Eventful insights: A peek into 2024’s event marketing trends.

It’s time to roll with the changes, planners! This year saw new technologies and cultural values transform the marketing landscape. From AR to AI, it’s a whole new world for event planners. The Economist wasn’t kidding when they called 2024 “the year of change.” 

While many of these trends started in 2023, they’re set to take on greater significance in the coming year. You’ll be familiar with some players, like Generative AI and virtual reality, but other strategies might be new. Regardless of your familiarity, these marketing trends will shape the event planning landscape for the coming year. 

We’ve organized the major marketing trends for 2024 into a helpful guide, so you can be prepared for the world to come. Remember, the early bird gets the conversions!

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VR & AR.

Immersive technologies like AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) allow brands to connect with their audience more directly than before. Headsets are getting cheaper, and AR can be easily integrated with smartphones. This accessibility makes AR/VR a regular part of the average consumer’s lifestyle. 

The core appeal is immersion. Brands can bring consumers closer to their products and services with thrilling virtual demonstrations and tours. One exciting example includes virtual showrooms for car companies or virtual “try-ons” for clothing stores. 

Imagine giving potential attendees a tour of the trade show floor and its most exciting additions. This tactile marketing provides a more detailed look at upcoming events, creating a stronger impression on buyers. The result is increased conversions. 

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Ethical marketing.

Social media has created more than selfies. Consumers are more aware of global issues and cultural changes, prompting them to purchase from companies that share their values, cultural concerns, and social responsibilities.

According to one Neilsen report, a whopping 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. This trend is prevalent among younger audiences. 

Ethical marketing isn’t another fad but a new perspective—a new evolution—that we’ll all adopt eventually. This only question is, will you be a leader or a follower? While this opens up exciting new opportunities to connect with our audience, it also encourages us to embrace and celebrate good deeds. Nice guys aren’t finishing last anymore! 

Ethical marketing can be broken down into three pillars: 

  • Transparency 
  • Authenticity 
  • Social responsibility 

Being authentic means being true to your voice and championing the values closest to your company’s heart, not just the ones that happen to be trending on TikTok. 

As an extension of Ethical Marketing, Green Marketing encourages us to consider the impact of our campaigns on the environment. In 2024, the brands that succeed will prioritize sustainable practices like web hosting and reduce waste

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Social commerce.

The ancient center for socializing and commerce—the shopping mall—has been replaced by “social commerce.” Consumers are buying directly from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Instead of just liking photos, they’re also purchasing the products in them! 

This new shopping method transforms digital marketing strategies. For one, it turns these platforms into your best opportunity for conversions. User-generated social proof on social media is the best endorsement your brand can hope for in 2024. 

The key to taking advantage of this is embedding the purchasing opportunity—in our case, tickets and registrations—inside the storytelling. It’s a Trojan Horse with hashtags! Creating a personal connection with audiences via authentic storytelling is the primary method for driving conversions. 

We aren’t creating “ad campaigns” so much as we’re fostering community and, when the time comes, offering a way for them to meet in person via these accessible purchasing channels.

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AI automation.

AI is making waves. Generative AI and other software are bringing unprecedented levels of automation to the event planning game. Naturally, this changes how we market events. 

AI Chatbots offer real-time support for consumers curious about your brand or upcoming events. Leveraging these chatbots allows your brand to engage more closely with potential buyers, increasing personalization and brand connection. 

AI software provides personal suggestions to consumers, too. This tool highlights the importance of audience specificity in marketing strategies—that’s where AI data analysis comes in. Creating personalized marketing campaigns using data-driven insights will strengthen the bond between brand and audience, driving conversions. AI data analysis should be a significant cornerstone of your marketing strategies 2024. 

One consequence of AI automation is the increased importance of creative talent. With the logistics covered, the difference between successful brands and others will be the talent they bring to guide creative development. In the age of machines, the Human touch is more important than ever to event marketing. 

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Prioritize your platforms.

Once upon a time, someone said we needed to be on every platform every day to reach our audience. As 2024 approaches, I’m happy to say the days of bending over backward to post consistently on ten different platforms are over. 

The average person logs on to 7 platforms a month (yikes!). It’s no surprise that 58% of marketers find it challenging to keep up with the pace of new features. 

A new approach is emerging. Brands and marketers focus on the platforms where they see the highest ROI and are abandoning the others. Doing so leaves more resources for your most successful platforms, increasing conversions. The best part? This time, you’re growing by minimizing effort, not maximizing it. 

How to audit your platforms 

  1. Collect engagement data for each platform (likes, comments, purchases, etc.) 2. Compare platforms to identify those with the highest ROI
  2. Decide to scale back or abandon underperforming platforms 
  3. Strategize how to distribute excess resources 

Another method for simplifying digital marketing is cross-posting. This approach is not recommended for every platform—not all TikToks or Reels work on Twitter, and vice-versa. However, identifying content that requires minimal adjustments to perform organically on another platform further reduces the demands on you and your team. 

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The year of change. 

2023 changed the game for event marketing. New technologies have arrived to transform how we engage with traditional advertising practices. Cultural shifts highlighted the importance of authenticity and transparency with consumers. It’s out with the old, in with the new! 

This opens the door for up-and-coming event planners to make a splash in 2024 and for established brands to discover new audiences and deepen pre-existing connections. Those who succeed will be those who embrace these emerging trends and technologies. 

To learn more about marketing trends and insider strategies for elevating your reach, sign up for our upcoming webinar: Decoding Event Marketing: What Works, What Doesn’t. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, January 16, at 11:30 AM CT, and includes marketing savants Channing Muller and Tom McMahon. 

We hope to see you there!

January 9, 2024

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January 9, 2024

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