) how you will reach them, and (3) how to set up the right event - serving both you AND your attendees. 

It is a great tool for anticipating what your attendees seek in an event, how you can help them - and ultimately how events can boost your business. You will be able to identify what needs extra attention, what ideas to let go of, and so on. 

But besides being the obvious design tool, personas can also help you create and visualize a common perspective on the event among you, your staff, and your stakeholders. 

If you create them too generic or too unbelievable, they will not serve you.

So how do you do it right? 

Here’s a 7-step guide to creating B2B event personas - straightforward and simple.

Step 1. Get insights on your customers

First of all you need to get a hold of your company’s target group. Start out by analyzing your current customers - and the prospects you want to attract.

  • Create a representative list of customers. If your business is based on a few customers, then include them all. (If you want to go totally out of your current target market, then add customers you would like to attract. But if you are staying in the same market, just focus on your existing customers. They most likely have some common traits which you are looking for in new customers).
  • For each customer on the list gather and collect as much relevant information as possible. You could gather details about
    • their business (products, customers, markets, marketshare, strategy, ...),
    • their company (location, size, organization, culture, history, …),
    • their employees (type, gender, ...),
    • and so on.

Step 2. Relate your customers to your business

Now you need to identify how each of the listed customers interact with your company and assess their current value for your business. 

You need to figure out:

  • What is your current business value of having them as your customers (direct revenue, reference/referral, brand-wise, …)?
  • Why are they your customers? How do you help them? What pain points do you address for them?

Step 3. Figure out the full potential business value of your customer relationships

But instead of just being satisfied with the status quo of your relationship, you obviously want to drive more business. So for each customer, try to pinpoint their total potential:

  • What pain points could you help them with in the future? Do a short SWOT check on each of them - what are their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats? Where are your openings? 
  • And if you were to help them, what could then be the total potential business value for you derived from having them as customers (in terms of direct revenue, referrals, brand value, …)?

Step 4. Personalize your customers

In order to make your personas actionable, you need to personalize them. If the customers on your list so far are faceless companies, you need to find the persons behind these companies. 

Remember: you do not invite companies to your events, you invite people - you cannot excite a company, people get excited. And ultimately it is the people who buy your products or services on behalf of companies. Companies buy nothing.

That’s why you need to figure out: 

  • Who are your points of contact in their organization? Who do you know? What is their role? Organizational background and history? Careers?
  • Who makes the decisions in their organization? Who do you need to convince in order to make things happen?

And for each person on your list, start to think about their personal beliefs and aspirations, their dreams and fears. Because ultimately they are your entrance.

Step 5. Identify common traits of your customers

Now you have a pretty good idea about who your customers are, what you are helping them with today, and what you could help them with tomorrow. The value today and the potential value tomorrow. You know whom to address and your entrances into the organizations.

The next step is to identify some common traits among them. Common traits could be: Industry? Target markets? Pain points? Opportunities? Personal roles? Personal fears? 

Be careful to ensure that the common traits revolve around your business and your event.

Step 6. Sketch out your event personas

By grouping common traits you should start seeing some typical examples of customers - archetypes. The time has come to sketch out these typical examples: describe your event personas.

You can describe them in many ways, just make sure that the descriptions are relevant for you and the actions you take in relation to your event. 

So keep in mind that the event personas are intended to make it easier for you to:

  • target the right people for boosting your business,
  • target them in the right way to ensure their attendance,
  • design a relevant event for them and show your relevance to them,
  • ultimately drive them to do more business with you. 

Your description can include:

  • Who are they (industry, role, company, age, gender, personal life, etc.)?
  • What are their pain points (which you can help resolve)?
  • What are their dreams and fears (and how can you help reach or mitigate them?)
  • What triggers a purchase made by them (and how do you convince your persona)?

Share your event personas among your staff and other relevant stakeholders.

Make sure that everybody is on the same page when it comes to (1) whom you are targeting, (2) how you are doing it, and (3) how you can ensure successful events in business terms.

Step 7. Refine and adjust your event personas

Once you have attracted the right people to your event, make sure that you build up even more knowledge about your attendees. 

An event is an exceptional opportunity to learn more about your customers. Interview them, conduct surveys, and so on. Never stop refining your event personas.

There you go. Now you have the best outset for identifying and approaching the right target audience for your B2B events!

Manage the entire event journey to create better events

This article is one out of many covering a "New take on events" - phase 1 of our pioneering event journey, giving you the right outset for creating better events.

Read more best practice articles.

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