Events: the “Why” of How We Gather
It’s no secret at PIRATEx that we’re huge proponents of digital events. Digital events transformed our company when the pandemic hit, and even made some question if we had walked away from producing on-location events entirely.
That’s certainly not the case. Digital and physical events are not alternatives. Instead, they should be seen as complements of one another. Event organizers must be driven to design the right event format for the right use case. Sometimes it’s a digital format, sometimes physical, and sometimes a mix of both. What matters is knowing your audience and goals – and designing a concept to achieve that. Producers and agencies must be able to specialize in both.
Depending on your audience’s needs and goals, for some you will find that not everything translates into a digital format, nor should it. PIRATE Summit is one of those events.
For its 10th iteration, it was important that the event returned live, in person in our beloved Odonien venue here in Cologne. We knew that after the years of delay– it was important for this community to gather again. Many aspects of the event aimed to present familiarity to participants who knew and loved the event and provide a “homecoming” of sorts for those that have been away for so long. Knowing our audience, we knew they would want to see growth, and change– not a static concept steeped entirely full of nostalgia.
To that aim– the PIRATE Summit team centered the event around a bold theme– #raiseyourself. The event focused on maximizing the potential around growth, renewal, and personal development, felt by all after years of pandemic changes and shifts. It came alive through elements that sought to surprise, enrich and challenge participants to grow, and embolden themselves. Something that was clearly evident with the lines of attendees waiting to try a cold water ice bath for the very first time!
A key element of PIRATE Summit has always been about capturing surprise, enchantment and wonder– bringing participants together in an unexpected venue with elements you can’t always predict. This environment allows participants to share something together and join in ways that you might not at a more traditional business event. This is what has made PIRATE Summit a special place for participants to return to– and what drove the organizing team to create it.
You can certainly build moments of surprise, serendipity and connection at a digital event– this is possible. But for the PIRATE Summit audience, there was a clear demand for an experience that could take place only in a physical format. The alignment between attendees allowed the organizing team to create an event concept specifically for them. This crowd was not looking for efficiency or lead generation. Rather, a shared purpose to come together to connect, grow, and importantly, to feel. The collective energy converging around elements such as the famous “burn” and the feeling of togetherness was powerful to witness– and the right call to have on location. Knowing the audience allowed the PIRATE Summit team to craft a unique event that felt right for their participants– and one that will be hard for many to forget. And that– is what every organizer should aspire to.
Here’s what I’ve been catching up on this week:
The event industry’s changing landscape:
Events sector comeback far from dazzling
While the event industry is celebrating the return of trade shows, for investors– and government supporters– are less hopeful about the industry’s recovery. Investors, who shored up the industry during the fallout of the pandemic have been less enthusiastic about continued support as the industry rebounds, citing the revenue from events being lower than predicted, and the potential for an upcoming recession.
Global trade show industry’s struggle to recover without China
Attendance at trade shows is up, but missing an important piece: Chinese participants. As one of the world’s biggest economies continues to pursue a zero-Covid policy, the country’s citizens, have not returned to international events in the numbers they had previously. This cautions some in the industry to have a rethink, as Wolfgang Marzin, CEO of Messe Frankfurt cites, “We have no idea how to compensate for China if the country does not return,” to its fairs.
IFA 2022: Veranstalter sehen starkes Comeback für Berliner Elektronikmesse
A much smaller IFA fair returned to Berlin last week, but with nearly 800 fewer exhibitors than in 2019. Critics warn of the endurance of the electronics fair, which is set to mark its centenary next year– especially as the country is expected to move into recession.
Digital Event Technology:
Event technology helping exhibitors get 300% more leads
ExpoPlatform’s Tanya Pinchuk shows the value of digital when combined with an exhibition– engagement and efficiency. When exhibitions returned in person, those that combined smart digital elements to their events were able to capitalize on the benefits of both physical and digital events. Digital marketplace features can provide additional value to participants and build interest before, after and during the show.
Invitario-Studie 2022 zeigt geringe Aufmerksamkeit bei Online-Events
Struggling for attention at your next online event? You’re not alone. According to a new research study, attention spans for online events continue to fall. The survey found that audiences sought greater interaction and networking opportunities at online events, with a majority citing that the interaction opportunities at recent digital events they attended were poor, or very poor.
How to do it:
Four B2B Event Marketing Takeaways From TikTok
TikTok is more than a fun place to share dance videos– if you know where to look. What can event professionals take away from the app’s runaway success? A lot of useful tips– such as the role of content and efficiency, and personalization as key elements you can bring to your event to capitalize on some of the features that make the app so addictive.
Virtual Events Are Boring: How to Up Your Company’s Game Through Creative
Maybe scratch that title– not all virtual events are boring. There’s no reason why you should have to have an unengaging virtual event– here are some tips on how to bring additional excitement and creativity to your event, including on-demand options and adding the “fun factor”.
Metaverses continue to be an engaging topic for event organizers and brands looking to do things a bit differently. Which one to choose? Here’s an independent take on the top four choices from an industry expert, outlining the pros and cons of each.
3 Rules for Managing Your Team’s Innovation
Recession and energy crisis on the horizon? It’s not time to sit idly by. It’s time to challenge yourself and your team to bring your skills to the next level. Here’s a quick primer for agencies and event professionals to engage in innovation.
That’s it for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
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The Lookout Newsletter #67
PIRATEx Managing Director