We’ve all seen how in-person conferences have returned to the forefront (and thank god for that!)
But is it that same-old in-person experience we knew a few years ago?
Analyzing the changes in the in-person experience is sort of like watching an old friend return with a new vibe; they look the same, more or less, but something about them has changed for good!
After being shelved during the infamous locked-down years in the recent past, in-person events have re-entered the scene with a fresh, new sheen.
But what stirred this change, and where does today’s tech that promises to support these events stumble a bit?
Let’s find out.
So, what’s the new deal with in-person events?
Safety comes first, but make it smooth
Remember the ease of walking into events, all ready to networking vibes on? Now, it’s all about QR check-ins, ensuring a smooth, touch-free entry while keeping the safety gears in check. Health and engagement now go hand in hand, ensuring everyone can mingle without any worry in their heads.
Tech isn’t just a backstage player anymore
From QR codes ensuring safe entry to attendee apps that enable you to easily manage schedules, technology has stepped into the spotlight, playing a pivotal role in shaping the in-person event narrative and personalizing attendee experiences.
The necessity of hybrid components
In a world where reaching a wider audience has become paramount, integrating virtual elements into in-person events is no longer optional. You need a virtual streaming component at events to ensure no audience is missed and maximize reach and engagement.
Shift in audience perspective and strategy
Strategic audience targeting has taken a front seat, The focus moving from being solely on seeking new logos, to strategically bringing in existing customers. It’s a strategic play to get them to learn from one another, thereby subtly influencing deals and experiences.
Moreover, existing customers are now viewed as extensions of your sales team.This has become a standard approach in modern event planning.
Event intel is a must-have
The era of virtual events handed us the golden ticket of data - insights into attendee behavior, engagement metrics, and lead generation info that marketers now expect from in-person events too.
In essence, in-person conferences have evolved from just crafting memorable moments to strategically beneficial experiences. It’s not just about hosting a stellar event but ensuring it delivers tangible, measurable results.
But here's the challenge with using virtual platforms for in-person conferences
In-person conferences, now a key player in B2B marketing strategies, aim to bring valuable experiences to attendees and sponsors. However, event marketers find themselves in a bit of a pickle due to the predominantly ‘virtual-first’ solutions in the event tech landscape.
Different foundations, different stories
Most event platforms, which gained traction in recent years, were crafted with a clear mission - deliver a top-notch virtual experience. Adapting to in-person needs isn’t just about tacking on features; it’s about embracing the core essence of the format, which isn’t a mere flick of a switch but a transformation.
Strategic focus isn’t a one-size-fits-all
Hybrid events might be the talk of the town, but let’s break it down. Events usually lean towards one format, with the other playing a supporting role.
While platforms might claim to cater to both formats, their primary focus often peeks through their features and dashboards. Event marketers need tools that understand the intricacies of their primary event format and align with their strategic goals.
So, where does this leave event marketers?
Modern marketers deserve an event platform inherently designed to deliver an in-person experience attuned to the evolved expectations of attendees.
As in-person experiences transition from being tactical events to strategic marketing endeavors, event marketers should leverage technology that propels them towards success and enables them to extract maximum value from their in-person events.
In wrapping up, the event landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, and so the technology supporting it must also evolve, ensuring it is not merely a reactive solution but a proactive tool that understands and enhances the modern in-person event experience.