Inner Circle

Event Marketing  

New Year, New Resolutions for Event Marketers

by Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes


Disruption was the name of the game in 2023. But unlike the negative disruptors that characterized previous years (COVID, record inflation, supply chain issues, etc.), this year’s disruptors were largely positive for event marketers — like AI and new audiences with changing values. As we plan for 2024, mdg’s team of experts are resolving to make the most of the new trends and technologies that will help us identify, reach and attract new audiences to trade shows and conferences.


“I will balance automation with emotion.”
Shauna Peters, vice president and marketing strategist

Recognizing the inevitability of AI integration in many aspects of marketing, from supporting research and persona development to copy creation and predictive analytics, I will aim to strike a balance between leveraging automation for efficiency and preserving the vital human touch that people crave. Studies show that consumers value the option to engage directly with people, and I believe that blending AI’s capabilities with genuine human connection will not only enhance ROI but also foster lasting brand loyalty.


“I will use social proof to attract more international visitors.”
Anjia Nicolaidis, group director, international strategy

Today, an event brand is less about what we say it is and more about what others are saying. As such, I will leverage the power of in-market influencers in our international campaigns to effectively localize content, engage prospects, build brand equity and increase conversions.


“I will adapt marketing strategies to the new generation of event attendees.”
Christine Johnson, marketing strategist and content specialist

I will refine my mix of campaign strategies, tactics and messages to ensure I’m appealing to a younger, more diverse demographic. By understanding millennial and Gen Z values like authenticity, sustainability and inclusion and their channel preferences, including YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, I will attract and engage more professionals from this emerging audience segment.


“I will use AI as a tool.”
Shereé Whiteley, copy director

I will use AI for research and brainstorming, allowing me to open up new creative pathways. This will enhance my ability to formulate original ideas and write even more compelling copy.


“I will carpe the social media diem.”
Sara Fellows, director of social media

It’s an exciting time for me — LinkedIn is hot and algorithms across the channels now favor organic content. I will continue using content marketing, social media and influencer marketing to extend the reach of my events’ campaigns to grow awareness, engagement and ultimately conversions and attendance.


 “I will use a wider lens to envision next year’s event.”
Jess Hammett, marketing strategist  

Too often, marketers rely on “what we did last year” or consider only high-level stats when planning next year’s event. My resolution for 2024 is to develop strong strategies rooted in comprehensive data and ensure that I’m not making assumptions based on limited information. I will continue listening to and incorporating user behavior, interaction and engagement information to build a narrative that resonates.


“I will keep my finger on the pulse of new tech in event design.”
Kacia Reilly, group director, creative

We’ve been hearing about AI for a while now, and we continue to learn about it and how to use it as a tool. But there are other things happening in tech we can explore, like AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), which could add another level of excitement to the design of our on-site experiences.


“I will champion strategy backed by data.”
Rich Cook, director of web strategy

I will continue to embrace and encourage data-driven strategy so decisions are based on objective information rather than subjective opinion.


“I will appeal to the immediate desires of our audiences.”
Cameron Korb, senior email and automation manager

In the age of instant gratification, our marketing should reflect one of the basic human drives — the pleasure principle. I will use real-time behaviors of prospects to implement automated email marketing, so we can provide them with quick, relevant information about events in which they’ve shown an active interest.


“I will treat B2B audiences like the consumers they are and target them accordingly.”
Joe Mathieu, group director, paid media 

Who said B2B campaigns need to be tethered to traditional media channels? Businesspeople are consumers too! We will take the approach of combining world-class B2B data with experienced, consumer-focused strategies and mediums — like podcast channels, electronic billboards and digital out-of-home advertising — to reach our audiences where they are.


“I will build strategies that consider the return on intention.”
Caitlin Fox, vice president and marketing strategist

The conventional return on investment, while undeniably valuable, now shares the stage with a more holistic counterpart. The return on intention is a concept that is driving participation for the next generation event goer by delivering meaningful experiences. By focusing on how we want the recipient to feel at our events, it will allow us to design activations that foster genuine connection.


A version of this article originally appeared in PCMA Convene.