Building a 2024 Events Strategy for Any Event, Every Event

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Posted on January 8, 2024

Building a 2024 Events Strategy for Any Event, Every Event

In the wake of unprecedented disruptions to the events industry, 2020 and 2021 saw a significant shift from in-person gatherings to virtual events and webinars. While the world is gradually returning to physical meetings, the digital transformation that occurred during this period has revolutionized the landscape of event planning and engagement. In 2024,, the key to success lies in harnessing the power of digital in-person events, implementing continuous engagement strategies, and maximizing the resources within the events ecosystem.

The Era of “Always On” Engagement

The past few years have introduced a paradigm shift in live engagement, ushering in an era of “always on” engagement. Virtual events, webinars, and hybrid formats have become the norm, offering attendees opportunities for interaction before, during, after, and between events. This digital revolution has unlocked countless possibilities across all event formats.

Multi-format event programs are now the new reality for organizations and brands. They connect customers, prospects, and members across in-person, virtual, and hybrid events throughout the year. The key to successful event programs lies in integrating the technology that powers these events and leveraging the advantages of a more digitized approach.

Enhancing In-Person Events Through Digitization

In 2024, in-person events will undergo a significant transformation compared to those of 2019. Attendees and stakeholders now expect events to be more digitized, reaping the benefits of digital enhancements.

Event apps and websites play a pivotal role in enhancing the attendee experience. Mobile event apps offer attendees the ability to discover content, build agendas, and connect with peers. To optimize this experience, event organizers must prioritize user-friendly event websites and apps that curate content for specific audiences based on their interests.

Moreover, pre-event networking and connections should be encouraged. Attendees can break the ice by connecting with others interested in similar sessions or engaging with sponsors and exhibitors. Creating these opportunities for early connection ensures that attendees arrive on-site well-prepared and ready to engage with their network.

Additionally, capturing onsite attendee data is crucial for enhancing event efficiency and providing credit for training and seminars. This data should not only include attendance records but also session duration and room capacity monitoring.

Mastering Continuous Engagement

Although the return of in-person events is exciting, the ability to bring people together face-to-face remains limited, especially as budgets tighten. Therefore, maintaining audience engagement between events is paramount. Achieving “always on” engagement requires a new approach that starts the moment attendees register for an event.

The key is to connect in-person attendees with content, other attendees, and sponsors before the event begins. This pre-event engagement not only enhances the on-site experience but also keeps the momentum going after the event ends.

By leveraging on-demand content and extending reach beyond the event venue, continuous engagement can be maintained, fostering a sense of community and encouraging attendees to participate in subsequent events.

Leveraging Virtual Events for In-Person Engagement

Virtual events have demonstrated their value as marketing tools, offering frequent, high-value interactions in event programs. To attract attendees to these events, marketers and organizers should promote upcoming events and allow attendees to preview content and highlights from them.

By integrating a platform that supports calendar integration and provides access to past event content and connections, event organizers can keep attendees continuously engaged throughout the year, connecting various events into a cohesive experience rather than isolated occurrences.

Building a Community of Continuous Participation

Creating opportunities for attendees to connect more frequently and engage with your brand and events helps build a strong, interconnected community. The sense of community fosters social proof, as attendees are more likely to participate in events if they see their network members are also attending.

Social proof extends to event sessions as well. When attendees observe their connections planning to attend specific sessions, they are more inclined to explore those sessions as well, enhancing overall event engagement.

Repurposing Event Content for Marketing Campaigns

The content created for in-person events offers a wealth of opportunities for repurposing and marketing. Recordings of sessions can be transformed into various materials, including blogs, video snippets, and ad campaigns, extending the life and value of event content.

Maintaining Event Endings

While some events may choose to offer content indefinitely, there is value in creating a sense of scarcity by ending events. A clear start and end date create a sense of urgency and the “fear of missing out.” Instead of running continuous events, organizers should highlight the best content, offer new snippets, and provide a platform where attendees can access content between events.

A Fresh Look at Virtual Events

The landscape of virtual events is evolving beyond the pandemic-era format. In 2024, virtual events will adopt a more streamlined, simplified approach, resembling single-session presentations or reimagined webinars.

Webinars, in particular, are undergoing a makeover, featuring interactive elements like live chats, polling, Q&A sessions, and improved video production. These enhancements elevate webinars from the traditional “death by PowerPoint” format and serve as effective lead-generating tools for sales and marketing teams.

Leveraging the Events Ecosystem

The events ecosystem encompasses three key pillars: technology, services, and venues. These elements work in synergy to support a modern events program:

Technology: Event technology plays a crucial role in engaging the audience and measuring event success. It encompasses marketing tools, meetings management programs, and travel platforms, all of which must seamlessly integrate to enhance attendee experiences.

Services: Event planners rely on a network of vendors and service providers to make their events successful. These partners offer expertise in various areas, from audiovisual services to gamification and transportation.

Venues: Finding the right venue is essential for creating unique event experiences. Venue selection is now more challenging due to budget constraints, staffing shortages, and changing attendee expectations. However, virtual tools like 3D rendering and seating visualization can help evaluate venues remotely.

Planning Your 2024 Events Program

As you embark on planning your events for 2024, embrace the transformative changes that have occurred in the events industry. Leverage the opportunities presented by digital in-person events, continuous engagement, and the events ecosystem to create memorable and successful events throughout the year. By adapting to the evolving landscape, you can ensure your events remain engaging, relevant, and impactful in the years to come.

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