Proof Experiences @ Event Marketer Summit: 5 Key Event Industry Trends

The Event Marketer Summit brings together B2B and B2C event marketing professionals from across North America. This month, we headed to Las Vegas to bring you the key trends bubbling up for 2023 and beyond.  

1. Empathetic Innovation

Over the two days, we heard the word “empathy” repeatedly. Keynote Brian Solis reminded us that ‘we have the gift of having a job that allows us to give the gift of an experience to someone else’ – an incredibly powerful notion. Experience innovation begins with empathy and activates with storytelling and emotion. To effectively innovate with empathy, we need to think about how something is going to feel to our end consumer. We spend so much time creating, that we also need to remember to give ourselves empathy and space to really feel what each moment is delivering on – starting with the initial touchpoint to the moment they see the experience and engage, all the way until they go to bed that night. An experience that meets expectations is forgettable. A memorable experience must be exceptional. That’s how we create experiences worth sharing.  

2. Purpose Driven

People are busy, and time is valuable; we need to ensure experiences are adding value to be worth the time for attendees and aligned to their values. This can come to life in simple shifts like sending out breakout material as a preread, so sessions are focused on workshopping the content and exchanging ideas; and, allowing breathing room in your conference agendas for people to take breaks, network, digest the content they just heard and re-energize them for the next session.

3. Reconsider Your Audiences

Consider who we’re all doing this for and assess alternate audiences, smaller more targeted events that have been overlooked – these are untapped decision makers. We heard from Suzette FordDuffus, Head of Events at Taco Bell that they scaled back their annual managers & owner’s conference to just owners – and for the first time in years they were able to engage in deeper and more meaningful ways; smaller audience = greater ROI. There is also an increase in strategic overlaps and unique collaborations, reminding us to look at partnerships where there are likeminded audiences to to help combat rising costs, maximize reach, and keep costs down. 

4. Where is AI taking us

Overnight, AI has become accessible and is infiltrating so many aspects of events. Now is the time to start experimenting and understanding how AI can have an impact on the types of events you produce, the content you are developing, how your audience expects to engage and how it can help make planning more efficient. From producing (fairly good) mock ups and renderings within minutes, to generating preliminary content and even analyzing your event data to tell you about attendee preferences, this is going to be a huge time saver in the future once we all better learn how to leverage it. That said, AI is only as good as what it knows – so for now, look to add it in where content already exists and then have your team amplify its output to produce a final product.

5. Evaluating Measurement @ Events

Organizational culture is often our greatest barrier to being data driven. Often, legacy information is captured, and nothing is done with it. Or organizations are too comfortable in doing things the same as last year that they miss capturing data that can help unlock solutions through insights. Now more than ever in this data driven society, we must stop to think about what it is we’re really trying to solve and if we have the right data infrastructure to tell us if we were successful. And with so many ways to collect data, we must evaluate the data as we go, not just at the end of a project or campaign. It’s ok to test and learn and adapt as you go.

Overall, it was a very insightful week in Vegas (with some fun sprinkled in-between!); now off to implement our learnings! 


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Madison Holton

Group Director, Client Experience

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Senior Director, Conference & Events


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