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Why event planners need to know about psychographics

Psychographics are a good starting point for any conversation with sponsors around monetization. Sophie Holt, managing director of Explori, explains why.



Speaking at the Virtual Event Institute’s summit on Event Monetization Success, sponsored by EventsCase, Sophie Holt, managing director of Explori, kicked off the session by introducing the concept of psychographics and why it is important for event planners to help them monetize virtual, hybrid and in-person events.


“A good starting point for any conversation around monetization has to be around value and ROI for sponsors,” said Holt. “How do we drive that ROI to make their investment worthwhile? Personalization is key, but first, you need to understand your audience.”


There are two ways to understand your event audience better, explained Holt.


The first way is to use demographics. For example, ask your audience for their job title, budget size, if they are a decision-maker etc. “This is something you have probably done throughout your career,” added Holt.


The second way is through psychographics, which is much more about how somebody feels.


“This is about finding out what are the biggest concerns, priorities, and knowledge gaps for your audience. It is also about behaviors, particularly purchasing behaviors.”


One way to track psychographics is to observe how your audience interacts with your content.


This will help you to know what types of information they need and want.


Holt went on to explain that the second route is to simply ask your audience directly.

Prior to your event, you may want to tease out the key priorities and challenges that your industry is facing.


And post-event, you may want to ask what they intend to do next.


“You will have data analytics from your event and your content, and the most powerful way forward is to combine data from all these sources to get an in-depth view of your customer.


“If you’ve got a really good understanding of your audience through demographics and psychographics, you’re in a better position to create more relevant content,” explained Holt.

“It can help you to make qualified matches between your audience and sponsors that aren’t just based on job title or budget size."



She continued: “One concern that sponsors have is that virtual events typically are higher up the marketing funnel than their live events, and this method brings more qualified leads further down the marketing funnel and gain a higher ROI.


“It also means you can grow your audience more effectively because your content is more relevant. So if you've got a growing event and higher value matches that is a strong basis of giving good value to your exhibitors and sponsors. And that for me is the start of any conversation about increasing the monetization around digital events.”


Many event planners already use personas to segment their event attendees, so how does psychographics differ from personas?


“They are complementary to personas,” replied Holt. “Personas tend to be fixed over longer periods of time. So it might be about somebody's career stage or educational stage, for example. Organizers probably see your personas last for several show cycles but psychographics can change in a heartbeat.


“The last 12 months have been an incredible example of that as people's priorities, fears, hopes and passions have changed hugely. And that's where psychographics come in. It's much more dynamic. Combining psychographics with the persona work that lots of other competitors already do, is really powerful because it helps scale up those kinds of thoughts and feelings and impacts from a portion of your audience. You can start to make predictions about how that whole persona might behave."


VEI’s next virtual summit ‘Philosophy, Purpose, Platform: Creative Strategies, Concepts and Activations for Audience Engagement’, sponsored by Glisser, will take place on Thursday 11th March at 4pm GMT | 11am EST. Find out more or register here.


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