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    “One extreme or the other”: The two sides of events resurgence in a post-covid world

    It would be an understatement to say that the last few years have been rough for those working in the event space. However, with people more eager than ever to let down their hair, events have seen a major resurgence. 

    To speak about bringing people together in 2023 and beyond, and the benefits of events for brands, Mediaweek spoke to News Corp’s general manager events and experiences, Diana Kay.

    With the events space affected severely – and for better or for worse, likely permanently – by Covid lockdowns, Kay reflects on the growth of News Corp events in the years since as “sensational.”

    “News Corp decided to create a centralised events and experiences division just after Covid, and I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to be GM of E&E. Three years later, we have delivered about 90 event programs in the last 12 months alone, during a period where the events industry has been really hurting,” said Kay.

    I think you’re either on one extreme or the other – you were either completely hurting and out of business to some degree, or you’re at our end where we were converting our events business into what became a live journalism program.”

    For brands, one of the things that Kay is most grateful for is that when facing headwinds, she said that “most of the sponsors of our programs didn’t walk away.” 

    Brands were still striving for a connection with their audience, and they wanted to stick with us as we worked through the reshape of our programs – and we did that successfully. Everything from The Australian’s Global Food Forum, to launching new programs like The Australian’s e-commerce summit, and mature programs like Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out.”

    “One extreme or the other”: The two sides of events resurgence in a post-covid world

    Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out

    Highlighting an example of a brand that has seen success by working with the News Corp events team, Kay points to financial multinational American Express.

    “American Express is one of the key brands that I love to refer to, because of the outcomes. We’ve got a very clear outcome for the programs that we’re running, whether it’s delicious Month Out or Vogue’s Fasion’s Night Out – AmEx sponsors both. We know what our outcomes are, but for AmEx, often it is about cardmember spend and Cardmember growth. In the case of programs like Fasion’s Night Out, it’s about merchant acquisition.

    We take on all their objectives and make them ours, and we work our event and experience strategy around those KPIs to help them achieve their targets.”

    Looking ahead, Kay said that it was looking to be full steam ahead over the next 12 months, with a “huge” year as the team continued working on growth strategies.

    The Australian turns 60 next year, so I’m already deep in the weeds of planning that program – it’s going to be huge. We will continue to build on and invest in the Future series, they have proven to be sensational, and hyperlocal in their focus.,” said Kay.

    The Daily Telegraph’s Future Sydney: Bradfield Oration.

    The Daily Telegraph’s Future Sydney: Bradfield Oration.

    “The Bush Summit was one of our biggest initiatives this year. I’ve had the fortune of working on that for about three years, but this year we were tasked with scaling the Summit, and taking it out of New South Wales to all the other marketplaces.”

    See Also: In Pictures: News Corp Australia’s national Bush Summit in Tamworth

    No matter which way you look at it, crunching the numbers shows just how significant the event space is for both brands and the wider Australian economy. 

    “If you look at any of the research and data, they’re predicting the space to be about a $10.2 billion business for Australia, with growth of about 5.5% through to 2028. You can see in the resurgence of concerts, tours, and the like that we’re all seeing and feeling – it’s not dying down anytime soon,” said Kay.

    “The thing I have learned is that you cannot replace the experience someone has with any media asset that allows them to remember that experience better than an event does.”

    The post “One extreme or the other”: The two sides of events resurgence in a post-covid world appeared first on Mediaweek.

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