Corporate Event Trends: Microdosing Content, Bespoke Experiences and Renting With a Cause

May 16, 2024

What’s trending in corporate events from the third-party planner perspective?

Microdosing content, bespoke experiences and renting with cause, said MCI Group Vice President Corporate Agnès Canonica (AC), who produces internal and external events for corporate clients across diverse industries, including healthcare, technology, financial and automotive.

MCI Group, which touts itself as a global next-gen platform for marketing innovation and breakthrough communication in the digital age, has 1,650 employees across offices in 60 countries, according to its website.

The 35-year-old global agency network delivered 5,510 campaigns and digital activations for more than 1,200 clients across 31 countries, according to the company’s most recent annual report. MCI Group reported 2022’s annual turnover of €465,8M ($503,1M*), a 92% increase over 2021. 

Agnès Canonica, MCI Group
Agnès Canonica, MCI Group

With a bird’s eye view across the global B2B corporate event landscape, Canonica joined us in our podcast booth on the show floor at Connect Spring Marketplace 2024, held April 2-4 at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, to share her experience from the third-party planner perspective.

Read six highlights from our conversation or listen to our full interview here.

Microdosing content: People are multitasking all the time. No one wants to do a one-hour keynote speech anymore because they lose a majority of their audience. So we're seeing more TED Talks. That 20-minute slot is the sweet spot. Another trend we're seeing is professionally coaching speakers to deliver key bullets to ensure the retention is there. It's done in a microdosed way. 

Not cookie cutter: No customer is approaching things in the same way. So even though a meeting is a meeting, it’s not a cookie-cutter approach at all. It's all B2B-types of engagements. Corporate objectives and the way they engage their audiences are very different, depending on the type of industry it is.

Bespoke experiences: For an internal corporate event in Scottsdale, Ariz., held this spring, the client wanted to celebrate their success in 2023 and focus on working as a better team for 2024. Because it's an Olympic year in 2024, they chose to do an Olympics-type team building event. Finding vendors who are going to be able to facilitate that in a very sophisticated and bespoke way was very difficult. We had to hire multiple suppliers to create the experience the customer was looking to deliver for this internal team retreat.

Taliesin West
Taliesin West

Renting with a cause: This particular company is very much about supporting the community, so when we presented options for off-site private dinners, they selected Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's personal home in Scottsdale. The reason why the client selected it — which really made me pause for a second — was all about sustainability. The rental fee for this particular venue goes to a foundation, and they felt like they were supporting Americana in preserving this masterpiece from the 1960s. They are refocusing on their venue rental approach moving forward. It's about DEI, and it's about making a difference in the world. 

Everyone loves a theme: At the corporate retreat, attendees were men and women. They wanted to let their hair down, but they didn’t want to be goofy. So we themed the Olympics in different categories that were tied into the company’s growth retreat that they were focusing on from an agenda perspective with the business. We had a pickleball tournament, and we gave away customized pickleball paddles with their initials. That was a great giveaway.

Inclusive activities: We didn't want just physical challenges because we didn't want to intimidate or scare away any of the participants. We did a 3D puzzle of the Eiffel Tower they had to build within 30 minutes, then had all of these costume props because they had to present how they worked together and what was the strategy.

* Exchange rate as of May 13, 2024: 1 EUR = 1.08016 USD

Lead image: Taliesin West, courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation/Andrew Pielage

 

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