In-person gatherings are back in vogue after a few years of pandemic-driven slowdown, providing opportunities for brands to bring their content into the live realm, connect with audiences – and ultimately, use events as a way to inform new content.
A new report from CVENT found that 90% of event planners are optimistic about the state of in-person gatherings, and 72% will hold more in-person meetings this year than last. That’s good news for brand publishers, which are increasingly looking at both in-person and virtual events as a powerful way to engage audiences.
Last week, thousands of marketers (and Reese Witherspoon) gathered in Boston for Hubspot’s annual Inbound conference. The event connects the software giant with prospective and current customers – and covers key takeaways from the event on its popular blog.
As we reported earlier this summer, Robinhood-owned Sherwood Media plans to introduce events as a key part of its publishing approach when it launches this fall. The brand publisher plans to include events as part of its pitch to advertisers and sponsors.
Netflix said its Tudum event – held in person for the first time this summer following two years of virtual gatherings – drew a total 78 million views across platforms on Saturday. That’s an 86% increase in viewership from last year’s 41.8 million views, and up 203% from 2021’s 25.7 million views, reports Variety. Elsewhere, Salesforce used its streaming platform, Salesforce+ as a way to bring its Dreamforce content online during the pandemic – and now that live events are possible again, is seeing value in streaming all of its events on its owned and operated site.
And as MarTech.Org reports, VMWare, the IT giant, is working on a new program to repurpose more than 800 sessions of event content to reach wider audiences and extend its reach.
Brands are also becoming more interested in smaller, curated formats, such as dinners, roundtables and retreats, reports Axios – particularly if they can be the company that brings people together. (It’s worth noting that traditional publishers also have taken note of events as a powerful driver for growth, with new entrants like Semafor making it a key part of their strategies over the past few months.)
Events offer powerful opportunities for brands to bring their audiences together, and they can often be turned into content that appears on the company’s brand publication or website as well, across a variety of mediums. Event content can be used to inform stories, events can be effective grounds for reporting, and on-stage sessions or speeches can be repurposed into video or audio. In order to make events high quality, much of the same principles are at play as those in creating good editorial content: A clear understanding of the topics that matter to the audiences you’re trying to reach. (Read more about this in our Guide to creating engaging event content.)
Also worth noting
- Burned out journalists discuss why they left journalism for brand publishing and communications.
- New data from longtime analyst and Toolkits friend Brian Wieser shows that post-pandemic conditions are normalizing when it comes to the ad market. He expects growth to be in the 4-5% range in the coming quarters.
- A new report forecasts the AI content generation market will be worth $5 billion by 2029. Check out our list of 15 generative AI tools brand publishers should know.
- An opinion columnist argues that the labor dispute rocking Hollywood will mean an opening of sorts for brands to step in with their branded entertainment offerings.
- Recruiting expert Chandra Turner explains how she views the brands-as-publishers movement.
- Neiman Marcus appointed Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion director for both Neiman and Bergdorf Goodman, as senior editorial director. Pask will refine the brand’s editorial voice to more closely align the brand with its audience. He will also create new content formats, and plans to commission original reported pieces. Pask was previously men’s fashion director at T: The New York Times Style Magazine, GQ Magazine and Cargo Magazine.