The live event dates were rescheduled multiple times and after months of anticipation, Event Marketer announced that the Experiential Marketing Summit would transform into a fully virtual event. A+ Staffing had visited this premiere brand marketing event for the past 3 years and we were looking forward to our fourth in-person visit. Instead of Chicago, Las Vegas, or San Francisco, we found ourselves waking up in our own houses, brewing our own coffee, and shuffling into our own home offices to visit EMS 2020 for the week.
EMS CONFERENCE OFFERINGS
Upon searching the conference agenda there were offerings for everyone. Programs included: live networking think tanks, live breakout sessions featuring various industry expert contributors, experiential/event industry keynotes, DJ Sly dance breaks, trivia, yoga, high intensity bootcamps, ‘take a walk with an executive’ podcasts, and various workshops. This agenda kept us learning and networking with attendees from all over the globe.
OUR TEAM’S EXPERIENCE
The 5-day event showcased educational topics including: ‘Creating Safe and Hygienic Events’, the ‘Event Permitting University’, ‘Event Safety, Security and Hygiene: What you Need to Know Now’, and ‘Hybrid: An Event Strategy for the New Normal’. At the Sparks, Women in Events Mini Wellness Retreat, craft cocktail recipes were shared and we learned great tips to balance your mindset. At Jack Nadel’s Cooking with Celebrity Chef, Fabio Viviani, we made Fresh Egg Pasta with Ricotta and Fabio’s Mom’s Tomato Sauce. While watching the keynote speakers, we discovered how companies like Burger King and General Mills have handled COVID-19 pandemic marketing. During the live think tanks, there were moderated topics delivered by the Event Marketer Magazine team and it was fascinating to watch event planners and event marketing executives have ‘A-HA’ inspirational moments.
The overall theme of the Experiential Marketing Summit was very apparent. Event planning and production has changed permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and activations must include a hybrid approach with both virtual and in person components. The live event industry is not gone. We just need to think creatively about how to promote a safe environment for consumers to interact with brands and with one another.
Ambassador talent is more necessary for brand awareness than ever (online and in-person). Brands are still hiring brand ambassadors, emcees, registration staff, street teams, mascots, catering/bartender/hospitality staff, greeters, and registration/hostesses for programs – these positions still exist. Event marketers have taken the past 7 months to figure out the extra parameters needed for keeping event staff and attendees safe. As more successful events are produced, more opportunities will continue to emerge.
As Albert Einstein once said, “in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity,” and EMS 2020 brought brand marketers together during this difficult year to inspire us all to continue our quest to produce safe, memorable events.