IMEX: BuzzHub

Maintaining attendee engagement ahead of IMEX America 2021.

The Brief

Use Smyle’s knowledge of virtual events to create experiences that are fun, rewarding and continuously evolving. 

The Approach

With the coming return of IMEX America as a physical event in November 2021 we developed the IMEX Buzzhub. This is a branded online community built using Swapcard – an end-to-end event platform with customisable elements powered by artificial intelligence, along with additional add-on technologies like for tailored community experiences.

Everything we did focused on delivering value to event professionals. Speakers, key content and fringe activities and even sponsored elements all added value and kept the audience connected to the IMEX brand. 

The highlights of the campaign were the three ‘Buzz Days’. Each had its own theme (‘Building back better’, ‘Extreme innovation’ and ‘Future focus’) and each was packed with fun presentations, opportunities to interact with speakers and time set aside to ‘just talk’ about areas of mutual interest. In a bid to keep innovating, each Buzz Day had a mix of activities and formats. Participants had choices of what they could do: listen to a thought-leading speaker, ask questions in an intimate Q&A, or join a forum. But it wasn’t all work-focused and enabling authentic human interaction between participants was encouraged. There was even a co-located Buzz Day, where attendees could jump between two entirely different events, and another aimed just at the large German audience – broadcast entirely in German.

The Results

IMEX and Smyle worked in a collaborative way to make the IMEX BuzzHub a success. Over 2,300 professionals registered with 400-800 session views each month. Participant feedback scored an average of 4.5 out of 5 for all content and experiences. The primary goal of the campaign was to keep IMEX front-of-mind and encourage attendance at the November 2021 show in Las Vegas. With 582 BuzzHub participants indicating that the experience positively impacted their likelihood to attend (and lots of content sharing across social channels), we can take at least some of the credit for the 5,000+ that turned up for the main event, which was buzzing with energy. In one final push, Smyle delivered live content from the show floor for BuzzHub virtual participants during the show.