Though hybrid, online and regional events are growing in popularity and effectiveness, many marketers said they believe the changing event marketing mix will alter the large event but not eliminate it completely. Over time, these new forms of marketing, which are essential in the current economy, will become part of a growing variety of event choices.
“There are some major events that are large for the right reasons—they bring people together,” Wescott said. “The economy has forced us all to get smaller and to innovate. It's going to fundamentally change events as well as the overall industry at the end of the day. Corrections like this are always something to learn from. But where there's pain, there's possibility.”
Ozenblowski said that, though their hybrid event was the right move this year, the company will return to its live event in the future.
“This was a great alternative, but a lot of people missed the old format—though they are still drawn to the new one,” she said. “We've moved away from the bells and whistles. But I definitely think the large event is not going away. It's improving, and this new format is just another avenue for us.” M