Objectively, events are proven to be a valuable marketing channel. Subjectively, they're magic. It's not just a matter of the face-to-face, offline experience (although that's very important). It's a matter of the lighting, the design, the presentations, the speakers, the connections made, the lessons learned, the activities and (lest we forget) the food.
There's a lot to love about events. We asked 25 event marketers, speakers, designers, organizers and attendees why they love live events. Specifically, we asked them about that magic moment of success that happens at events—that experience that is truly the most rewarding and impactful.
Christine Landry, Senior Social Media Editor, DexYP
"I was nervous presenting for the first time alongside speakers from Google, Yahoo and other professionals at a company event for small business owners. After our presentations, the speakers were mingling with attendees, and I heard an attendee say to another, 'There she is. Grab her!' and was surprised that they wanted to speak with me. It made me realize: You don’t have to be a speaker for a living to have a message that resonates."
Emily Fullmer, Director of Global Events, GreenBook
"Hosting conferences around the world leads to a lot of good times— attendees, clients and friends are often one in the same. Walking through an event and seeing faces I’ve met around the world reminds me of how far we’ve come."
Cari Goodrich, Senior Director of Global Marketing Programs, Looker
"Events serve as a great way to revitalize and reconnect with existing contacts in your database. Being able to re-engage with accounts that went dark or got lost somewhere in the marketing funnel, is my *true* magic moment."
Cassie Moniodes, Director of Operations, Boomset
“When something or someone demonstrates a clear understanding of the event’s purpose. It sounds silly, but it is an extremely motivational feeling that, as an organizer, I hit the mark and my attendees are truly engaged.”
David Title, Chief Engagement Officer, Bravo Media
"Watching guests interact with a one-of-a-kind display built just for this moment in time."
Chris Massey, Product Manager, Mind The Product
"When an exhibitor actively stops you just to tell you how well-looked-after they felt, and how well your crew took care of them."
Allison Miller Thompson, Marketing Manager, EXL
"When an 'issue' (or two or four...) arises and you handle it and no one is the wiser. One of my favorite things to do after an event is tell leadership all the things that 'could have gone wrong' behind the scenes but they never knew about!"
Donna Kastner, Founder, Retirepreneur
“When I summon the courage to move beyond my comfort zone to design a new event experience that’s appreciated. Such was the case for the Business Breakthrough Incubator at the PCMA Education Conference.”
Liz Castelli, COO, Tinsel & Twine
"I spend all day thinking about solutions for my business and so when I see my team doing just that at events - working together to problem solve in smart and innovative ways, I know we had a successful day!"
Adam Aleksander, Creative Director, Adam Aleksander Events
"Creating an event is about 3 things. Start with a super sticky idea, promote it in a creative way in the right medium, and provide a genuinely fun experience for the guests. I worked on a multi-room party-hopping experience called Fonda Chilena that I think really captured that."
Emily Miethner, CEO & Founder, FindSpark
"For me, it's always rewarding when people let me know that they usually hate networking events, but that our event felt different. Whether it's at an event like one of our panels, or Hustle Summit—knowing that we've changed someone's perspective on what it means to build a strong network and community for themselves, that it can actually be enjoyable — is always the best feeling."
Corbin Ball, Founder, Corbin Ball Associates
"In my past life as a meeting planner, the magic moment of success was the wonderful sense of completion after a successful event. The crazy '3-ring circus' is done, the attendee compliments have been received, and you can fly back home to relax, rest-up and get ready for the next event.
"As a participant, I think the magic moments are seeing truly gifted speakers who inspire, who educate, who make you laugh and can even bring you to tears. A good speaker can change your life.
"As a speaker, to truly have the audience with you attentively listening, laughing and sometimes gasping at the ideas presented is very gratifying."
Leslie Short, CEO, K.I.M Media
"I’m always critical of all of my events, but I do enjoy seeing people faces when they arrive to a venue they have been to before and I have transformed it into something completely different."
Karolina Rosas Espinosa, Knowledge Broker, Social Colectivo
"The moment your speaker gets off the stage with a tear in the eye and the sensation of a well delivered message and the audience energy is a the top. That is worth living."
Helen Moon, Founder, EWL Club UK
"That adrenaline buzz you get whilst on site at an event watching months of planning come to play, to the serenity and calmness you feel as you exhale immediately afterwards and realise you actually pulled it off and it was brilliant! There's no feeling like it."
Wahiba Chair, Senior Social Media Strategist, Wahiba Chair Consulting
"To me, as the event organizer of #YVRSocial, the magic moments of success happen when everyone, including attendees, sponsors, speakers etc. truly connect in person and online. I think it's both an art and a science. Thanks to social media, we can generally measure online event engagement and sentiment through the event hashtag. If your conversations are trending (in a good way), that generally means you're doing something right."
Barry Labov, President & CEO, LABOV
"The magic really happens when we can take learners from ‘why’ at the beginning of a training program to ‘wow’ by its conclusion.”
Ramon Ray, Founder, Smart Hustle
"If I can learn lots from event speakers—I'm having a GREAT day!"
Alexandre Eisenchteter, Founder & CEO, Stormz
"It's always great when you can share the experience of event planners and illustrate new ways to draw the attendees' attention during conferences—like we do with Stormz."
Will Curran, Founder and Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events
"The moment for me at an event that is most magical and special is when the client comes up and does the nod. You don't know what the nod is? It's when once per event someone comes up to you and says "thanks for doing this" or "this meant a lot to me" and they nod, and I nod back (stolen from the movie Groove).
"But on a serious note, that moment when someone recognizes all of the hard work we've put into an event is amazing. We often go unnoticed as the AV and event production team (and we love being the behind the scenes guys) but when someone is grateful for what we do it means everything."
Boaz Katz, Co-founder and Chief Product Strategy, Bizzabo
"In 2012 we powered Qualcomm's annual conference and their CEO mentioned Bizzabo as part of his Keynote session. As we were a small team and a young company at the time, it was amazing recognition for what we were building."
Liz King, Founder, Liz King Events
"When you're planning an event, choosing great content is often a huge challenge. You're basically trying to read your audience's mind. So, when we were putting together content for techsytalk LIVE 2016, we decided to infuse some content that was a bit outside the box, but that we thought would resonate with our audience. It was a huge risk, but when I saw the attendee's gulping up the content, sharing on social and LOVING the session, it was so rewarding!"
Phil Mershon, Director of Events, Social Media Examiner
"That moment when two attendees 'just happen' to meet during a networking event and they discover they are exactly who they needed to meet to make the conference worth it."
Laura Lopez, Community Manager, Social Tables
"Getting the opportunity to introduce people to their future clients at an event is super rewarding. Our industry is built on relationships and so many of these relationships and connections are forged at in-person events."
Adam Parry, Editor, Event Industry News
"The best part for me is when after months of planning and work you are able to take one step back and see everything working live at the event”
Be it the hardwork that goes into the them, the relaxation that comes after them or something in-between, there's a lot to love about events. What's the magic moment that makes it all worth it for you? Let us know in the comments below. We really, really want to know!
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