We tend to treat engagement at virtual events as a one-size-fits-all solution. All we have to do is turn on the switch on a known list of tools, sit back, and the rest will play out by itself. Let’s think again.
People aren’t all one and the same. Duh. So, why do we think that they’ll all engage in the same way? Why do we even believe that they’ll all engage at all? What one person might find comfortable and pleasing, another might dread and cause them to close off.
And that’s where target audience segmentation comes in
We’ve put together a list of six discrete target audience personas or segmentation profiles. For each attendee persona, we’ve detailed appropriate engagement tools and methods to help them feel at ease and make the most of what you have to show. In the hope of engaging you more, there’s also an informative and fun video tagged to each persona.
But wait a minute. You can and should expect all of these attendee personas at your next event. What’s more, chances are you won’t know which persona each attendee matches. The object of this list, then, is to help you understand what to expect with each engagement tool, e.g., whom it appeals to and who you’re likely to find using it. It’ll come in especially handy when analyzing your event data.
Segmentation profile 1: The Technophobe
Technophobes aren’t technically afraid, so to speak, of new software and UI. However, they might be put off by figuring it out and navigating it. The trick here is to ease them into it from the get-go by making it more appealing and welcoming.
Start with a clear homepage detailing what to expect from the event and listing all the different content and channels. Make sure they know you have an FAQ page (you do have one, right?) and how to get to it, along with a help button and an on-call support team.
Finally – and although this is somewhat of a best practice – double-check that your navigation menu is simple, straightforward, and provides easy access to all the channels of interest in your virtual venue.
Segmentation profile 2: The I’m here because of my boss
As the name implies, this target audience type might not have chosen to attend your event if not instructed to. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show them a good time. Just remember to make the whole thing feel less like a task to accomplish.
The first order of business is short-form content. Anything too long will immediately trigger their snooze button, at least until you lure them in. Shorter content, on the other hand, will feel like a quick win to the I’m-here-because-of-my-boss folks. It’s also a surefire way for you to win them over.
Next, let them feel in control of their experience by offering personal watchlists to which they can save sessions and videos. To seal the deal, prompt them to engage and interact by making known the leaderboard and prizes that go with it.
Segmentation profile 3: The give me all the content
Our third audience segmentation profile, the ‘give me all the content’ type, is your dream attendee. Still, if they don’t get what they want, they might feel like they missed out and leave disappointed. So just give them everything they want – all of it.
To be clear, good content is your baseline. It’s also standard for any event and not really an engagement tool. So, we won’t say anything more about it. Just see to it that you have top-notch content, ok? Awesome.
Other than that, ‘all’ includes profile personalization and interacting with other attendees on group chats and DMs. And to really satisfy their excitement and eagerness, use live Q&As, interactive huddles, polls, quizzes, and of course – rewards. You want them constantly on their feet!
Segmentation profile 4: The I came, I saw, I connected
This target audience persona is looking to connect. Content is only second on their list of reasons to attend. It might not be what you hope for, given the efforts that go into content production, but try to make the most of it. If The I- came-I-saw-I-connected manage to land those connections, they’ll be forever grateful.
So, obviously, use all the connecting and networking tools in your arsenal. This way, they’re sure to find different opportunities to reach out to other attendees and be successful with them. If nothing else, 1-on-1s and group chats are a must.
A watch party doesn’t only bring people together based on common interests, it also puts your content front and center – double win! On a similar note, a Q&A that includes the speaker(s) right after the talking part is over is the perfect setting for people to share thoughts and discuss ideas. Besides, it’s not just attendees that this type is after, but speakers, too.
Segmentation profile 5: The go-getter
You could think of them as more focused give-me-all’s. Albeit that doesn’t mean that they don’t want a lot, so better have it on offer. Either way, go-getters know just what they want and they’re out to get it. Don’t stand in their way. Show them the way; the way to all the opportunities in front of them.
The first stop on this joint venture should probably be the resource center. There, they can find all those videos, whitepapers, and presentations they love so much. They’ll know what to do with it. Your job is to highlight it and make it obvious that it’s there for the taking (i.e., downloading).
Don’t stop there. Create an expert kiosk where they can find more info, more knowledge, and more best practices to choose from. And just like with the give-me-alls, the watchlist option is also a favorite here. It’s a surefire way to make sure they don’t miss anything along the way.
Segmentation profile 6: The social introvert
Rounding up our list of audience segmentation personas are the social introverts. They might just be the most challenging of the bunch but they’re also the most rewarding. If you provide them with a safe space, that is. To be on the safe side, make it spaces, not just one space.
One such safe space is the chat room with only a small group of other attendees. This intimate setting can help almost anyone calm down and open up. As we move on to the public domains, it’s super important to let them keep new social interactions in check. In other words, they should be able to accept or decline connection requests.
Lastly, while it might not be what you intended it for, your on-demand content is also the safest of places for social introverts. Just them and the video playing. Simply knowing that it’s there for whenever they prefer to be alone can take a lot of pressure off.