Out of the pressure cooker of the pandemic and into a new era of cautious optimism, event marketers know that consumers and business audiences have changed forever—and the way they do events has to change, too. Sustainability is coming back into focus amid sobering global climate reports and a “we can do more with less” mentality as a result of the habits of the past two years. And from NFTs to holograms to everyone’s favorite buzzword, the metaverse, new technologies are coming in hot, and event marketers across the board are scrambling to figure out how these platforms could impact their strategies—and their bottom lines.
Hybrid is the new “pivot,” and brands are working hard to define what that means for their campaigns and event programs. For Intel, it manifests itself in contingency planning as the brand’s hybrid strategy for CES ultimately serves as a lifeline to allow the brand to stay the course when the Omicron Covid-19 variant arrives. Under the theme, “Altogether Wonderful,” Intel’s footprints across two venues serve as rich backdrops and studios for pre-recorded and live-streamed content in the lead up to and over the course of the show.
While concepts like the metaverse represent nascent territory, plenty of brands have been quick to dip their toes into the waters of what could be industry-defining trends in the near future. Brands across industries are experimenting heavily with these tools and platforms, from Miller Lite’s Super Bowl LVI bar to Universal and Snap’s virtual concert to promote the movie “Marry Me” to Kia’s Robo Dog NFT Collection that helps fund pet adoptions.
Long-running platforms return from a pandemic-induced hiatus, like Subaru’s WinterFest, which evolves into a music and mountain lifestyle adventure tour featuring small, curated and high-touch experiences under the umbrella of its large presence at eight resorts across the country. In addition to music, the experience includes food and bever-ages alongside giveaways, gear demos and even special appearances by avalanche rescue dogs.
Kind opens a Secret Farmers Market experience in New York City, complete with a faux vending machine that opens up to reveal a spacious indoor market offering fresh, whole foods like nuts and produce—all for free. Designed to drive awareness of the brand’s nutrition philosophy, the program goes viral when TikTok influencers give it a boost. More than 8,000 consumers show up, signaling that events designed to attract are back on track in this new normal.