The new way to consume content is to binge. A familiar concept with TV shows and movies but the same behavior is emerging as a trend in events too. We take a look at the binge attending phenomenon and see what's in it for eventprofs.
I want it all and I want it now. When it comes to consuming content, this appears to be very much the default position these days. Constant FOMO (fear of missing out), combined with an ever-growing all you can eat buffet of desirable content are two of the main drivers of this behavior.
The Binge Phenomenon
With the rise of video on demand platforms like Netflix, music services like Spotify and timeline based social media platforms, people are used to getting what they want, when they want and they are consuming it in bulk.
Why watch one episode of Game of Thrones when you can watch an entire series in one go? Why settle for what the TV schedule says you should watch when you can simply choose what you want to watch? Even if you only planned to watch one episode, the next piece of content will be dangled in front of you like the proverbial carrot and stick. You enjoyed the episode and you want more so you go for the carrot.
This phenomenon isn't just limited to digital media either. It's also becoming commonplace when reading up on a particular topic or following a particular author's work to buy all of the relevant books and consume them all in one go.
The desire to consume a piece of content triggers an impulse to do just that and modern content platforms deliver it in bulk, ensuring that the consumer is fully satiated.
What Is Binge Attending?
Binge attending, like binging on TV content is also driven by desire. Whether that desire is a desire to learn, a desire to support a sports team, a desire to meet like-minded people or simply FOMO, that desire is ever present. As with other content, this desire triggers an impulse to sign up for events. In some cases, that could be several event sign-ups in one go.
If the attendee is getting what they desire from the event but remains hungry for more, chances are, they will be thinking about which event to attend next, before they even leave.
Although the content is different, the principles and opportunities are very similar.
Who Are The Bingers?
Binging attendees can be found at almost every event and they type of event is irrelevant. For example, there's the person who dresses as Darth Vader at every Star Wars or geek convention, there's the serial sports attendee who follows their team around the world and there's the surgeon who attends every medical conference in their state. Not only this but they are also the most likely to want to obtain every piece of merch associated with the event, every ticket upgrade possible and entry to any fringe events. For these reasons, the bingers are among your most valuable attendees.
The type of event is almost irrelevant; the focus here is the attendee and the community of which they are a part.
These attendees, given the opportunity, will sign up for every event that meets their needs. The clever part is finding them and offering them the opportunities.
Partnering With Other Events
Around every event is a community of users with similar interests or goals. The best way to tap into that resource is to partner with similar events.
Point Of Sale
One of the best ways to help your attendees scratch that itch is to work with similar events to cross-promote at the point of sign up. If you're hosting a fan convention for comics one week and there's a superhero convention in the same state the week after, the binging attendee will likely sign up for both. Naturally, you don't want to give your ticket sale away to someone else, so when and how this promotion is done requires some thought. The "thank you for your purchase" page an attendee sees after purchasing a ticket is the ideal place to promote similar events. This takes care of the "I want it all and I want it now" impulse at the point of sale.
Promotion At The Event
The best point at which to offer someone new content is while they're currently enjoying something similar. The carrot and stick approach mentioned above does this perfectly and it's not a new approach at all. Even viewers of traditional TV will see ads and trailers targeting viewers of the show currently being watched. For this reason, it makes perfect sense to target event attendees while they are attending another event.
Most events keep up a level of communication with their attendees post-event. This post-event communication is another ideal opportunity to sell events of a similar nature.
Besides teaming up with other events, it's possible to go after the bingers more directly through their own communities. Binge attendees aren't just interested in attending an event, they can be obsessive about the topic and as such are often very involved in the community that surrounds the event.
A great way to tap into communities is to make use of influencers. Every community has them and in the case of events, the influencers are often bingers themselves.
Social Media Targeting
Attendees and their respective communities can also be targeted through social media advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook, in particular, offers an opportunity to target "lookalike audiences". While you can't directly target another event's audience without consent, you can create audiences based on demographics, interests and external data to build an accurate profile of who to target. That external data can include lists of users from other events with whom your event is partnered, however, that particular list will be excluded from targeting. Always make sure you have permission to do so before sharing your attendees' data with partners!
Give The Bingers Even More Of What They Want
The road to binge nirvana is to keep satisfying the need of attendees by giving them more of what they want. This can not only be achieved by partnering with other events but also by tailoring your own events to better suit your attendees' behavior. A good example of this is creating vertical conference tracks with experts on the same topic.
This concept can be further expanded by running series of related events focusing on the same interest areas and topics. Doing this across multiple destinations can further build on FOMO and increase the opportunity to upsell.
Whether you're offering a single event or many, event bingers are likely to be in attendance. Working with other events and tailoring your own event content to better satisfy their desires is a surefire way to increase ticket sales whilst giving attendees exactly what they want.