Trends to Expect at the 2019 Experiential Marketing Summit

Becca Lyon

It’s an event marketer’s dream come true – over 100 speakers from some of the world’s most recognizable brands all gathered in one space to share valuable insights, learn trends impacting the live event space and connect with peers. As the world’s largest industry conference, the Experiential Marketing Summit kicks off May 14 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Most notable is the speaker lineup, with industry experts taking the stage to discuss everything from diversity and inclusion, to what’s worked well and how experiential is making an impact.

With 80+ sessions to choose from over three days, it can be overwhelming to decide how to make the most of your time. As attendees ourselves, the Kindle team has dissected the agenda and identified four trending topics you can expect to learn about at the conference. To help you create your own experience, here are some recommendations on sessions to add to your agenda:

Trending Topic #1: Diversity + Inclusion

Now more than ever brands need to be acting on the practice of diversity + inclusion. To learn how to extend this into your brand’s experiential efforts, attend Microsoft’s session on fostering diversity and inclusion at events. Albeit challenging to navigate, Microsoft has learned how to prioritize this practice not only company wide, but at their events as well. Expect to walk away with the tools needed to enact your own program and avoid common pitfalls along the way. (10:45 a.m. Wednesday)

The conference also brings a big shout out to the women industry experts as well at the Women in Events panel. Hear from female marketers from brands like Autodesk, Cisco and SAP on topics like career advancement, salary negotiation, diversity and representation and crafting a career path that puts women on track to earn fair and meaningful leadership positions. (3:45 p.m. Wednesday)

Trending Topic #2: Leveraging personalization to stand out from the crowd

It comes as no surprise that personalization has been the key to better connecting with your target audience. But what are tactical ways to implement this against your brand’s experiential initiatives? American Express will be discussing their ‘human-centric’ approach to business events, where they tap into the emotional needs of their attendees to develop stronger and more meaningful connections. (10:45 a.m. Wednesday)

For those in the large B2B conference space, attend Cisco’s session to learn how to use data and key audience insights to craft personalized customer journeys and campaigns that truly resonate with your conference attendees. (11:45 a.m. Wednesday)

Trending Topic #3: Using consumer-facing tactics to wow your audience 

There was once a time when B2B conferences and events were seen as boring, stuffy and lacking any creative. But it’s 2019, and things have drastically changed. Brands are leveraging B2C tactics to engage with their B2B audience. To start, we recommend learning from a B2C pro like Bumble, who developed the co-working space Bumble Hive, a three-month pop up allowing Bumble users to work, mingle and hear from inspiring leaders. (11:45 a.m. Wednesday)

For those in the B2B space, learn from Twitter on how they leveraged B2C tactics to make their B2B events more creative, engaging and inspirational. (10:15 a.m. Thursday)

Trending Topic #4: Focus on employee engagement to build brand advocacy

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer (or both), your most important audience lies internally. Focusing on employee engagement allows for your brand to maintain loyal advocates and an extended voice for your marketing goals. Attend Marriott’s session on how they effectively communicated 30+ brands’ messaging, value propositions and personalities in an engaging, unique way. (3:45 p.m. Wednesday)

Go deeper into reaching your global team with T-Mobile, who’s discussing how they leveraged a multi-city tour to motivate, train and inspire more than 9,000 employees. (9:45 a.m. Wednesday)