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Four Surprising Takeaways From Our 2023 Event Content Trends Survey

2 Nov 2023 | Heather Pryor | 3 minutes

Event content is the primary driver of attendee engagement. Content inspires customers and prospects to register for an event; motivates them to attend; and provides them with value before, during, and after an event. 

Yet despite the countless hours that event content teams pour into sourcing the right speakers, organizing catalogs, marketing sessions, and more, content managers’ strategies are rarely documented. Our Event Content Trends Survey spotlighted current content strategies. We also wanted to capture how leading organizations are preparing for the future of event content. In this post, we’ll share just a few surprising takeaways from the study.

We sent the survey directly to those who run event content: event content managers, program directors, directors of global events, event specialists, and event technology managers. In all, we received responses from 50 organizations. Many represented the tech industry, while others work in the direct sales, hospitality, financial, and professional services industries. Respondents’ job levels varied, with 43% in a managerial role, 36% a director role, 15% an associate role, and 6% an executive role.  

Few Teams Actually Use AI for Event Content Planning

One of the trends we were most interested in learning about was the use of generative AI in event content planning. We were shocked to discover that a whopping 84% of respondents had not used AI or were not currently using generative AI to help with their event content. 

We found a few common concerns emerged, including security, content originality, and potential brand irrelevance. These concerns match the commonly seen limitations with these tools. As they incorporate more generative AI, event teams must combine their creative expertise with the tools’ output to preserve their brand differentiation and generate high-quality results. 

The few respondents who said they are already using generative AI employ it across all aspects of content planning — from developing a strategy and designing a website to marketing sessions. They said they appreciate the quicker turnaround times, inspiration throughout the creative process, and streamlined task completion. 

The Opportunity to Personalize Attendees’ Agendas Is Often Untapped

In recent years, personalization at events has become an imperative. Yet despite the growing interest around personalized experiences, 40% of our survey respondents indicated that they don’t often personalize attendees’ agendas. 

There are several reasons why this number may be so high. Some events may have only a limited number of sessions. Or, the respondents themselves do not actually set up the personalized agendas for their attendees. Overall, the survey results suggest that content personas have an opportunity to bundle event elements like sessions, speakers, demos, and exhibitors into curated experiences for attendees.

When asked how many content tracks they typically offer, respondents’ answers varied widely, from just one to five tracks to 20+ tracks. It’s likely that those who selected 20+ tracks may use RainFocus’ Targeted Agendas to enable their sales and marketing teams to build their own customized agendas. This is something we see our clients doing more and more often. 

Not Many Event Teams Host Event Content Beyond Six Months Post-Event

Event content is some of the most valuable content an organization creates. It allows you to keep engaging with your audience even after the event is over, maintaining momentum and enthusiasm and setting up a favorable impression for future event registration. 

According to our survey, 74% of event teams host their content in an on-demand library once their event has ended. However, 74% of them indicated that they stop hosting content somewhere between one to six months. We suspect this mid-year drop-off strategy may be correlated with the seasonality of event programs. For example, several organizations host both spring and fall events. We recommend looking into longer content hosting practices where appropriate. 

These are just a few of the fascinating trends we uncovered. Our full Event Content Trends Report includes further insights into how enterprise event teams are reusing their event content, how they are thinking about the purpose and delivery of their content, ways they are using AI to streamline their content creation, and much more. Click here to request the full report!