Navigating Event Challenges: What We Learned from 2022

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Episode description

Any expert knows to learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. In the end, it’s the only way to get better.

Felicia Asiedu is one of those experts. As the Senior Marketing Manager in Europe, a Fast Forward 15 Ambassador of Diversity and Inclusion, and winner of the 2023 prestigious Cventer of the Year Award, she’s always looking to improve and grow.

In this episode of Great Events, Felicia joins Paulina and Rachel to reflect on the innovative and impactful event programs of 2022 and share insights on what learnings marketing and event planners should bring into 2023. Listen in for an invigorating perspective to get you ready for the year.

Show notes

  • How to create compelling experiences that stand out in a crowded event space
  • Strategies for leveraging partnerships to maximize lead capture at events
  • How events can foster meaningful connections and drive corporate culture

Things to listen for:

[04:36] Overcoming unexpected challenges
[08:39] Working with event partners
[12:15] Evolving an event for maximum benefit
[18:55] The downside to trying something new
[22:14] Examples of experiential marketing
[28:26] Comparison to being a virtual vs. in-person attendee
[33:26] Investing in your people

Meet your hosts

Rachel Andrews Cvent Senior Director, Global Meetings & Events
Paulina Giusti Cvent Senior Manager, Global Meetings & Events

Meet your guest speaker

Felicia Asiedu Cvent Senior Manager, Europe Marketing

Episode Transcript

Paulina Giusti: Hi, everyone. What is going on in the wide, wide world of events? I'm Paulina and I'm excited to kick off the second episode of our 2023 season of the Great Events podcast. Today, Rachel and I are joined by one of our favorite recurring guests and our colleague and winner of the 2023 prestigious Cventer of the Year Award, Miss Felicia Asiedu.

Welcome, Felicia.

Felicia Asiedu: Oh, thank you so much, Paulina. That's a nice big welcome for me.

Paulina Giusti: We are so happy to have you join us today. I think, many of our listeners are probably familiar with your role at Cvent, but if you wouldn't mind giving them a quick refresher. And then, I'd love for you to share how you're also involved in the larger events industry and some of the things that you're doing for the industry.

Felicia Asiedu: Absolutely. So as some of you might know, I'm a senior marketing manager in Europe, so I look after lots of the marketing and events in Europe. But outside of Cvent, or actually kind of tied to Cvent, I got introduced to lots of people in the industry, and that's how I quite quickly became a Fast Forward 15 Ambassador of Diversity and Inclusion, which was great because we've now got a vast different kind of cohort on the Fast Forward 15 Program and we helped to drive that change. I've become a speaker somehow. I think I started just sort of speaking at events and then it became, she's a speaker, so that became a real thing. And then as part of Fast Forward 15 and doing that, I set up a Speaker Bureau for diverse talent. So that's another little thing.

And just yesterday I was lecturing a university about event marketing and management, which is just all the kind of serendipity that you get when you meet different people in this industry and people say, "Hey, I've got an idea." And I'm one of those people that says, "Yeah, why not? Let's try it. Let's give it a go." So that's why I've got many fingers in many pies.

Paulina Giusti: Love that. I mean, you are doing such phenomenal work and pushing this industry to be so much better, so we love to hear it. I wish I could be more involved in the industry and look to you as inspiration, so that's exciting and all good stuff.

So let's talk about today's topic. We're still at the beginning of the year. We're still kind of looking in the rearview mirror of what 2022 was and served for us. We are kind of taking stock of what went really well and some of the challenges or learnings that we can take from it, and then how we can employ those learnings in our 2023 marketing strategies, our overarching pre-planning of event efforts. So I think for today's conversation, we kind of want to tap into what went well, what was kind of a challenge last year, and then what are we going to do with that information as we pre-plan in 2023. And I think we can certainly kick off this conversation, this is kind of an inside joke with me and Felicia, but in-person events are back.

Felicia AsieduAnd the inside joke is that that is how literally every speech started, I think, last year. "We're back baby." It's like, yay. I get the sentiment because we were literally at an event every week, every day at some point, so it was cool. Came off virtual and got back to in person, so why not? We'll let it happen. We're back. You're supposed to cheer at that point, ladies.

Paulina Giusti: Woohoo. We're back, even though we're on a virtual conference.

Rachel Andrews: I think I said that on five podcasts last year. "We're back, baby." We're back in a different way. How about that?

Felicia Asiedu: Well, 2023 is new. We've never done this before, so I'm glad we've got a lot that we took from last year.

Paulina Giusti: Yeah, I agree. And I think, as a way to guide us through our thoughts of 2022 and taking all the goodness from '22 into '23, we kind of look at it from a total event program perspective. Let's talk about the big conferences. Maybe we'll talk about the smaller, more regional programs or trade shows. And then we can get into some of the internal events that started to come back at the end of last year, and basically use that as our guide to the conversation. And I feel like it's only natural to kick it off with the conference's view, the big events that were back that the three of us were so involved in the planning of and the execution of.

I think, as we think about Cvent Connect 2022, some of the challenges that arose for the US program were the timeliness. We were still managing and reacting to a contract that was moved because of the pandemic. The event in 2021 was in August, and the 2022 event was in April. So a completely different cadence, a much shorter promotion timeline, a shorter time to prepare content that's going to be captivating for our attendees to want to join. What's going to be different from nine months ago? And so that was certainly something that our whole team, not just the event planning side, but the marketing side, had to really grapple with and say, "These are the reasons why it's important for you to attend. We're going to design an experience that solves for the drivers that our customers choose and make their decisions on attending the event for." I think that was kind of one of the big unique ones for the US event, but for Connect Europe, which took place in October, there were quite a few more challenges. Right?

Felicia Asiedu: If you can't get to the event, I think that's fine. No, so what we're talking about there is a train strike that was announced. We unfortunately had the Queen's death that happened and that put us on hold even from a communication perspective. I think Paulina, you and Rachel, I think I slacked you both and said, "Should we even be talking about our event now? There's a very sad time happening." And then about a week later they said, and actually we're just going to do a train strike on the day of your event. Rachel, how did that make you feel? Can I ask?

Rachel Andrews: I feel like whenever there's something, a disaster on the horizon, Paulina and I are the first people that get called, which is great. I'm glad I'm a trusted person to go to and in times of crisis, but it is a freakout moment when you're thinking, okay, let's get down to business, let's figure out can we still do this event? And it could be anything. It doesn't have to just be a train strike in the UK. It could be the weather, it could be a recession, it could be literally anything that sometimes doesn't fall under your force majeure clause in your contract and you have to roll with it and figure out what we could do.

Luckily we have great partners and we have very valuable minds on the events team where we can get in a room and brainstorm and say, okay, we can overcome this by looking at different ways to get people to the conference. Luckily we have a virtual component so people don't have to miss the content if they are really affected by a train strike or insert natural disaster here or any sort of other thing that pops up. That's kind of roll with the punches approach that I think a lot of event professionals have in their DNA or should have in their DNA in a non-freakout moment. Try not to because you're the one leading the ship, right?

Felicia Asiedu: Absolutely. I know that one of our partners said she considered moving a lot of her events last year and then she realized that's not going to work. She kind of has figured out that for this year she's not moving the events anymore, she's just going to have them because she found that people, if they found the content compelling and the promotion compelling, they'd just come anyway. And we found that with Connect Europe people carpooled and everything, they're like, we knew we were coming, we were going to get here somehow. So they came anyway. Not to say we shouldn't have freaked out at all, but it was great that they valued our conference that much that they were like, we were always going to find a way to get here, whether it meant coming the night before leaving a bit later. So that was really cool.

Rachel Andrews: Yeah, I think on the partner side too, working with the hotel and saying, hey, calling them. Usually calling your partners whether it's your transportation partners or your hotel partners and something like this, for the most part because I feel like the industry as a group has gone through this, not transformation. We've always been there for each other, but now we know we've been in the trenches, we're coming back out together, how can we work together? And a lot of it is challenging because on the hotel side they're still struggling a lot and so they'll try to do anything that they can, but they have inflation, they have staffing issues, so they're like, we'll do anything that we can, but we're still a business trying to make money.

But at the same time, it's the partners that kind of go above and beyond. Our partners at our last conference, they really tried to help us with hotel rates to at least get people to stay the night because of the train strikes and be there the night before or the night after so that they could be at the conference, but they were just using a hotel room versus commuting to an event.

Paulina Giusti: Yeah, I think there's definitely something to be said, particularly with these larger programs where rallying around the partners, the industry partners that you have to support not only finding ways with the hotel about accommodating room rates that can help with people staying overnight, but we partnered with, like you mentioned, transportation organizations. Uber, a great partner in this effort, we were able to leverage a unique Uber code to our current registrants to say, we're here for you. We want to try to support your smooth commute to our event and try to offload some of that stress for some of our attendees joining us for the event. I think the other thing that we thought about was as you think about some of your event design, your program design, there are some days that feel like, okay, this is the peak day, this is when all the goodness is happening.

And then you have perhaps one or two days after that still are super valuable but don't necessarily pack as much punch. And I think what we did to kind of solution for the potential drop-off of the attendees is let's have consistent moments of impact on every day. So that if someone is able to join us on day one but can't make it on day two, okay, great, they're getting great content on day one, but we're going to make day two and day three just as beneficial and just as exciting. And so we made sure to kind of drip in some of our celebrity keynotes on day two. We offered a leadership summit track. Felicia mentioned Fast Forward 15, we brought a number of our industry partners to participate on day two. So we kind of tried to create that balancing act so that it didn't feel like, ugh, I can't get there on day one because of the train strike.

Well look, you can tune in virtually like Rachel was saying on day one and then join us with just as much compelling and exciting experiences on day two. So I think that was certainly something that we're going to take with us into 2023 is we're going to commit to those dates that particularly for these large conferences. We're going to lean into those valuable relationships with our partners, and we're going to design a program that has consistent value each day and doesn't feel like one day is overloaded with value, just so that it can accommodate the flexibility around people's schedules and attendance and perhaps some of these challenges like train strikes or inclement weather that typically of affect our events.

So I feel like that kind of wraps up the conference takeaways. I think Rachel, do you want to talk us through, there are so many other programs within our total event program. We've got smaller regional events, trade shows, what were some examples that we worked through this year or this past year?

Rachel Andrews: So I feel like smaller events and regional shows are for most people their bread and butter of what their events program is made up of. And yes, your big conferences are really important but so are your smaller programs because not everybody is able to afford to go to a week long conference or they might not be able to take time out of their week to do something like that. So the smaller programs for us are really important and were increasingly so last year, but it didn't come without its challenges. So we had to rescope and we're still rescoping, if I'm being quite honest, what our smaller programs look like.

Some of the challenges that I'm sure other people were facing were attendance at those regional regional events that we do. We do smaller success groups with our customers. We go to a ton of industry trade shows because we know that our customers and hopeful customers will be at these events and they're already taking time out of their day to go to those, adding on to benefit those events and support the industry is important to our company because we want to make sure we're there for them, but we also want to make sure if we're there we can talk to them while we're there, try to make it a more fun conversation or more fruitful for them than it has been in the past.

I think any sales organization can get stale over time. So you have to got to think about what those attendees at those smaller programs actually want from you. And sometimes they don't want you to be banging down your door to say, hey, buy this. We're selling this. And they might just want to come and talk and have you listen to their challenges. And so that's what we found last year is that a lot of the attendees at these shows or our events or insert smaller program here, they were coming and they were just talking through what can my options be for the next couple years? I don't have a lot of budget. And I think that that trend will continue into '23. So again with we're also a tech company, we're also a partner. You have to mold your messaging at those shows and those events to be that partner that's helping your attendees get through those challenges and go towards a longer term relationship.

What is it going to look like in five years for you? I know we hate the term crystal ball because none of us have one when we say that word all the time, but we don't have it and I don't think trying to predict what's happening is helpful for anybody. All you can do is modify and listen to what people actually want. And I think some of the other challenges, and Felicia and Paulina, you know this too, and please jump in, but we had a huge issue with sourcing. All of a sudden everybody was sourcing the same venues because of the, "We're back baby," mentality. And then it was like, holy crap, I don't know if I can plan an event. So we had to look at unique venues and we had to combine some events and some of our customer success group programs became content plus networking and some of them had been like that before, but some of them were just driven more towards that because we had to use a unique venue to do them in.

Felicia Asiedu: Yeah, I agree so much because even if you look at our product seminars, we always do try and up-level them. We try and make them a bit different each time, make sure the venue's really nice, but the kind of budget we would put and just being honest, transparency here, kind of budget we'd put behind a lunch might be different to a larger networking event, but we started to think in the UK. But if that event that's a networking is in a great place, I think we went to the Cafe Royal, which is a beautiful stunning gold-plated venue. Why don't we just have our lunch in the afternoon and then we'll have the networking event that we were going to have anyway in the evening? And not only did that help with the sourcing aspect of things, but it also helped to uplevel that product seminar that would've maybe not taken place in such a prestigious venue.

And that was a real attraction for the people coming because luckily we talked to event planners a lot and marketers and they wanted to see the venue as well for their events that they might have in the future. So it was a benefit to us, it was a benefit to Cafe Royal, it was a benefit to the people coming. And that I think is part of the goal of what we're trying to provide here. It's like you said, Rachel, it's not just about, hey, come and hear about our products, but it's have mutual shared benefits here for everybody involved so that it is attractive to all parties rather than just ourselves.

Rachel Andrews: Yeah. One thing Paulina and I struggle with when we're talking event design for these smaller programs is the audience level, but also who actually takes time out of their day to go to it. And the two of us have always said, and maybe it's different for other people, but the two of us have always said, if you're going to go to an industry event, it's got to be valuable for you to take time out of your day. And so if it is what you're saying for the London networking events that you all have done where you're incorporating a little bit of learning or some sort of impactful speaker plus the networking at a really cool space that is super attractive for me to go to. I'm not saying lunch programs aren't attractive. It could be beneficial to do those too.

If you have a really great lunch place that you want to go to and that the event is there, then awesome. But I do think that if you're listening to your attendees and modifying your event design to help them have that experience, but also what's in it for them I think is something that most companies forget to ask. They're like, let's just push our product. And I don't think that that's the right way to do things. I think that you need to think about what this person's actually going to give a crap about. How is that going to help them in their career? You got to think about the selfish side of most people. Most people want to benefit from something and maybe it's I want to meet the senior people that are there. Maybe it's I want to learn from this speaker or I want to learn about career development or I want to network with people. Whatever it is, it has to benefit somebody. It can't just be all about pushing the sales there.

Paulina Giusti: I think the other piece of this and kind of a threaded theme that I'm hearing is it was a lot of trial and error in 2022. We still felt like we were enabled to try new things. We were kind of allowed to fail and then learn from it. So I think that's one of the larger themes of 2022. It was like what's the downside in trying something new? Because attending behavior and attendance has changed and promotion therefore has changed. And I think that has been a big driver in how we've done some of our event design practices. I think speaking to event design and switching the script a little bit, our trade show program. We have a really rigorous trade show roadmap that we employ. I mean we have a full global roadmap that everyone, how many shows are on it? 175 or something like that? It's 180. That's a pretty rigorous schedule.

Rachel Andrews: Yes. It's about 180.

Paulina Giusti: But what we did was similar to the smaller more regional meetup programs, we reprioritized. We looked at what is truly a tier one show, not because it was a tier one show before the pandemic, not because it's X amount of dollars, not because certain members of leadership are attending. We really dug into the definition of tier one programs. And then what are we doing to rise above the noise on the show floor? That whole, "We're back baby," mentality is happening on the trade show side of things as well. The show floors were packed, were loud, and from Cvent's perspective we were thinking how are we going to stand out on the show floor and not feel so salesy and provide that industry thought leader component but also the experiential piece?

And I think for some of our North America events and of course Felicia, I definitely want you to talk about some of the things we've done in Europe, but we had some of our event design team members get involved in the trade shows, the tier one trade shows and say, because of this event, because of where it is, because of the attendee base, we're recommending we do this really cool activation and it's going to draw 2x leads that we've seen. And because of that it'll be super fruitful. But we're going to be mindful with our investment.

In the same breath talking about these partnerships with industry vendors and industry suppliers. Our team is looking at some of those existing relationships and saying, hey, so and so, are you going to be on the show floor at this upcoming event? If so, let's combine our dollars. Let's double down our investment and figure out how our two brands combined can tell a great story and maximize the lead capturing onsite at some of these shows. So we're doubling down in our design efforts, in our investment efforts, and of course really maximizing those partnership opportunities. And I think we're definitely going to take all of those sort of trial efforts that we did in 2022, partners on the venue side, partners on the tech side, on the swag side, all of that goodness is definitely coming with us in 2023 as we look at our trade show roadmap planning. But Felicia, I think you have some really interesting stories about some of the experiential marketing you guys have done on the Europe trade shows.

Felicia Asiedu: Yeah, I mean to be honest, we trialed a couple of things and we're really going to go for it this year. I remember one of the things we did really early on last year, we started looking at love stories as one of our campaigns. So we did a webinar on love stories, we did some videos. They were really cool, but then we thought, why don't we capture more of that on the trade show floor? So when we went to Confex last year, we captured more video love stories, but we had a board, a wall where people could come along and tell us what they loved about the industry because we were just coming back and we were just coming out of Omicron last year. And so we said, rather than the doom and the gloom of what's happened before, why don't you just come up and say, do you know what I actually love about this industry? And they wrote it on this board.

We were able to take that content and use it for blog content. So that idea of an event just not finishing right then and there, but actually living on just a little bit. And we made a webpage for it. And I just think that's the kind of injection of happiness we wanted in those trade shows. And then we started to take something else that we're trialing with our, We've Got You Covered campaign where we had the really big eye that's got all these different colors which maps to our wheel. And we just put that as a billboard at Event Tech Live in November. And people sat in the lounge and we sponsored that lounge. And so we took over that as the billboard and people sat there looking at this eye looking at them, and we've kind of said, there's more to us than you might think. Why don't you pop around the side and get a coffee?

And they really like that. It attracts people's attention. It's a bit more fun. It's not just buy some technology, it's let's have a conversation really. And that's what we found those things drove. So this year at Confex, I've just ordered a box. What's that about? It's a box and it kind of says, hey, what's in the box? And it's this whole cool activation where it'll just get us having another conversation. People have to put their code in and see if they can crack into the box. But yeah, we just want to try that kind of stuff to spark something different, not just buy the tech.

Rachel Andrews: I think just one more point on the trade shows, just because it's been kind of a labor of love this year is doing activations in booths is not new, but I think the way we did it this year I think was new for us. And I think one of the things, and I'm going to call it what it is, when you're a bigger company, it can be intimidating to walk up to a booth like that. That's not as inviting. And I think these activations make it more inviting for people to have a reason to come up. I think it also helps them feel more at ease because it's hard to be like, I don't even know where to start. Think about walking up to a Marriott booth. You're like, I know you guys have a lot of things going on. Tell me about all of them.

You make it more approachable when you say, hey, come for a coffee, come see what's in the box. Come take a picture with us, come right on the wall, whatever the activation is. But one thing I love about the way we've brainstormed this year is both helping our attendees feel comfortable to come to us, but also being on brand with what that show is. So we look, really dig into what the agenda looks like on the show organizer side and say, okay, this would fit really nicely with this theme that they have. This would fit really nicely within their agenda here, because that's the attendee behavior on site. And you can't just say, I'm going to have an all day open bar. That's not really going to help and it's just going to make you spend a lot of money for not that much return.

So you need to really be smart about the agenda that they have, being strategic either with the show organizer because sometimes we have great partnerships with those show organizers and we can partner together, but it just helps rise above. It helps you be on trend with what's going on at the show floor. And it also helps just be kind of on brand. So I want to continue doing that because that was really, really beneficial for us last year. So just be very smart about how we want to approach all of our trade shows, whether it's tier one or two or three, I think there's a lot of opportunity to do that. And partnerships help as well because we don't always have a chance to spend a ton of money at these, but if we can be strategic with the conversations we're having or ways in which we are driving that conversation, I think that that's one way to really rise above the noise at these shows.

Paulina Giusti: Yeah, I love that. I feel like the word that speaks to me about the onsite activations are icebreakers, right? People also we're just getting back together in the sort of traditional way at some of these trade shows. And so offering that activated icebreaker is really helpful. I think we experienced a couple icebreaker moments for some of our internal events this past year. I think the first half of the year we were still very much virtual. Our company-wide annual kickoff meeting in 2022 was still a very virtual experience. However, we started to develop what our return to office planning looked like for the North America side of the house. We returned to office back in September and we have a whole episode on what that return to office looked like, what the role of the meetings and events team was in that return to office.

But I think something that was of significant merit is people learning how to work with one another in shared spaces. Having those sort of icebreaker moments, taking some of the best practices from those virtual internal events and saying, yeah, we still need just as much video for these in-person experiences. And it doesn't have to return to that five hour format that it once was when it was just in-person or streamed. We should still stick to that three and a half hour format. So a lot of learnings there, a lot of shifting of the formats and mindsets.

But I think we are just off of our 2023 company-wide annual kickoff. I mentioned the award that Felicia won and we've already kind of employed some of those changes from the 2022 in-person internal events. And I think Felicia, you were able to play multiple roles at this year's event. You were speaker, participant, extended planning team member. I'd love for you to share your experience from a virtual attendee in 2022 to your most recent experience for the event that just wrapped in 2023. Because I think that'll really give a sense to some of the listeners on this is what we did, but this is what we still kept. There's so many good learnings from the virtual experience that we used for the in-person.

Felicia Asiedu: I totally hear you. And I'm one of the European leaders, so I'm often looking out for the wellbeing of not just myself, but also the rest of the group in Europe. And I know we were at that point last year, like I said, we were just coming back from Omicron and we were just at that point where we were kind of like, I'm done with this virtual life and it's not working and I need some interaction. I need some office space. And then what we did for the company-wide kickoff last year is we hired a cinema. It was a small cinema space where we could come together and watch what was happening in the US virtually. Now, it was kind of like we entered with trepidation because we weren't sure is this going to be okay just to have a watch party?

But it turned out to be fantastic because there was so much engagement, I would say both in the room and using all the tools available to us. So we use Slack, we were all on that. We used the Attendee Hub, we were all in there. I think some of us were WhatsApping. And so there was this real buzz of, hey, congratulations. Oh my gosh, look what's happening. Hey, did you see that guy on stage? And we felt very connected with all of our counterparts across the world. So that was great. And I think we came off of that buzzing. However, not going to lie, having just gone to America and joined in person, I think, I've never been to Vegas before, but people tell me when you go to Vegas you feel like everything's like whoa, whoa, whoa all the time. And it's just go, go, go.

That is what I felt like when I was at the kickoff because it was like what I just described, but on wheels. And I think that just goes to show that nothing kind of beats that face-to-face interaction. But what I loved is I still had all of the buzz from my counterparts back home. I knew what they were feeling, I knew how they were experiencing it because we had done it the year before. But being sort of dropped into that situation was just different. I think, I wouldn't say it's life changing. That gives a lot of credit to Cvent.

Paulina Giusti: We'll take it.

Felicia Asiedu: But it was a real eye-opener, I've got to say. And being able to be on the stage, see the production value off the stage, feel it from the audience, and singing on stage and all sorts of amazing, just fantastic. Well done, Paulina. Kudos to you.

Paulina Giusti: Omnipresent Felicia at event annual company-wide. I think it was interesting to hear it in real time from you. You're like, "I'm getting all these Slacks." They're the interconnectivity between the event experience, just traditional communication channels with team members. I think it really highlights the value of internal events. I think something that we started feeling in 2022 was people are bored with the internal events that are virtual and so therefore there's no value. But what we needed to check ourselves with was it just needs, we need to reinvent how people are engaging with each other. And I think there's a webinar that we talked on, Felicia, that we said internal events are a C-suite issue.

There is so much value and impact for when you are able to gather large groups of employee bases together and how it extends not only corporate culture, but I think one of the big takeaways is that we're reaffirming how important internal events are, that it's a C-suite issue, that it certainly drives value from a corporate culture environment. It allows people to get reacquainted with teams, different dynamics. But I think what we're kind of also saying is one of these sort of fundamental themes when it comes to events that events are a community driver. They establish community for the groups, whether it's your customer base, your employees, your members, and that really that face-to-face experience is so impactful. And though it might be difficult to measure the ROI on some of your internal events, it certainly is something that I think we're able to say had a significant impact for our internal events program.

Rachel Andrews: From a leadership perspective, I think one thing that planners need to reiterate with them, which they should know because they're managing the company, is employees are your biggest investment. It's what you spend the most money on at your company. So having these events are not only a community play, like you said, Paulina, but it's a retention play, it's a recognition play, and it wraps it up in a pretty bow. And not only is that important, but it's fun to meet people in person. And if you can't afford in person right now, I think virtual and there's still some great ways to do virtual. I know people are sick of it, but there's still some ways that you can get the recognition out there. And so I think just wrapping this all up with what you two have said, from my perspective, there's ways to do both.

I think when you do a hybrid event, you have to remember that there are people on the other side of that camera listening, so you have to remember to address them. And I think some speakers do that really well. Some people forget because they have the energy in the room, but you have to translate that abroad or wherever your audience is.

I think one other thing that you mentioned in the beginning is the video element of things. I mean, I was talking to one of our VPs and she was asking how many videos we did. And it was across 90 sessions for the week we were doing 65+ videos. And that is because we wanted to make sure people were engaged. People are used to more of these short attention spans in these events. You don't have that attention span that you used to. And so drilling that into your events is really important. And it also helps keep the virtual audience that you may or may not have online really invested in the content and really hyped up because there's a lot of stuff in there for them that helps them feel what you're feeling in the room.

Paulina Giusti: Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, I think we're out of time today, but thank you both for a really healthy conversation. Looking back at our 2022 event programs and really thinking through what we're going to be bringing with us from all of the learnings into our 2023 programs. I hope all of the listeners who tuned in today took away something valuable that they can also employ in their programs. Felicia, thank you so much for joining us as well. This isn't the last of you. You'll be joining us I hope on some future episodes throughout the season.

And as always, if you all have any topics that you would like to add to our 2023 episode roadmap, DM us on LinkedIn or on Instagram, or feel free to send us a note at greatevents@cvent.com. Thanks again for tuning in Great Events today.