Attract Federal Audiences to Your Events: Factors and Barriers in Event Attendance - (Archived)

Have you ever heard from your customers that the reason they didn’t attend your event was because of a lack of budget? Or that there were travel restrictions in place? Or that they just couldn’t get a manager’s approval? Well, you are not alone. According to Market Connections’ study from late 2017, these reasons were top of the list excuses from federal IT decision makers as to why they did not attend events.

The study, designed to better identify those factors that drew IT decision makers to industry events and understand the barriers they faced, provided insights that can help you in the development and design of your events in the upcoming year.

What did we learn? First and foremost, federal decision makers want to be educated. The top five factors that drive attendance include some level of learning, product demonstration, or problem solving. Respondents told us:

  1. Expand what I know about the topic.
  2. Teach me something new.
  3. Help me find a solution to my problem(s).
  4. Demonstrate technologies I may not understand.
  5. Show me a wide variety of solutions or products.

They also said:

  1. It doesn’t HAVE to be located somewhere new and exciting (although I don’t mind).
  2. While it’s great to get away from home sometimes, I’m not just doing it for that.
  3. Free giveaways and swag don’t make the conference (but it doesn’t hurt!)

What does this mean for you and your federal event marketing team? To attract decision makers, market your events as educational, a place to problem solve and a showcase for product demos. Focus on the value, keeping in mind price (the full cost, that is, including fees, lodging and travel) and, especially for those outside of the Beltway, the distance they will have to travel (don’t make them go far).

For the full study results and recording of our latest webinar, visit our 2017 Federal Events Study page.

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