Your Audience: Gotta Catch ’em All

Photo by 
Sadie Hernandez

In my twenties, I worked at various retail stores across the GTA. I sold everything from jewelry to videos (remember when that was a thing?) to art. I’ve sold stuff I loved (obscure movies), and stuff I hated (rings that made your finger green). This taught me something very important: there is always someone for everything and it’s not always the person you think. I once joked about a hideous piece of costume jewelry to a very classy and put together woman only to find out it was her design….oops!

It’s always important to remember that no event you run is going to be for everyone. However, to assume that you know what a person will like at first glance (or based on stereotypes about your niche) is a mistake. Yes, if you see someone dressed as Ash, carrying a large red, white and black ball and repeating “Gotta Catch ’Em All”, it is likely that they would be really interested to hear about your Pokemon Tournament. However, the smartly dressed business woman reading “The New Yorker” might also be totally psyched to attend.

It’s important to focus your advertising effort to places where your audience attends. For the Pokemon tournament above, Fan Expo is a great place to flyer. When I attended last year I witnessed people flyering the event. I saw people choose to not pass a flyer to those who didn’t “look that nerdy”. I understand the desire to not have a flyer pushed back in your face (that feels like rejection, and rejection sucks). But I also heard several folks (mostly women) expressing annoyance that flyerers had deliberately ignored them and that they would now not be attending an event they were possibly interested in. That’s a real shame.

So for today’s TLDR: Advertise where your audience is, but don’t assume you know who is and isn’t your market by sight. Don’t let your own biases (aware and unaware) get it the way of reaching your audience.