How to Energize, Excite and Engage Values-Driven Event Audiences

May 4, 2022

Today’s event attendees are less driven by product than they are by purpose. For instance, 85% of people around the world are making more sustainable purchases. As a result, 83% of organizations are taking sustainability into account when planning events. This audience shift toward values offers a tremendous opportunity for companies willing to be empathetic and transparent.

As an event marketer, you need to take this change seriously. You must determine how to communicate not just the features and benefits of your products during events, but also your company’s compassion and demonstrable values. And the communication must be consistent across all touchpoints. 

Is this an impossible task? It may seem that way. However, you just need to strategically plan how you’ll approach events moving forward. Here are three ways you can change your experiences to attract values-driven audiences

1. Take the time to listen to your target audience.

Event attendees aren’t exactly hiding what they’re looking for. Most are placing a strong emphasis on physical health, mental health, overall well-being and work-life balance. They expect brands to deliver what they need, when they need it. Brands that fail to align their experiences and messaging with audience expectations will be publicly called out or even boycotted.

It’s very important right now to take your audience’s pulse and figure out what you need to work on. For example, Generation Z is 1.4 times more likely to consider inclusivity an important factor when it comes to making a purchase. If your target audience falls into this group, you’ll need to spend extra time ensuring your events are diverse, inclusive and equitable. Your experiences have to reflect your target audiences' values. 

2. If you make a mistake, apologize and fix it.

We live in a world where people can (and will) publicly call out companies. Unless you’re ultra careful and lucky, you may end up making a mistake. When that happens, apologize and then fix it fast. Values-driven audiences are willing to forgive, but only if you make amends and put a plan in place to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Case in point: Pepsi’s commercial with Kendall Jenner fell flat several years ago because it appropriated a racial-justice protest. Pepsi apologized, learned how to respond better next time, and bounced back. About 49% of people equate honesty with transparency. Consequently, saying “we’re sorry” can go a long way toward boosting your brand image.

3. Aim to make the world a better place.

Your company can’t solve every problem on Earth. However, you can do something while crafting experiences to improve society or people’s quality of life. Let your event attendees know what that something is. Embed it in your goals, then communicate it via different brand channels.

Remember that audiences appreciate companies that lead with their values. You’ll need to bake your core values into all your event marketing efforts. For instance, let’s say your brand is committed to sustainability, which tends to hold extra sway with Gen Zers. If you’re serving food at an event, you may want to explore local vendors to decrease carbon emissions or use biodegradable plates and utensils.

Right now, audiences are being direct about what they want to see from their favorite brands. Your job as an event marketer is to take their motivations seriously and give them exactly what they need to feel good about your experiences.

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HERE, hosting responsible meetings and caring for our communities are top priorities. Through its 'Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet' philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make an impact in the lives of employees, guests, and the communities in which it operates. Water Stewardship Efforts MGM Resorts understands the importance of using water efficiently, especially in the desert destination of Las Vegas. Conserving water has always been part of the mission, but MGM Resorts has expanded its ambition into water stewardship. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative mobilizing business leaders to advance water stewardship. MGM Resorts International was the first gaming company to take this important step. MGM Resorts replaced 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts pledges to reduce water withdrawal intensity by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. From 2007-2021, use of more than 5.6 billion gallons of water was avoided because of conservation efforts. Caring for One Another MGM Resorts’ Food Donations Program collects and preserves unserved food from conventions held at MGM Resorts properties, then safely donates to food insecure people in the community. Since the program’s launch in 2016, more than 3.7 million meals toward a 2025 goal of 5 million meals have been donated into the community. Donations include: Unserved perishable prepared foods from events Perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens Nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses The collaboration with Southern Nevada’s primary food bank, Three Square, has developed the infrastructure needed to safely collect, transport, and store food from MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, reducing food waste while serving the community. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all. MGM Resorts understands its responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which it operates. HERE, we embrace humanity.