Join 10,000 other marketers already getting the best tips on running engaging events that boost pipeline and create raving fans.
It's prime planning season for 2024! If we had a crystal ball handy, we'd definitely want to know: What's on the horizon when it comes to event marketing and virtual events?
But since we don't, we turned to the next best thing: some of our favorite event marketers!
We asked a handful of top marketers to weigh in on what they think will be trending in event marketing and beyond in 2024. We also talked about why events still matter and what trends need to go away like now.
Let's get started!
Did you tune in to The Goldies, our annual customer awards event? Catch up with the replay and find out what the magic is all about …
All of our marketers of course agreed that events will be sticking around for all of next year. They're just too good to leave behind!
Here are some of the benefits events bring to the table, according to the marketers we surveyed:
You can see that there are lots of reasons events will continue to play a pivotal role in 2024 marketing strategy. Events have lasting impact, help build genuine relationships, and serve as a valuable opportunity for both sales and marketing teams to connect with customers and prospects.
Does your 2024 planning include using events to grow community? Here’s what Regina Brown, Director of Growth Marketing at SupportLogic has to say about the Goldcast difference: "For virtual events, platforms that have dynamic engagement tools like Goldcast create a sense of community."
Now then, what can we expect next year in terms of new and evolving event marketing trends?
First, repurposing content and thinking of ways to efficiently scale—or, as Melissa Guttierez of Couchbase put it, "five-way beef it"—will be huge, and AI will continue to be a key part of this. (Check out Goldcast's Content Lab if you haven't already to see how we're doing it!)
When it comes to scaling, you'll have to get out of the cycle of recreating the wheel. Veronika Zatulovskaya of Handshake recommends coming up with templates, purchasing technology that can help you, and leveraging debriefs to optimize your processes. "While documenting up front may feel like a burden," she explains, "it's a lifesaver in the long run."
If you run an event and have a customer share their story, Jean Cameron of Productboard recommends turning that into a case study you can then share. During your events, also look out for stats you can use to create infographics, or times during the event where a lot of conversation springs up—those might be good snippets to turn into a blog post!
Christina Tang of Demandbase makes sure that the events team provides on-demand access to event recordings, presentations, and resources for attendees and registrants. Then, the Demandbase team uses email marketing to alert the different groups to the content, tailoring each email accordingly.
"In the email, you can share post-event highlights, exclusive content, and special offers," she explains. "AND it's a fantastic opportunity to add a clear CTA, guiding your captivated audience toward the next action you'd like them to take!"
“By repurposing event content, you maximize the impact of your event investment, reach a wider audience, and reinforce your brand's expertise in the industry,” says Christina Tang, Director, Events & Experiences at Demandbase.
The repurposing doesn't end there. Next, the team shares video clips, key takeaways, and eye-catching event photos across social media, creating hype and interest. They also encourage attendees to share experiences or insights using the event hashtag, which can help drum up interest in future events.
"I'm so excited for the new Goldcast AI Content Studio because after our event has concluded, we'll be able to automate video clips that we can then use in social promotion and add to emails for new and engaging email follow ups." - Alex Sutton, previously the Global Partner Campaigns Manager at Netskope
Personalization will also be front and center. People want that just-for-me content and experience! EJ Oelling of 6sense phrases it as, "What's the 'wow' that will get me there?" According to EJ, folks are going to need some extra oomph to get them to attend events, whether they're in person or virtual.
LaShanda Jackson of Intuit Mailchimp agrees with this take. Her question for marketers? "How are we curating multisensorial, yet personalized, experiences that show audiences we understand them?"
People want flexibility (think: hybrid events), and they want meaningful, relevant content they can take and put into practice in their day-to-day lives. Marketers should also be thinking about how to be good stewards of the data we collect and using it in purposeful and intentional ways.
Amy Clausing of Qualified is looking out for a reduction in sponsorship spend on large scale, expensive conferences, coupled with a rise in smaller field events. 2024 will likely bring a big field marketing push and a drive for marketers to connect 1:1 with customers and prospects, like we do with our State of B2B Events dinner series.
This ties into the personalization push. Nothing gives an extra oomph more than being personally invited to an exclusive event tailored to you and your peers, right? Keep an eye out for more highly curated events to hit the scene next year, as companies start to realize the ROI behind them.
If repurposing, personalization, and more intimate field events are going to be the stars of the show next year, what marketing tactics can we take a break (or permanent separation) from?
Sara VonDohren of Vivun hopes that it's printing copious amounts of swag just to have something to give away. Sustainability, folks! Are there ways we, as marketers, can reduce our waste? How can we be more intentional with giveaways and gifts? The upside of this is that it creates even more excitement around the actual giveaway because there's a feeling of exclusivity to it!
Speaking of swag…check out our article on The Event Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Swag Bags: 15 Ideas to Wow Your Attendees to discover some great ideas on how to offer more sustainable and intentional swag!
Considering that personalization is at the top of the 2024 must-do list, it makes sense that mass market tactics need to hit the road. Aurélien Lemasson-Théobald of CoachHub notes that tailored experiences are key, and marketers must let go of strategies that don't align with attendee personas. You want your audience to go from passive consumers to event co-creators, driving deeper actions and conversations, ultimately leading to better marketing results.
Following in that vein, Aryna Kharytonenka of Bricsys points out that passive content consumption is just not cutting it anymore.
"Those one-way presentations are simply not effective." - Aryna Kharytonenka, Global Marketing Automation Manager at Bricsys
Marketers should be encouraging engagement and discussions among their audiences, as well as working to make events more dynamic. We should also rethink static networking; there are so many new formats to try these days, like virtual lounges or discussion booths where attendees can talk with product owners. You might even localize content to speak to different regions or cultures, or offer specialized content tracks, depending on your audience.
Sarah Stolusky of Hired wants to see more intentional events. Quality of content over quantity of minutes spent at the event! Even if that means hosting shorter sessions—say, 20-30 minutes—if you're bringing an engaged audience together around something specific, that's great. They'll appreciate you not wasting their time. Plus, shorter sessions allow you to give more space for people to discuss and network, which is always a plus.
Veronika Zatulovskaya of Handshake knows it's not just about attendance numbers—it's about the who behind those numbers and how those people lead to revenue. Field and event teams need to understand buyers and think through promotion tactics that engage those buyers and ultimately convert them to loyal customers.
"No matter how nice the venue or creative the experience, without the right audience, it's simply worthless."
Finally, Veronika wants to see events tightly integrated into a broader marketing strategy. Events are not a standalone tactic; they have a unique place across your entire sales funnel, and there's a right place to deploy different formats, depending on your key objectives.
Whether you're hosting a product launch or a high-touch executive dinner, the messaging and branding should feel cohesive and relevant, and there should be an emphasis on cross-promotion across teams (namely, marketing and sales).
There you have it: next year's top predictions and the trends marketers want to say goodbye to, forever!
Now we want to hear from you! What do you think we'll see more of in 2024? What are you hoping marketers stop doing next year?
Join the conversation over on this LinkedIn post! We can't wait to hear your thoughts.
Oh, and want to learn more about 2024 event trends as you plan for the coming year? Attend our next episode of Event Marketers Live!