Wants Vs Needs – How to Get More Attendees

Create events that attendees want to attend
Photo: Mark Faviell

I was sitting and talking with a client the other day about what day to hold her company’s event.

As is typical of meeting and event planners, she pulled out a calendar and her computer and she started plotting all of the competing industry events and saying things like “we can’t have it on the 28th because it is too close to this event, and we have to stay away from this golf event and we can’t………”

At which point I promptly leaned over and gently closed the lid of her computer and took the Calendar out of her hands and set it on the table and asked the following question:

“What day do you want to have the event”

She said “the 28th but that is the”…….

”STOP” I said. “You can do the 28th”

“How?” She asked “The Association event is the same day.”

And I replied something like this…………..

They need to be at The Association event, you are going to make them want to be at your event, so you are going to Kick The Association’s little ass and you will get all the attendees you want, don’t worry about it.

Wants beat needs every freaking day and 8 ways to Sunday.

  • I need to work on my garage but I want to play catch with my kid
  • I need to cook dinner at home but I want something quick
  • Lady needs flats but those pumps are freaking awesome
  • Guy needs a haircut but wants to stop into the bar for a beer
  • I need to work on that report but I want to go see the Bulls play tonight
  • I need to lose weight but I want that flipping Twix bar
  • Dude needs to go to church but wants to use his tickets to the Giants game

Stop worrying about the shit that you think your attendees need and just give them what they want.

See, how freaking easy is that.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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