Should we expand the target audience for our association convention?

Expanding your target audience for your association convention could be an excellent way for you to improve attendance. Or it could be an excellent way for you to slowly ruin your event.

The idea behind expanding your target audience is simple enough: the more people you invite, the more people will show up. That’s good for exhibitors, attendance, revenue and prestige. Not a bad deal.

However, tread carefully when expanding your association event’s target audience. The wrong choice could cause several problems:

1) If marketing to your new event target audience causes you to pull resources or marketing efforts from your core audience, you may slowly lose that core audience. It may not happen the first year, or even the second year, but it can easily happen. Even worse, you may not realize that you’re losing that core audience because you’re only looking at the total attendance numbers which may be steady or (hopefully) up.

2) Your addition of another target audience for your association event may cause dilution of the convention as it relates to your core audience. That can cause satisfaction to decrease over time, which will ultimately cause attendance to fall or open the door to new competition.

3) Your association convention may not have enough to offer your new audience. So while you may be able to get them in the door for a year or two based on your great marketing, their experience may not live up to the promise, and you’ll quickly begin to lose those attendees.

Despite all of the pitfalls mentioned above, expanding the target audience of your association convention can be an excellent idea. You simply need to make sure that you don’t lose your core audience in the process, and that you deliver what you promise.

Has your association expanded the target audience for your event or convention? Have the results for your association been positive – both initially and several years later?

    >Contact Us / Subscribe     >See More Q&A's