Brian Friedman

Five Influential Events that Build Authentic Connections

GettyImages-638065914-1-608x400 (2).jpgEvents are essential for bringing people together face-to-face. In-person experiences will never be replaced by digital communication channels such as webinars and podcasts. Attendees will continue to find value in events that are designed to help them make new connections. We need to produce experiences that leverage the physical nature of events that build real brand value.

The first World Expo in 1851 was organized to bring the best manufacturers together and was pivotal for advancing our society by aligning innovators with similar interests. The conversations that took place in-person at the World Expo were invaluable and are responsible for some of our greatest inventions. The worlds most influential brands are driven by their communities, and this is all made possible by strong relationships. You should spend time focusing on producing an environment for networking and education.

In 2017 there were five special events that brought together influential communities. They focused on attracting the right attendees, and they created inspiring experiences driven by common missions.


The Adobe 99U Conference is described as “a one-of-a-kind live experience that inspires creative professionals to bring their ideas to life and shape the future of the industry.” 99U designed and launched an environment for unexpected connections to form. They brought together thought leaders in the creative industry to share unique stories and to work together in collaborative workshops.


SXSW has celebrated the convergence of interactive, film and music since 1987. The event has been pivotal in identifying what’s next and helping creative people achieve their goals collaboratively. SXSW is based on the mission “that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.” Creative professionals continue to go to SXSW every year to form meaningful connections, and SXSW has design their agenda to boost the connection process.

The Human Gathering

The Human Gathering is a community of people who want to leave a mark on the world. The event is invite-only and brings the world’s top business executives together to form authentic human connections through thought-provoking conversations. The Human Gathering believes that “powerful alliances are formed that give birth to the next dynamic offspring of growth and change.” Business executives are able to start taking action on world-changing ideas, and this direction is all made possible with the right connections.


SUMMIT LA is hosted by Summit Series who has been designing experiences for the past twelve years to help foster relationships and inspire new perspectives. The agenda for SUMMIT LA is truly unique with six immersive pillars that bring together innovators from the art, culinary, wellness, and technology industries. Summit seeks out the best-known leaders and invites them to choose their own unique adventure full of surprises. Through serendipity, leaders are inspired to take action on ideas that will be pivotal for advancing our society.


MOZCON is a community of marketing leaders who share next-level marketing tactics over the course of three days. The event aligns all of their attendees on a single track with forward-thinking actionable sessions during the day and passion-talks at night. Attendees share their personal hobbies and passion outside of work, which helps spark authentic connections. When building a community, it’s important to identify main affinities and MOZCON has designed an experience to align common interests.

Events bring communities of like-minded people together to learn, share and collaborate. Communities are the building blocks of world-class brands and are responsible for growing large profitable businesses. For your next event, identify a mission that aligns your community, and focus on creating unique experiences that help create real connections. After your event, you’ll see positive business results with a richer marketing and sales pipeline, and a team that is inspired by your brand’s mission and purpose.

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This Post was Written by Brian Friedman

Brian is the VP of Digital Innovation at etouches. At etouches he leads the company’s strategic objectives related to mobile, data and engagement technology. This includes driving user experience design, setting product direction, and guiding...

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