Whether you’re a one-night pop-up restaurant or a week-long conference spanning several city blocks, you’re not the only event of your kind. The event world is increasingly crowded and it’s easier than ever for event-goers to find new, competing events.
So when people land on your event page, you’ll need to sell them on why your event is unique — and why it’s the perfect event for them. And you’ll need to do it fast.
This is where your unique selling proposition comes in: one line that says what sets your event apart from all the rest. By taking a stand and choosing something that makes your event unique, you’ll become known for that unique quality and stand out from the crowd.
In a recent Eventbrite webinar, digital strategist Filip Matous, author of How to Get Your Website Noticed, talked about what makes a perfect unique selling proposition (USP) and how to go about crafting one for you event.
What makes a great Unique Selling Proposition
The most important feature of a USP is that it’s truly unique. A USP says what makes your event different from competitors, targeted to your audience’s unique needs and desires.
A good USP is also specific — you do plenty of things well with your event, but what’s the one thing that makes your event stand out? What’s the one thing you’re known for (or want to be known for)? Why is it that someone would want to attend your event, specifically? It’s about the pain and the gain, says Matous: “What pain are people curing by attending your event? And the gain — what’s the big win from attending?”
Lastly, USPs are short, typically consisting of just one catchy sentence.
For example, the San Francisco business conference DeveloperWeek 2017 sums itself up as “the world’s largest developer expo and conference series.” They even turn this USP into a call to action to incentivize attendance: “Join 8,000+ Developers at the World’s Largest Global Developer Event.”
Or take Portland’s healthy-living festival Wanderlust 108. They target wellness-minded athletes with a USP that conveys a fun, accessible, and inclusive event: “The World’s Only Mindful Triathlon is an all out celebration of healthy living in your favorite local park.”
How to write the perfect event USP
To craft the perfect USP, you need to know both what you need to say and how you want to say it. The first step to understanding what you need to say is learning everything you can about your potential attendees.
Use surveys of past attendees or just lots of market research to create a picture of your ideal buyer, also known as a “buyer persona.” Matous like to know the following information about his buyer:
- What their hobbies are
- How they like spending their time
- What a typical day in their life is like
- Why they would want to attend an event like this
- What is it that they’re not getting out of the current events they’re attending
But you also have to look beyond what they say they want, he says. Pay attention to both explicit and implicit reasons for attending. “Explicitly they might say, ‘I want to attend this HR conference because I want to learn from the experts in this space so I have something new to bring back to my team,’” he says. “The implicit reason might be that they’re actually more interested in networking because they’re potentially exploring other job options.”
You should also do plenty of research on competing events to make sure you know exactly how your event is different than what else is out there.
He points to his work on digital marketing for the 2015 EQ Summit, a.k.a. “Europe’s largest emotional intelligence event.”
“When we spoke to the ideal buyer personas and spent time with them, we realized that the no. 1 benefit that this event could bring is networking at the most recognizable event in their space,” Matous says. “How could we, in a USP, explain that this was the place to be? You’ll notice that it isn’t very sexy. It’s just ‘Europe’s largest emotional intelligence event.’ It nailed the main gain that people were after, which is, ‘I want to network with people that are like me and I want to understand why it’s worth my time.’”
Once you understand the top, unique benefit your event will have for your attendees, write it out as clearly as possible. Clear, succinct language makes the statement stronger and more authoritative.
“You want to be funny or creative,” cautions Matous, “but ultimately, you should prioritize simple, jargon-free English that describes what this event is about and what the main benefit of it is.”
Want to learn more about how to convert event page visitors into ticketed attendees? Check out the full webinar with Matous, How to Get Your Event Website Noticed.