5 Ways to Expand Your Attendee Acquisition Reach

One of the latest theories in event marketing is that a successful and profitable event requires doing your best to reach the Total Addressable Market (TAM). Your TAM is defined as the total reachable audience for your event, whether they are currently in your database or not. This means you need to do some list-building. Given current privacy laws, success building lists is getting harder than ever. The best, legal way is with opt-in and organic strategies, rather than more unethical data-scraping tactics.

Here are the fastest, most effective ways to build your audience – ranked in order of speed of delivery of results:
1. Use Data Providers: Many data providers offer access to large databases of contact information that include email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. Popular options include ZoomInfo, Hoovers, and Dun & Bradstreet. However, keep in mind that these services can be expensive and, if you are using marketing automation, most providers will want you to prove that any contacts are opt-in for your messages as a requirement for using their services. So, while fast, this method is tricky. Please be careful you do not get blacklisted!

2. Leverage Social Media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great sources of contact information for your target market. Search functions and filters can narrow your search with specific parameters that fit specific personas and firmographics. You can also join online groups and communities where your target market is active to gather information and build relationships.

3. Lead with Content (also known as Inbound Marketing): If you are active in the industry you are serving, do you have content that would be of interest to your targets? Would they be willing to opt in to get it from you? If so, then get to work. This is probably the best way to get contacts who will not unsubscribe later.

4. Attend Other Events and Conferences: Attending other industry events and conferences in the target – or adjacent – markets can be an effective way to network with potential customers and collect contact information. This can be a slow and rather unwieldy way to build lists, but it can be effective when complementing other efforts.

5. Use Referral Programs: Referral programs can be a successful way to gather contact information from your existing customers. Incentives such as discounts or free stuff can prompt them to provide information about their friends and colleagues who might be interested in your event.
In general, the most effective approach will likely involve a combination of these strategies. I would also add the most organic way of building an audience is most likely to be the most effective, although this is not the best strategy if you need new prospects quickly. Remember always to respect people’s privacy and follow the relevant data protection regulations when collecting and storing contact information.

Are you up to the challenge to extend your marketing reach?

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