It’s officially Q4, which means if you haven’t already, you’re likely (READ: should be) planning your 2024 marketing strategy. Well, I'm here to help you clarify what your 2024 event strategy should include.
Here are the three shifts in events I predict you’ll see popping up as we head into the new year.
When Amy Porterfield, the Queen of digital courses and online education, says that she 100% believes the industry is leaning more towards in-person events than virtual – you listen.
When Eric Yuan, the CEO of Zoom, tells Forbes just a couple of weeks later, “A lot of events aren’t virtual anymore. I have to evolve myself. So, too, must Zoom,” – you believe it.
If companies built online are seeing the value of in-person events, it’s worth considering for your business too right? Now we’re talking the same language.
Community and connection are key to longevity in business and personal relationships alike. In-person events allow us to make deeper connections, meet more people, and build stronger relationships than what can be achieved through screens.
I am doubling down on this even further with the added point that we will see the production value, which had been reduced due to budget cuts and reallocations, at in-person events return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of Q1 2024.
And let me tell you… I for one, am here for it!
On that note…
Whether they are large scale or intimate, the focus for 2024 will be the attendee experience. As companies started to dip their toe back into the waters of in-person events in 2021 and 2022, they relied heavily on the attendees desire to simply “be in the room where it happens,” to quote Aaron Burr in Hamilton, for success.
Soon enough 2023 rolled around and those coattails dried up leaving lackluster engagement at events. It’s time to flip the script for true success.
To this end, I am seeing an increasing number of big companies restructuring their budgets to give more money back to events that had previously been allocated to digital advertising. Experiential activations and the on-site experience will be the focus to keep people engaged.
“But Mel, does this mean online events are totally canceled?” you may be thinking.
Not entirely, but they will definitely be done differently, which leads me to Shift 3.
We are going to see a return of the standard livestream, a concept we would have collectively gasped at just a few years ago. Here’s the thing:
Everyone is over virtual events.
It’s time to shift our mindset and use live streaming as a promotional strategy to help you reach a larger audience, without the added cost (or hassle, quite frankly) of a full virtual platform. Showcase only a selection of your content (think of it as a teaser for next year’s event) and keep the top billed speakers and sessions for in-person, paid audiences only.
You can do this straight to your YouTube page and provide the private links to those who register only. Doing this will: