“Experiential” may sound like a buzz word – until you see it in action.

As Event Marketer’s Experiential Marketing Summit looms over the horizon, CPG is excited to once more play a role in its success and help show the creative ways to engage your people at events. This year, we’ll be sponsoring EMS2017 and presenting with our friends at Southwest Airlines.

EMS2017 seeks to accomplish a few things:

  • Gather over 2,000 marketers under the same roof
  • Provide innovative, hands-on learning and development sessions
  • Showcase amazing brands and their unique stories
  • Promote ideas and trends that will transform attendee engagement

It’s right out of CPG’s internal events playbook, and we’re pumped to see it all unfold. You can even catch the event highlight reel here:

Now, to help you unpack a year’s worth of ideas and insights, we’re sharing the most exciting event trends that will be showcased on the big stage at EMS on May 3-5th at McCormick Place in Chicago.

7 Event Engagement Trends to Watch at EMS2017:

1. McDonald’s B2B Events Field Trip

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2:30PM – 4:30PM 

What better way to see what’s new than to follow a global leader to their HQ and see how they’re pushing innovation? At this workshop, we’ll see how McDonald’s is bringing their new vision for the future to life through events. This promises to cover the strategic, design and engagement teams’ efforts to work together in a new way and set the pace for the McDonald’s brand of the future. Bah dah bah bah bah… we’re taking notes!


2. A New Approach to Breakouts

Thursday, May 4th, 10:15AM – 11:00AM

CPG is a big believer in how the real learning happens at the breakouts. To this effect, your events budget should allot for a bigger impact at each session. We’re excited to see how this presentation joins the team behind the reinvention of Oracle’s OpenWorld and dives into their “experiential education pilot program,” including a new session strategy, session process and session blueprint.


3. What Gen Z Wants from Brands and Brand Experiences

Thursday, May 4th, 10:15AM – 11:00AM

Our friend David Stillman will be happy to see that Gen Z gets a proper focus at EMS2017. A panel of Gen Z-influencers will discuss what it means to be a consumer and thought-leader in one of the most coveted demographics on earth. As we continue to cater our event engagement to our audience, we’ll learn what turns Gen Z on, what turns them off and which brands are cutting through the clutter. This session will undoubtedly pair nicely with CPG’s Millennial Alignment Program.


4. How to Transform Employees into Brand Advocates

Thursday, May 4th, 11:15AM – 12:00PM

Call us biased, but when we get the chance to share our story with Southwest Airlines, it’s a can’t-miss event! Our very own Fred Bendaña and SWA’s Leslie Shults will provide actionable tips on the kinds of content, experiences and messages employees respond to most. Implementing these engaging tactics will make your next internal meeting a love fest for your company culture and a platform for employee advocacy!


5. Using Event Technology with a Purpose

Thursday, May 4th, 3:15PM – 4:00PM

Events need to tell stories, and we can’t wait to hear how Microsoft leans on event technology to create impactful stories that will stay with attendees long after the event wraps. In this session, they’ll discuss when and how to deploy technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality with purpose and cinematic beauty. Plus, you’ll receive feedback on how to keep your brand and product messaging from dominating the creative process. 


6. Using ‘Innovation Labs’ to Amp up Attendee Engagement

Thursday, May 4th, 4:15PM – 5:00PM

CPG prides itself on developing innovative leadership programs that immerse attendees in interactive, educational ways. So it should come as no surprise that we are full-time believers in using innovation labs and are thrilled to hear the perspective of the founders of AT&T’s Innovation Lab and former head of PwC’s Experience Center on why brands are expanding their investments into their own labs, innovation hubs and experience centers. To help heighten the attendee experience, they’ll share the strategies, examples and fun and engaging experiences that can be created by tapping into your brand’s internal labs.


7. Trendwatch 2017

Closing session Friday, May 5th, 4:00PM – 4:45PM

After a myriad of interesting sessions and feverish note-taking, we’re certainly excited to join EMS founders Kerry Smith and Dan Hanover as they take to the main stage and present their annual Trendwatch. This breakdown of current industry trends will reveal what top brands are embracing, which emerging “heater” trends are just starting to pop and how leading experiential marketers are evolving. We’re anxious to find new ways to tap into attendee engagement and the experts are sure to deliver! 


BONUS: Women in Events: The Power of Networking

Friday, May 5th 10:30AM – 11:30AM

As we prepare for TEDxStLouisWomen, the largest women’s event in the St. Louis region, we’d love to down some mimosas and download some insights from Ms. Tech founder Nicole Yeary as she discusses the importance of networking for women in business. This “no dudes allowed” session features tips and advice for women who are committed to developing themselves as leaders through education, mentorship, networking and knowledge-sharing.


So, will we see you there?

Be sure to let us know if you’re heading to Chicago – we’d love to meet up and discuss how these trends and the overall drive of attendee engagement should be the focus for your next big event! Plus, if you still need a ticket, save $100 by using promo code CPGVIP.Transform your next event with these great ideas!