Most clothes aren’t one size fits all. Your coffee beverage is customized. So are your Spotify playlists. Today, custom is king, so why should events be any different? In our 2017 Event Marketer's Trend Report, we explore this idea of evolved event formats, among other event marketing trends shaping the year ahead.
Brands are foregoing the typical conference format and embracing a participant-driven approach that is tailored to specific audiences. What exactly are these attendee types? We broke them down into five personas and then paired them with their perfect event format.
The Introvert —> Intimate Experiences
First up, the introvert. Not everyone is looking to network with hundreds of their closest friends at a huge conference. The introvert prefers small, more exclusive gatherings that deliver focused, undivided attention. In short, they want brands to deliver an intimate experience at which they feel comfortable.
The Lifelong Learner —> Learning Hubs and Incubators
For audience members who love learning, events no longer have to be passive experiences. Instead, they can be hands-on events — from hackathons to maker fairs. At these, brands engage audience members as they learn and create together.
The Explorer —> Choose Your Adventure
Some people are born explorers and a regular, everyday event won’t hold their attention. They’re looking for an experience that takes personalized engagement to the extreme. These customized adventures, like off-the-beaten-path tours, are flexible and based on the journey of each participant.
The Participator —> Hands-on Edutainment
There’s speaking at audiences, and then there’s really engaging them. That’s what a participator craves — a little more interaction. Brands are connecting with these hands-on attendees through experiences that use humor and entertainment to not only amuse but also increasing message retention.
The Homebody —> Localized Experiences
Many conferences require audiences to fly across the country (or world) to attend. For some — the homebodies among us — that’s not an appealing option. Now more than ever, brands are traveling to audiences and hosting local pop-up activations or mobile conference tours right in attendees’ hometowns.
Evolved Event Formats in Action: Savage Smyth Opening Events
At agencyEA, we always consider the attendee when planning an event. So when EA’s co-founders opened creative event space Savage Smyth, they hosted a series of launch events — each unique and tailored to different audiences. For The Explorer, there was interactive live painting; for The Introvert, a local artist showcase; for The Lifelong Learner, a multi-course chef demonstration; and for The Participator, a make-your-own bouquet activity.
These experiences were designed to showcase the venue’s diverse uses while also catering to different audience types. Together, the events successfully launched Savage Smyth to the city of Chicago.