Tracking the Media Habits of Highly Effective Feds

Market Connections conducted their annual Federal Media and Marketing Study and released the findings at a breakfast event on Halloween serving up a number of treats for those involved in marketing to the Federal government (it also happened to be the morning after the Washington Nationals won the World Series, so the crowd at the DC event was in a jovial mood despite being sleep deprived). This annual survey aims to take the pulse of the media habits of those involved in buying decisions (whether they be decision makers or influencers) in the Federal government. Each year the survey looks at where Federal decision makers turn to get information related to their job and also looks at how they consume media more generally for their personal lives.

This year's survey found that event attendance is holding steady, as it has for several years, and even growing in some areas. One reason for the steady event performance may be the Feds trust in associations. Sixty percent of respondents show a high trust in professional organizations. Peers and colleagues come in a close second, with 57% trusting them as key sources of information. Events, especially those backed by a professional organization, give Federal decision makers a trusted place to interact with their fellow workers to get needed information.

Webinar attendance is increasing, with 78% of people who "attend" webinars doing so in real-time. Another 47% report watching recorded webinars during the workday. The best time to host these webinars? Anytime before 2:00PM works well with the 11:00AM to 2:00PM time block being the most preferred.

Podcasts are also gaining in mindshare in the Federal market with 48% saying they listen. However, the majority of those respondents listen to podcasts for pleasure rather than work (68% vs 32%). Also, when listening to podcasts, the majority of people (48%) skip the ads embedded within them.

In terms of what respondents want to hear, whether it is an event, webinar, or podcast, the survey found that appealing to Federal decision makers as people first rather than potential consumers of a product or service has the greatest impact. The survey found that the biggest concerns of this group were around employee morale and recruiting employees as well as funding and budget issues. They are interested in hearing how work can be made better both from a financial efficiency perspective and a day-to-day employee experience perspective.

This connection to the employee experience can impact who you invite to attend and speak at events. The panel discussion that followed the survey results talked about reaching out to the high ranking C-suite officials and continuing to invite them to attend and speak but also asking them, "who are you mentoring in your organization?" and "who else in your organization would be a great speaker or resource on this topic?" By helping Feds cultivate and showcase talent in their organization, companies can begin to earn that "trusted partner" moniker so many aspire to achieve.

For more results of the survey, visit Market Connections.

Maximizing the Attendee Experience

Our post on Citizen Experience with government services got us thinking, how can event planners better cater to the needs and expectations of their attendees and what role do those attendees play in the feedback loop?

As this article illustrates, there is immediate and delayed feedback. Immediate feedback is gleaned through polls, show of hands questions, and quick surveys. These are easy for the attendee but don't provide a huge amount of insight for planners. Delayed feedback comes in the form of post-event surveys that can ask more complex questions. While this requires more work for attendees, it can be much more valuable for event organizers. A mix of both of these types of feedback loops may prove to be the most beneficial for planners and attendees alike. Continue reading

If You Build It They Will Come? Not Always. Converting Registrants to Attendees

When we surveyed our GovEvents' organizer members in the fall, we asked an open-ended question, "What is your biggest challenge as an event organizer in the government space?" We received a wide variety of answers, but the response that came up most often was converting registrants to attendees.

This conversion challenge is not unique to the government market but may be exacerbated by the fact that so many events are free for government attendees. On average, free events see a conversion rate of 40% to 50% of registrants actually attending. Continue reading

Survey Says…..Poll Your Audience!

During election season we hear a lot about polls. Polling is integral to our democratic society. In fact, the Declaration of Independence requires that public opinion be taken into account. It states that our government functions expressly with "the consent of the governed." Abraham Lincoln took this heart when he said, "What I want to get done is what the people desire to have done, and the question for me is how to find that out exactly." This same concern should be shared by every event planner.

It is critical to remember that events exist to serve the attendees with a benefit to the planner (be that monetary or in intangible brand reputation). If attendees are not satisfied, the benefits will not be realized. To be successful, polling must go beyond leaving paper questionnaires on chairs and sending post-event surveys via email.  Just like in political races, polling must happen throughout the event process.[Tweet "Just like in political races, polling must happen throughout the event process. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading