Hundreds of marketers from across the country touched down in Sin City Monday morning to kick off the industry’s premier marketing technology conference at the Paris Las Vegas. In true EventTech fashion, the day launched with an off-site excursion where things really “flew off the handle.” That’s right, a small group of adventurous attendees started their morning off with an axe-throwing experience before, miraculously, returning unscathed.
At 2:45 the official content portion of the conference was underway, giving attendees a chance to take a deep dive into one of two buzz-worthy workshops: Event Broadcasts and Live Streaming, and Understanding Gen Z and Alpha: The Next Great Generations. The streaming seminar, led by Nadine Licostie, principal at Red Thread, and Donny Neufuss, vertical market leader-eSports Americas at PRG, offered top tips and tools for creating live event broadcasts while squelching common fears over virtual events “cannibalizing” their live counterpart.
The duo touted the industry’s go-to event strategy, digital+live, underscoring the need to utilize event content year-round and understand how to leverage the right streaming platform for the right events. The biggest takeaway? Marketers need to create content specifically for their digital audience in order to be effective. “You have to think about this in a way that puts that [digital] audience member front and center and it has to be relevant to them,” says Licostie.
Timing is also critical when it comes to engaging virtual attendees. “The speed of the delivery of that content in relation to when the event happens is monumentally important,” says Neufuss. “When the session happens, if you can have it up the next day or that night, your audience impact is going to be so much greater. If you wait a week, you’ve lost a huge audience and a huge opportunity.”
Over at the Gen Z workshop, 19-year-old author, influencer and you culture expert Connor Blakley detailed what brands can do to ensure they appeal to his generation.Topping the list? Authenticity. Gen Z is particularly good at sniffing out deceptive marketing. “You need someone like me” in every board room, says Blakley. “Whether it’s a startup, whether it’s Fortune 500, you need to have someone ages 14 to 22 in your boardroom for everything… and it’s not just having them in the board room—it’s listening to them.”
As the afternoon’s workshops wrapped, the world’s largest event technology demo lab was just heating up, with exhibitors showcasing an array of tech and tools including AI chatbots, virtual reality, custom photo software, modular fabrication systems, facial recognition technology and beyond. For those interested in taking a closer look, EM’s own Jeff Fortmann was on hand to take attendees on a silent disco-style tour of the show’s technologies. Of course, all of that action requires some fueling up, and conference-goers could be found enjoying a variety of adult beverages and finger foods. Oh, and did we mention the chocolate fountain? There was a fountain. Oozing chocolate. We’re still smacking our lips.