More than three million global professional events will take place this year, with almost half of marketers saying their primary goal is “engaging the audience.” Whether you’re planning events for clients or your own company, you can set yourself up for success by understanding what consumers want and learning how to capitalize on new opportunities.

Molly Hocutt, a content manager for Livestorm, has compiled a list of some of the hottest event marketing trends of 2023. We dive into her list in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Seamless hybrid events. People want to attend both in-person trade shows and online events. One study shows that many attendees prefer a hybrid model that combines the best features of virtual and face-to-face events. Giving people more choice about how to attend can hugely amplify your reach and increase attendance, Hocutt says.

Immersive technology. When people can’t attend an event in person, technology can make up the difference. For example, Hocutt says during London Fashion Week, Topshop created an event that used virtual reality to allow show attendance. This let buyers get a front-row virtual seat next to celebrity attendees.

Eco-friendly events. Look for ways you can make events more sustainable in the year ahead. Hocutt says this could mean using only LED lighting or reducing waste from decorations or catering. She points out that many people are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, and they want to reduce their carbon footprints.

Values-based marketing. Edelman research shows that more than half of customers (58%) say they’ll buy from or support brands that align with their values. Think about how you can appeal to your audience’s values and ethics rather than focusing on your products and services.

Strategic brand partnerships. This allows companies to save on marketing costs while connecting with a wider audience. And, Hocutt says, brand partnerships work whether you’re planning in-person or virtual events. Instead of treating other brands like rivals, consider how you could partner with other businesses in a mutually beneficial way.

Personalized events. You can create personalized events by analyzing data about potential attendees to customize your events, marketing efforts, activities and content to meet the needs of your target audience, Hocutt says. Review the different personas that might attend your event and then create an experience tailored specifically for each group.

To succeed in event marketing this year, keep up with shifts in buyer behavior, make the most of new technology and get creative. When you do so, you can generate higher attendance rates, brand awareness and qualifying leads.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Molly Hocutt is a content manager for Livestorm. Her content focuses on lead generation and organic website traffic.