If you’ve been watching hot event trends, you may have heard that “embedded” events are on the rise. Embedding an event means to design a separate smaller event (or multiple separate events) to run concurrently inside your larger experience. Think of it like a kind of three-ring circus. Your existing event is the main attraction, while each embedded event offers colorful contrast that helps keep attendees riveted.
Another way to think of this is to deliver attendees a “two for one” experience. Your embedded event might take the form of a symposium, or a conference-within-a-conference for a particular attendee profile. This event will likely have its own name, its own branding, its own live stream, its own keynote, its own demos and perhaps even its own networking. In the entertainment world, for example, an embedded event often takes the form of a new product launch or cluster of events sponsored by one particular brand.
What, exactly, will your embedded event add to the overall conversation at your conference? Consider creating an embedded event based on:
- Products launch
- Hot subject matter
- Niche attendee interest
- Technological usage or factors
- Industry (for a multi-industry event)
In the push for personalization and greater adoption of technology, creating niche experiences within parent events makes more sense than ever. Additionally, here are other benefits you might see from taking this newer layered approach to event planning:
1) Embedded events offer a fresh way to market your overall experience.
Who doesn’t love a good two-for-one or three-for-one special? By bundling multiple experiences, you can design a more desirable meeting for your attendees overall. This can help win over potential attendees who are “on the fence” when they are considering whether to register for your event or not. It also offers whole new sets of messaging, campaign ideas and even platforms for you to leverage in your marketing.
This can be especially valuable if you wish to promote your overall event to a subset of customers who aren’t as likely to attend,or need more of a push to register. Designing a smaller event that speaks directly to that group just might give them the extra incentive they need. You might also consider deepening the loyalty of a larger audience group by creating something that speaks to a hot topic or issue you know they care about. Either way, your choices should be informed by your overall business goals and event strategy.
2) Embedded events give attendees enriched experiences and up-close access.
Embedded events are all about delivering exclusive access. When attendees choose to spend their precious event time at a curated product launch,or take in the symposium that is running parallel to your main programming, they are choosing an experience most other attendees won’t have. This can be tremendously appealing for the right attendee. S/he will consider it a “value-add” over the less personalized keynotes and breakout sessions or educational tracks.
As you design your event, consider: what would make this embedded event the juiciest possible for your ideal attendee? Whom would they want to hear speak? What types of up-close access could you offer to sweeten their experience? Would there be separate ticketing and giveaways? Or an opportunity for VIP meet-and-greets? At a conference, attendees sometimes can feel like they are just one in the crowd. An embedded event offers them unprecedented opportunities for those 1:1 moments that elevate an experience to legendary status.
3) Embedded events reinvent partnership opportunities beyond mere sponsorship.
Whatever the scope of your embedded event, it will share several key features: 1) It will be much smaller and more intimate than your overall event. 2) It will likely be at least somewhat niche. 3) It will take place during, inside or parallel to your main event. If this sounds like extra work for you as an event planner, yes. Embedded events can entail quite a bit of extra planning and preparation. So why not partner with a separate department, brand or organization to bring your mini-conference to life?
Partner organizations may not want to run a large-scale event on their own, but many would be quite happy to serve your attendees with a quality sub-event inside it. The partnership then allows you to offload some or most of the work involved in designing this new experience. It also allows you essentially to create new sponsorships—which may include financial support in addition to planning and marketing. This is a great opportunity to expand your team and your resources to make the overall event possible.
Ultimately, creating an embedded event (or two) within your existing conference or meeting is all about driving business value, By expanding, deepening and enriching the type of possible experiences for your attendees, you make your overall meeting a more attractive value for their dollar. Creativity and ingenuity are your best friends here. Don’t be afraid to explore, experiment and try new things!
Brainstorm on your embedded event. Dig deep. Step outside of your planning “comfort zone.” Soon there will be a whole new world for your attendees to explore. And a whole new way for your attract customers, engage them and forge partnerships.
Want to rethink your event strategy to include an embedded event, but don’t know where to start? The brilliant minds LSAV POWERHOUSE would love to sit down with you, review your goals and brainstorm how to reach them. Explore our portfolio here and contact us to schedule your consultation.