In our inaugural episode of Event Marketer’s all-new podcast, Event Peeps, we sit down with Erin McElroy, head of innovation for global events within IBM’s event and experience marketing group, to discuss how the industry is doing in a mid-year update on the back-to-live.
In her role, Erin infuses innovation, creativity and technology into a wide range of global projects, campaigns, and initiatives. She was honored in our 2018 B-to-B Dream Team program, and she consistently leads award-winning experiences, one of which was “Reimagine Retail” in collaboration with the Fashion Institute and Tommy Hilfiger. Her overall work spans top tier events, such as IBM’s Think, CES, Gartner, and SXSW.
We have been eager to talk about how legacy b-to-b shows are reinventing themselves this year, IBM Think being one of them. Erin weighs in on IBM Think’s evolution from a large-scale flagship event to a global tour. But she also discusses what hasn’t changed for Think’s team and for event marketers, overall, in the business of strategic events.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more co-hosted activities, not just a sponsor here or a sponsor there, but really integrating the people who are taking a certain problem in society and trying to address it, coming together at events, and really creating a co-collaboration experience,” McElroy says. “And that’s actually what our company, IBM, is doing in terms of Create: Let’s create something that changes everything. That’s our brand position—co-creation. And so it’s not only because it’s our brand message—it’s our brand message because that’s where things are going.”