The Experiential Marketing Summit, May 9-11 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, marks its 21st year with a three-day agenda designed to educate creators of the brand experience on what they can do now to prepare for what’s next. From workshops offering deep dives, to provocative keynotes, to breakouts led by brand-side marketers, to peer-to-peer huddles, there are more than 50 opportunities to connect, learn and grow woven throughout this year’s event.
Here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll explore at the show—tactics and trends that are helping event marketers level-up their events, strategies, revenue and careers this year.
The craft of storytelling is taking on a new and strategic role in business as companies work to “humanize” their brands, strengthen their culture and retain or attract new customers. As Miri Rodriguez, senior storyteller at Microsoft, put it last year, “We don’t know what the future is going to bring but we have an opportunity that’s very unique at this time and place and that’s connecting at a deep emotional level.”
This year, on May 9, attendees at the Experiential Marketing Summit will have the chance to participate in an in-depth workshop led by instructors from the award-winning nonprofit organization The Moth, and its MothWorks platform. Participants will explore the craft of storytelling as an avenue to build teams, bolster culture and strength communications.
Meeting managers and internal events superstars—we see you. And we recognize the unique challenges impacting your work, from the peaks and valleys of the employment landscape to the rollercoaster that is the post-pandemic economy. At the Experiential Marketing Summit, we’ll examine how top internal event profs are flexing a new set of muscles to create “emotional ROI,” and how experiences are helping fuel a culture of “action.”
For a sip of the strategy, check out our coverage of a Taste of the Cocktails experience by Campari, which hosted an array of activations guided by its principles and enlisted faces from every level of the company to put its ideals into action during the conference—an experience that strengthened its internal culture as much as its attendees’ impression of the brand.
New Work Flows
Without a doubt, event marketers across the board are faced with shorter timelines, tighter budgets and new faces. And for many organizations, going back to live has required a full refresh of standard practices. At the summit, you’ll hear from different brands on the types of last-minute executions they’re managing and how they’re improving efficiencies and racking up success stories despite the hurdles.
Speaking of budgets, our editors asked six event marketers how they’re making the most of event budgets in 2023. “The first thing is to prioritize. You can’t do everything. So, know what’s important and know what are the couple of big bets you want to place in a given quarter, in a given year,” said Alice Milligan, cmo at Morgan Stanley. Read on for more responses.
From b-to-b brands leaning on more “curated” and targeted customer experiences like Intel, to consumer-facing marketers leveraging technology that provides instant customization as USAA did for Army-Navy football game fans, personalization continues to be a key experiential priority for marketers in the post-pandemic era.
Attendees at EMS will hear from personalization-powered brands like Chevy, whose sponsorship programming at large-scale events like The Big E and CMA Fest touches thousands of consumers while delivering individualized moments.
As more and more companies include sustainability in their corporate mission statements, events are being placed under the microscope. But with that process comes the unique opportunity for event organizations to enact real change—and tell an incredible tale about it.
Among the sustainability stories audiences will hear at the summit is that of Workday’s, which measures success not only in financial terms but in how its brand impacts the world. Attendees will also learn how nonprofit, energy-innovation-focused organization Breakthrough Energy created a high-value and eco-conscious event experience for 750 scientists, philanthropists, policy makers, executives, entrepreneurs and investors—talk about setting a high bar.
At the 2023 Experiential Marketing Summit, attendees will also have the chance to huddle with their peers and event sustainability expert Marley Finnegan of Purpose at the networking Clubhouse. Catch our recent conversation with her that offers an intriguing take on the issue (hint: data) on the Event Peeps podcast.
We’ll see you in May. Let’s grow.
Check out the full 2023 Experiential Marketing Summit program, including the agenda, speakers, information on our venue and accommodations, as well as sponsors.
Image Credits: iStock/Maria Stavreva; iStock/Caratti