Event attendees expect personalized experience: Freeman Report

i By February 2, 2024 No Comments

Personalization is a key expectation of event attendees, according to the latest trends report from Freeman.

2024 Attendee Intent and Behavior” builds on the company’s 2023 edition Trends Report, which showed that attendee numbers have returned to in-person events.

The 2024 report reveals:

  • 80% of respondents say that the most trusted channel of all available marketing channels is in-person events – a trend that continues to rise.
  • 92% say that they will attend more in-person events in 2024 than last year.
  • 87% indicate that their number one factor influencing attendance at events is discovering new products, solutions, and partners.
  • Immersive experiences (64%), customized agenda plans (45%), technology that makes consuming the event easier (44%) and an immersive, visually appealing atmosphere (43%) top the list of the most important experience elements for events. Games or competitions (6%), more natural lighting (6%), wellness opportunities (3%) and other (4%) are at the bottom.
  • 75% selected demonstrations/hands-on activities as the preferred format for education/technical information.

Click on image to download report.

“Event success relies on more than attendance alone, and there is no one-size-fits-all event strategy,” said Ken Holsinger,  senior vice-president, Strategy, Freeman. “It’s essential for event planners and exhibitors everywhere to be more intentional by taking a closer look at who attendees are, what they want, and how to meet their needs.”

The study highlights four key components for planners to adopt in meeting the new needs of attendees:

  • Personalization: Now that AI enables personalization at scale, it’s up to event planners to incorporate personalized experiences like curated agendas, persona-based wayfinding, and interest-driven meetups.
  • Objective-based measurement: Look at who attends your events, discern how they’re different, and calibrate your strategy and measurement methods to deliver an attendee-centric event.
  • Content: Know what attendees need so you can deliver the right content at the right time to help them achieve their goals.
  • Change: We must always keep a pulse on our social and economic landscape when planning.

“It’s time to reimagine what events can be from the eyes of the attendees and allow their needs to drive our strategy and measurement methods,” says Holsinger.

Results of the Freeman Trends Report – 2024 Attendee Intent and Behavior can be downloaded here.

Report methodology

The survey for the report was in the field from November 16-30, 2023 and drew 2,094 responses.