Synergy Effect’s Ruth Hirst examines the key event business challenges for 2024


Synergy Effect co-founder Ruth Hirst examines the five key business challenges her clients are reporting and the innovative solutions that can overcome them.

Customers and staff are based all over the country, the region, the world. Digitisation means customers and staff can truly be based anywhere. When it comes to work, hybrid is here to stay with 94% of Australians wanting to complete at least part of their work remotely, while consumers who are based far and wide are all seeking higher-quality customer experiences – with nearly 90% of buyers saying experience matters as much as a company’s products or services.

Events that provide flexibility, whilst being innovative and providing quality brand experiences to all guests – no matter where or how they attend – build culture, loyalty, inspire and ignite.

“Multi-site events which can also attract further online attendance to boost your wider reach, and which are centred on brand immersion, are incredibly powerful,” she says.

“Perhaps your objective is to educate and motivate audiences based around Australia or the Indo-Pacific through an extraordinary brand experience. Traditionally, you might do this through a multi-city time-consuming roadshow.

“But by redesigning your event with smart, wide-reaching, sustainable solutions from the beginning you can immerse more people in less time. Position your speakers on dynamic branded 3D virtual stage, have beamed-in international and local speakers together on stages, with all sites engaging with the same presentations, panel discussions and activations, and incorporate ongoing guest participation and live feedback.”

Largescale need to train and upskill. With research showing 6 out of 10 employees will require training before 2027, with a focus on analytical and creative thinking, social influence, resilience and agility, a challenge is how to engage large numbers of employees in professional development.

“Immersive online or hybrid experiences designed right from the beginning are hugely effective in delivering professional development models and solutions,” she says.

“With customers too, providing educational and enriching experiences centred on products and services builds loyalty and trust – and multi-site localised events which deliver consistent high-quality brand immersion and VIP experiences to all customers eliminate barriers and allow you to engage with customers across your region at the same time.

“Everyone can participate at the same time with real time engagement, entertainment, surveys, polls, Q&A, and live two-way conversations.”

Synergy Effect
Synergy Effect co-director Ruth Hirst with her award at the recent Women Leading Technology Awards 2023.

Struggle to make connections and distinguish brand. Around 60% of people want brands to connect with them, and will increase spending when they feel connected, underpinning why real, meaningful connections power brand success.

Immersive experiences which deliver direct to consumer widescale education are a powerful way to connect and distinguish a brand, and positively influencing the buying cycle.

“Imagine directly engaging with your customer base through localised, small-group live events across your wider region where all engage with your own brand-centred interactive live TV show,” she says.

“These multi-site hosted events can be in places of your choosing – venues, showrooms, offices, points of sale – and allow dispersed customers to join a VIP experience, eliminating borders and time delays in reaching the market.”

Finding impactful ways to champion environment and corporate social responsibility. Studies show that 63 per cent of Australians want brands to deliver change on climate, and 80 per cent want to see brands delivering against social equality, and when it comes to events, there are ways to deliver on both of these.

“By building your event as a hybrid-multisite or online experience you can reduce the carbon footprint by 50 to 99 per cent,” she says.

“And with research showing the global event industry responsible for 10 per cent of all CO2 emissions – equal to the entire United States – increasing sustainability of events has the potential to deliver significant positive change.”

Tight budgets and time pressures.“With economic pressures, many businesses are experiencing a cost-reduction era,” she says.

“But understanding low-quality experiences pose brand risks, we are focused on helping our clients achieve high quality experiences to stand out and reach more people for significantly lower per person costs.

“Time too is hugely valuable, and our solutions are designed to deliver jaw-dropping brand experiences while in particular, reducing travel time and allowing for simultaneous engagement – reaching all your people.”