Personalisation and content key for in-person events


A new report has highlighted the importance of in-person events with 80 per cent of respondents saying they are the most trusted channel of all available marketing channels.

Freeman’s latest Trends Report titled 2024 Attendee Intent and Behavior shows attendee numbers have returned to in-person events, with 92 per cent saying that they will attend more in-person events in 2024 than last year, while 87 per cent indicate that their number one factor influencing attendance at events is discovering new products, solutions and partners.

“Event success relies on more than attendance alone, and there is no one-size-fits-all event strategy,” said Ken Holsinger, Freeman’s senior vice president of strategy.

“It’s essential for event planners and exhibitors everywhere to be more intentional by taking a closer look at who attendees are, what they want, and how to meet their needs.

“It’s time to reimagine what events can be from the eyes of the attendees and allow their needs to drive our strategy and measurement methods.”

The study highlights four key components for planners to adopt in meeting the new needs of attendees.

Now that AI enables personalisation at scale, it’s up to event planners to incorporate personalised experiences like curated agendas, persona-based wayfinding and interest-driven meetups.

Look at who attends your events, discern how they’re different, and calibrate your strategy and measurement methods to deliver an attendee-centric event.

Know what attendees need so you can deliver the right content at the right time to help them achieve their goals and keep a pulse on our social and economic landscape when planning.

“When it comes to keynotes, content comes first. Attendees want substance, not celebrity. A thought provoking, relevant topic will outweigh even the most prominent speaker,” the report stated.

The report also showed a decrease in online attendees.

“When given a choice, attendees opt for in-person learning because of the irreplaceable experiential opportunities it offers. The 7% decrease in those who attend online events for training implies that some respondents are getting tired of Zoom rooms serving as classrooms and believe that learning is more valuable with real people, and real demonstrations, in real life,” the report stated.