Executive Audience Insights
Through designing and producing executive events for the past decade, we’ve learned a few constants about the executive-level audience:
The #1 source executives turn to for decisions is their peers;
Executives rarely gather with peers from other industries and sectors;
Executives like to know what’s on the horizon several years in advance
Sales pitches don’t sell, but smart content does; and
Executives are human they enjoy making social connections like anyone else.
Best Practices for Executive Events
Audience quality matters. If your brand is targeting CIOs, then stay there. Do not allow your sales force or executives to spoil attendee experience by offering favors to non-qualified attendees. Diluting the peer experience for the target audience might mean they will never return.
Go for the Halo Effect, not sales. Design a smart and strategic agenda. Share relevant and compelling content and speakers. Attendees will remember the brand behind the amazing content.
Take advantage of company leadership. Use your company leadership to host, but keep it short and sweet. Again, go for the "show not tell" model when it comes to your company's role in an event
Take a lesson from TED. The current trend is toward shorter talks and content segments. Encourage your speakers to tell less and ask more questions.
Mix up formats. It is important to alternate panels with speaker-led sessions. You can do this by adding discussion groups at the end of sessions to allow attendees to dig a little deeper and experience more in-depth content dives.
Spend on your speakers. This cannot be stressed enough. Find speakers willing to work hard customizing their engagement with you and for your audience so attendees feel a connection.
Don't forget to be social, both online and in real life. Encourage social gatherings at your events. This creates opportunities for executives to meet and mingle casually, but in a more orchestrated way. Social media can also be an event's best friend. When done right, it allows for connection, promotion, and community.
Need some inspiration to get your executive event strategy headed down the right path? We’ve got you covered!
Example Strategies and Tactics
Invitation only, nomination process for qualified attendees
Allow exclusive 1:1 meetings with your speakers
Schedule a field trip or offsite expedition to see “real-life” case study
Host an exclusive, candid, informal sessions with your CEO
Make it easy to interact, place a microphone at small seating groups
Create a socially responsible activity as an orchestrated networking activity
If you are looking for a fresh perspective to spark more engagement, discussion, big ideas, and advocacy; give us a call.
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