3 Ways Gen Z is Changing the Meetings & Events Industry in 2024

3 Ways Gen Z is Changing the Meetings & Events Industry in 2024

I’ve been speaking (and posting) about Gen Z for a long time and continue to be fascinated with their habits, especially their obsession with the 90’s style – that one I will never quite understand. These kiddos continue to have a limitless impact on literally everything, and the target of understanding them seems to always be moving. However, I believe that as meetings and events (and travel) are bouncing back after the pandemic, there are a few ways we can adapt to their desires.

1. Build Towards Hybrid & Virtual Experiences

The traditional 4-wall event boundaries have been obliterated thanks to new technology and hybrid and virtual events forced by the pandemic. Gen Z can now expect that events blend physical and online participation as their inherent comfort with technology has driven a significant shift towards making events more accessible, inclusive, and globally connected. That means Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being increasingly utilized by event producers to create immersive environments, allowing attendees to engage from anywhere in the world.

2. Emphasis on Authenticity and Social Responsibility

Gen Z seeks genuine connections and experiences, pushing event organizers to prioritize authenticity in the way the event looks, feels, and is communicated (BizBash has a great article on how to bring authenticity to an event). Also, Gen Z is very committed to social causes which is influencing events to incorporate sustainability practices, diversity, and inclusivity wherever they can. They are after all the most diverse generation ever and have expectations of your event mirroring who they are at their core.

3. Influence of Social Media and Influencer Culture

The power of social media over Gen Z has forever changed the way events are marketed and experienced. Events are increasingly using social media geared toward the younger generations (i.e. TikTok) to amplify their reach and make events more interactive. Also, the rise of influencer culture has become a powerful tool. If events can engage with social media influencers in the right way, it will not only promote the event but lead to that desired authenticity mentioned in point 2.

The Sum

Gen Z is driving some serious transformative changes in the meetings and events industry.  Though technology and digital seem to be at the core, they are after all only human and desire a more meaningful and educational experience when attending your next event. The bar may seem high, however, the most minor tweaks will knock it out of the park for this generation.

Your 2024 Marketing Starting Lineup

Your 2024 Marketing Starting Lineup

2023 was a spectacular year for marketing podcasts! All my friends at Marketing Podcast Network absolutely crushed it. And for my little show, the Marketing Starter Podcast, well, we had a pretty darn good year. We got some big bumps in listenership and hosted 21 world-class guests! I wrapped up the year with a fantastic episode on customer experience with Dan Gingiss, aka The Experience Maker, but there were many other great marketing minds that I got to sit down with throughout the year.

It all started with my good friend and founder of CMO Huddles, Drew Neisser, where we talked about Selling (Marketing) through service. Soon after, I got to hang out with Robin Daniels and talk about how to remove the tension between brand building and delivering results. Then I met with Kent Lewis, Hema Thanki, Karla Jo Helms ★, and Ethan Beute, MBA, to name a few more. Every guest had a unique take on starter marketing that formed from their unique backgrounds and work styles. From product marketers to public relations leaders, chief marketing officers to chief evangelists, we put pins all over the map!

2024 is bound to be even better. Today I’m kicking off season 4 this week with my first guest of the new season, Bryan Law, CMO of ZoomInfo. We dug deep into how being distinctive is more valuable than being different – a great tip for marketing starters kicking off the new year.

Be on the lookout for interviews with Ali Hanyaloglu, Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, Steven MacDonald,  Oliver JP Osborne, and more in 2024!

Have a listen and tune in twice a month at tnhines.com/podcast or on your favorite platform.


3 Considerations For Marketers When Chasing AI

3 Considerations For Marketers When Chasing AI

By now, every marketer is aware of AI, as it’s the hottest issue in marketing since email marketing debuted nearly 40 years ago, and everyone has been talking about it in depth this year. Most of the content out there to date has been focused on getting the world up to speed on all the interesting tools that marketers have at their disposal and how to use them to ease marketing efforts.

But the question is, just because AI is the shiny new toy for marketers to play with, should you? My quick take is, yes, why not, as long as you dont use a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. In this article, I want to call attention to a few things to consider before you jump into AI head first.

1. Brand & Tone

Let’s be honest, robots sound like robots and if you copy and paste from Chat GPT, your customers will sniff it out. AI is fantastic at writing information based on what it learns about your business, but it doesn’t understand your brand’s complete uniqueness, yet. Human oversight is essential, as AI algorithms lack the contextual understanding required for more complex brand communication. It can however discern patterns and nuances that define a brand’s voice by analyzing vast volumes of consumer interactions and content that already exists about your business.

2. Confidentiality & Privacy

AI-powered analytics let you process vast amounts of consumer data, so you can tailor marketing campaigns. However, this capability raises concerns about the confidentiality of personal medical information — if it’s a concern for your customer, then it should be a concern for you. As AI delves deep into consumer behaviors and preferences, there’s an inherent risk of mishandling sensitive data, potentially leading to breaches of confidentiality and privacy. Striking the right balance between utilizing AI’s insights and safeguarding customer information has become paramount.

3. Differentiation

Back to my brand voice point above… If you just copy and paste what AI creates for you, then how will you maintain differentiation and a competitive edge? You have to be intent and specific in the way that you use AI and make sure that you aren’t doing the same thing that every other business is doing. Through data-driven insights, AI can distill invaluable information about consumer preferences, behaviors, and trends, allowing marketers to craft more targeted and relevant offerings. The key here is never forgetting who you are as a brand and what you believe in and keep it unique.

The Sum

From personalized customer experiences to enhanced engagement, and data-driven insights to predictive analytics, AI is redefining how marketers connect with their audience and operate within their landscapes. The integration of AI not only improves marketing operational efficiency but also enables marketers to provide more personalization and stand out from the competition. Ultimately, AI empowers marketers to embody innovation, customer centricity, and adaptability and ultimately helps them be more human in their approach to marketing.

This post was originally posted in partnership with PCCA on their blog in a pharmacy marketing format.

Celebrating My Book-Versary

Celebrating My Book-Versary

This week I celebrate the one-year anniversary of publishing my very first book, The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Make You a More Savvy Marketer. And after selling a ton of copies, giving a ton more away, collecting some fantastic reviews, and of course, helping fellow marketers, I can safely say it’s been quite a year!

From time to time I have people ask me how sales are going, but honestly, as cheesy as it may sound, that was something I never cared too much about. Sure, sales have been pretty good for a first-time author, but it’s not like I pine over my Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account every night watching my sales tick up. Actually, I think I have peeked at it a total of twice since launch.

What I cared about were two things. One, offering great advice to business folks searching for a unique path to navigate their careers, and two, building my personal brand, adding to my resume and checking a very cool item off my bucket list (I can say that now that I’m 40).

It was a great time to publish when the book came out in early 2022; the world was looking a bit brighter as the pandemic was finally weaning and business seemed to be getting back to normal. Now, especially in marketing, we’re starting to see more market uncertainty, which only further validates my hypothesis that marketers need to forge a starter path to make it.

Whatever comes in the future, I do know this: writing a book was one of the most challenging things that I have done in both my personal and professional life — especially learning to self-publish!

Just like last year, it’s time to pop some champagne!

Would you kindly help me celebrate by nominating me for the AMA’s Leonard L. Berry Marketing Book Award? All you need to do is click the link above to create a quick nomination account and fill out the form. Here’s everything you need:

  • Author’s Name: Tim Hines
  • Exact Title of the marketing book: The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Make You a More Savvy Marketer
  • Date Published: March 28, 2022
  • Publishers Name: Marketing Starter Publishing

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read the book, and this post, and nominating me for the award!

Events are Back and so am I

Events are Back and so am I

Just like everyone else in 2020 and 2021, it felt like life was put on hold both personally and professionally. Sure, I kept the hustle going and made time to travel as circumstances would allow, but my passion for speaking and sharing ideas with the world certainly took a big pause.

When there are no events, there are no speaking gigs to be had.

I was able to do a few virtual conferences to keep the craft alive, but sitting in my home office dressed from the waist up is not the same as taking the stage in front of hundreds of eager minds all jazzed up from new ideas and in-person connection.

The great news is that events were back in 2022, which means so was I. I was able to pick up my speaking business once again and get back on the road sharing ideas and vibing with the crowd. For me, it all kicked off in Houston at AMA Houston’s Marketing Edge conference in January, where honestly, I felt like me again — feeding off the energy of the crowd, telling jokes, and sharing some hot takes.

It was so refreshing!

From there I crisscrossed the country from San Diego to Boston, Vegas to Kansas City, to keynote at 17 different events in marketing, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, business travel, and healthcare. I even reached a professional milestone: speaking internationally for the very first time at the Global Business Travel Association European conference in Brussels in November.

Beyond that, I had the opportunity to do my first emceeing gig at DigiMarCon and Product Marketing World — which led to Akeneo hiring me to host their North American customer conference in Boston.

I guess I’m a professional emcee now, too!

The excitement for events was back in the air and that helped to drive some serious inspiration for me as a content creator. I was able to hone my craft and create some new talks that have given audiences and event organizers new insights. All of my content is now positioned about H2H or human-to-human communication (which, in business, we would think is a no-brainer). However, we seem to be drifting further and further away from H2H as time goes on. My talk on post-digital, Gen Y & Gen Z, and of course H2H all speak to this and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds have found them to be very inspirational and insightful.

All told, 2022 was a great year and it felt so good to be back on the road and on the stage. I’m looking forward to 2023 and everything it has in store.

See you on the road!