22 Reasons to Love the 2024 Experiential Marketing Summit

The Experiential Marketing Summit turns 22 this year. To celebrate, we’re counting down the top 22 reasons why the event community loves EMS—and we know you will, too.

This year’s show takes place April 24-26 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, and will bring together the entire experiential marketing ecosystem—b-to-b and b-to-c brand-side marketers, trade show organizers, executives from leading event agencies, meeting planners, event strategists, experience designers, technology mavens, and more.

EMS is the ultimate three-day conversation for event and trade show marketers. Need 22 compelling reasons to make it a part of your professional development this year? Read on and register today.


#22. The Best Teachers in the Business

EMS is the only (and we mean only) industry conference taught exclusively by the Fortune 1000 marketers doing the work. Why does this matter? Learning directly from brand-side marketers elevates the conversation and gives you the kind of business insight that can transform your events into your organization’s most strategic marketing tool.




#21. Smart Sponsorship Activation Strategies

Long gone are the days of sponsoring an event with some swag and signage. Today’s sponsorships not only span sports and entertainment properties, they are inclusive of celebrities, artists and influencers, too. This year, Visa, Citi and Subaru, among others, will offer their take on getting strong returns on ever-evolving sponsorship investments.




#20. Hands-on Learning and Discovery

At EMS we roll up our sleeves and solve real-world challenges. We grab Sharpie’s and pads and get busy thinking. We attack mock creative briefs to exercise our creative muscles. We grab the mic and ask the hard questions. We gather in groups to tap our peers for their ideas. And we try out the latest event tools in real time.





#19. Trends to Make You Competitive

More than just buzzwords, EMS digs deep into the topics that will make (or break) connections with attendees in the year ahead. Think: Gen Z influence, sustainability, AI, DEI, real-time analytics, immersive learning, digital + IRL and flexible events, to name a few. And you better believe our instructors are forward-thinking as they share what’s ahead in their minds and spaces—the now and the next.




#18. Critical ‘Outside’ Perspectives

Events are reflections of culture, so we make sure to bring plenty of outside experts into EMS to show you how one can fuel the other. Just a snapshot of this year’s program includes lessons on innovation from Disney, accessibility and inclusion tips from Broadway, and engagement strategies from Bravo, ABC and, yep, even “The Golden Bachelor.”




#17. Dedicated Learning for B2B and Trade Show Marketers

We know trade shows are unique in their own right, so EMS offers a dedicated workshop and breakout sessions just for corporate trade show marketers and builders. Dive into the evolving and challenging world of exhibit strategy in our trade show pre-con led entirely by corporate trade show marketers.




#16. Dedicated Learning for Consumer Marketers

Consumer events have different goals than their friends in B2B, and we get that. At EMS, we dig into category-specific strategies, the latest research on demographics and hot properties, and tap into the cultural zeitgeist to explore what’s inspiring, motivating and driving better engagement for brands among consumer audiences.




#15. We Are Serious about ROI. Seriously.

Events that measure their impact get better ROI and bigger budgets. EMS offers a dedicated workshop on mastering event measurement every year, and threads discussions and takeaways on measuring the business impact of events into the entire curriculum. New this year: an official partnership with the Experiential Marketing Measurement Coalition.




#14. Mental Wellness Breaks that Give Back

What can we say: we love dogs at EMS. And we partner every year with a local rescue organization to bring adoptable and service dogs to the Summit to give you a moment of Zen between learning activities. What kind of dog would you be? It’s the networking icebreaker we ask all visitors to the EMS Puppy Park.





#13. Behind-the-Curtain Perspectives

At EMS, we don’t just present case studies, we analyze them. We instruct our instructors to provide tangible takeaways, insights and best practices on everything from campaign strategy to buy-in to ops—to results. You’ll walk away understanding better how the most effective marketers are selling, and executing, the most effective events and experiences.




#12. Connected Wellness Meetups

No one works harder than an event marketer. So we’ve created several wellness activities designed to give you the Zen you need for a productive day at EMS—all while meeting new people. Options include daily 5K runs/walks, daily morning meditation, casual pickle ball matches, puppy breaks, an (optional) poolside sunset networking dinner, mocktail-friendly happy hours and more.




#11. You Get Your Money’s Worth

EMS attendees immerse themselves in an action-packed schedule that, this year, includes: 6 master classes, 4 keynotes, 8 panels, 3 fireside chats, 10 roundtables, 27 breakout sessions, 20 networking opportunities, 3 ‘Ask Me anything’ sessions, and 7 peer-led meetups in our Event Marketer Clubhouse & Expert Studio. No other industry conference offers as many learning opportunities or a bigger teaching faculty.




#10. It All Takes Place in a ‘Hall of Ideas’

Some shows have exhibit halls and that’s OK. (For them.) EMS attendees spend the day inside our vibrant ‘Hall of Ideas’—a festival-like campus filled with learning theaters, games, immersive technology, food, and opportunities to get hands-on with more than 100 industry vendors offering the latest and greatest event tools.




#9. Meaningful Networking Experiences

Daily happy hours, vintage concert T contests, networking by the pool at sunset, sneakerhead competitions, event story slams, LEGO challenges, puppy breaks, daily games and challenges for cool prizes, and new this year… a pickle ball bracket AND a sustainability challenge that rewards everyday acts with surprise prizes. And that’s just some of the fun planned for EMS this year—all designed to help you connect with your peers and grow your network.




#8. Something for Everyone

Events are Everything, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean events are a monolith. EMS offers a wide variety of meetups and engagements for event marketers of all stripes, from women in events to creatives and producers to trade show marketers to procurement, strategy and everything in between. Want to close the door and get real with your fellow brand-side peers? Executive Forum, produced with InVision Communications, is back this year and designed just for you. You’ll find your people at EMS. We’ll make sure of it.




#7. Learn the Way you Want to

There are dozens of ways to learn at EMS. Go in-depth at our workshops where our instructors lead hands-on deep dives into creative or complicated topics. Attend a breakout, take notes and ask questions. Participate in highly interactive discussions led by your peers. Pop into roundtables and lunch-and-learns sprinkled throughout the schedule. At EMS you choose your own adventure.




#6. Level up your Logistics Game

Foolproof event logistics are the heart of every successful event. EMS attendees learn from the event strategists and the event doers to gain insight into how to tackle some of the industry’s boldest ideas—and toughest challenges. Our entire EMS faculty is poised and ready to answer the question “how did you do that?”




#5. Get Fresh Ideas and Inspiration

You might want to bring a colleague to EMS because creative ideas and inspiration are everywhere. We’re going to teach you how to create campaigns that drive record sales; how to rethink formats; how to revitalize long-running campaigns; and we’re going to explore how experiential champions sold their boldest ideas.




#4. Group Therapy

One of the most stressful jobs in the world requires a little… therapy. This year, we’re inviting you to share your best war stories in our “Event Slam” competition. It’ll be like open mic night for the event industry. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll commiserate with your peers. And we’ll award a sweet prize package to the best (ahem, and probably worst) event story of the conference. Could it be yours?




#3. The Best Campaigns and Marketers of the Year

Grab a seat at the event industry’s biggest party of the year—the annual Ex Awards gala—and see the best campaigns of the past 12 months announced in real-time. Or sit in on a post-events panel with our brand-side judges to learn what ROI-generating ideas and activations caught their attention, and what it means for you.




#2. Connections and Content to Fuel Your Career

EMS arms you with the intelligence you need to rock your organization, and your career. We weave career-critical content in throughout the program to provide you with operational design insights on how the most effective event marketing organizations are stacked, skillsets that are giving marketers a leading edge, and inspiring stories about career growth and opportunity. With open mic time at every session, your instructors become your mentors.




#1. We Speak Experiential

If you know you know: Experiential marketing is everything. Strategy, execution, logistics, and countless other important skills. At EMS, we’ve been speaking the language for more than two decades. New to the industry? Come learn what makes experiential so much more than “an event.” Already fluent? Let us show you what’s new and next.

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