Event marketing

The biggest lessons of the pandemic for event marketing leaders (VB Live)

Presented by Cvent

In 2022, event marketers will tackle a new landscape of challenges and opportunities. Join this VB Live event to get insights, in-depth analysis and the best predictions for the new normal in the world of event marketing.

Register for free here.

Last month was a turnaround for a lot of people as omicron came into its own and all those plans people had formed in September had to be rethought, including live events. Event planners are called upon to make up-to-the-minute judgments as the situation unfolds and create their own strategy on the fly.

“We’re definitely conservative right now because people want to hide and wait,” says Natalia Rybicka, senior director of event marketing at Attentive. “But we’re still planning events in the first and second quarters. We’re just smart about negotiating venue and sponsor contracts, so we have strict COVID clauses if something gets canceled or pushed back.

Of course, any event requires extraordinary security protocols, Rybica says. Attentive has systems in place for additional security screening, beyond mask mandates, such as a full range of in-home PCR tests that they ship to events through their fulfillment house.

“It’s something we used to implement for larger events, but we also did it for a smaller event this month, just to add another layer of safety precautions,” she says. “At our executive retreat, everyone who goes to the event has to take a test.”

As they plan their hybrid strategy, Rybica stresses the importance of ensuring that a hybrid event doesn’t leave virtual audiences behind.

“When we go hybrid, there will be built-in interactivity for virtual audiences, so it’s not just a streaming experience,” she says. “It’s easy to get caught up in a live event and forget there’s an audience watching virtually and what their experience is like – but they’ll likely be the bulk of the audience.”

To make sure hybrid events work, she stresses the need to have a good technology partner you can rely on – a partner who understands what it means to have two audiences, can enable people who attend live to interact with virtual people, and can help create virtual communities.

It’s also important to have two separate producers, one for the virtual experience and one for the live event, so that each audience gets the attention they deserve.

Hybrid events that go beyond streaming content are going to be the biggest challenge for marketers in the coming year, Rybica says, but executing them successfully for both audiences is also the most challenging thing. important to do.

“Virtual events are great for education and live events are great for networking, so how do you leverage both and ensure you create a great experience for both audiences?” she says.

As the world once again adjusts to the ever-evolving pandemic and hopes begin to grow around a return to in-person events, Rybicka’s best advice for another event leader right now is to lean on what came before, not to pivot entirely. In other words, don’t get so excited about live events and what’s happening in person that you forget about your audience.

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and give up on virtual events and all the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic,” she says. “Virtual events are always a great way to reach large audiences for education purposes. I would not sacrifice this experience. There’s a whole audience that’s not able to travel to live events, and that’s probably the majority of your audience.

Registration is free!

You will learn:

  • How marketers can prepare for the return of live events
  • How to make hybrid events more effective than ever
  • Why webinars are an essential part of the marketing mix
  • What trends and strategies will move the needle in 2022


  • Natalia Rybicka, Senior Director, Event Marketing, Listening
  • Michael Dietrich, Vice President, Product Marketing, Cvent
  • Hayley Haggarty, Managing Director of Events, VentureBeat (moderator)