Ariel Madway, Associate Director, Marketing Events on the upcoming events season

Company Culture
Industry Trends

Let’s recap! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role here at Cint for the stragglers at the back? 

I joined Cint at the start of 2023 to lead global events marketing, which encompasses everything that goes into how Cint shows up out and about at conferences around the world, as well as producing our own events too! 

Events season is in full swing and we’ve got some more great events coming up – could you give us a brief overview of what you’ve got planned? 

It is in fact the most wonderful time of the year! (And yes, I firmly believe that song is about events season not about Christmas.) 

We just wrapped a few big conferences – including SampleCon, MIE: The Art of Data and Insights, Quirk’s Chicago and IIEX North America – and the fun is just getting started!  

Coming up over the next couple weeks we will be at Quirk’s London, AdvertisingWeek EU (also in London) and ICOM Global Summit in Malaga, Spain.  

For Quirk’s London, we are hosting a Cint Coldbrew Coffee Bar (and just in case you’re curious how many UK coffee drinkers opt for non-dairy milk alternatives, we’ve run some fun coffee-related research to share with visitors popping by for a mid-conference caffeine boost!) and we’ll be taking the stage with our friends at Qudo to share a case study highlighting the relationship between niche targeting and customer centricity. 

At AdvertisingWeek EU, we’re bringing back the Cint Sweet Shoppe! We’re also going to be on stage twice: once to share hot off the press research on media and advertising influence on the upcoming election; and the other to debunk identity assumptions and discuss the importance of first-party data in a cookieless world.  

And for the ICOM Global Summit, Cint will be hosting two roundtable discussions: “Exploring Strategies for Effective Ad Measurement Beyond the Death of the Cookie” and  “State of the Industry: Tackling Fraud and Benchmarking Quality in Market Research” 

To round out the month, our APAC team also be at Cannes in Cairns! 

What inspired the themes or concepts behind these upcoming events? 

Specifically thinking about on-stage presentations, the first step in planning what to talk about at an event is always thinking:  

What is top of mind for the specific audience that will be in the room? Are there challenges the audience is facing that we have a solution to? Is there something the audience is particularly curious about that we can give them answers to?  

At the events we just came back from we talked about topics ranging from technological innovations to fight fraud – a huge problem facing the entire insights industry – to how political pollsters in the US paint an accurate picture in a polarizing Presidential election year. Extremely topical? Check. Helps those in the audience solve a problem they’re currently facing? Check. Feeds the world’s curiosity? Check.  

In terms of brand activations, I still always start by thinking about what the audience wants, but in the very short term.   

i.e. Events are exhausting and we all know that conference coffee is disgusting, so let’s set up a gourmet coffee bar to fuel the conference experience! Or, what do people love more when watching something than a sweet snack? Cue The Cint Sweet Shoppe: Your stop for confectionary concessions between back-to-back sessions. 

And then everything else comes from there. With the activations, booth design, merch, etc – I try to create a cohesive experience that ties in the fun, engaging bits with learning opportunities to create meaningful, memorable moments. 

What’s one thing you’re personally most excited about at these upcoming events? 

That’s a little like choosing a favorite child… 

But if I had to choose just one thing, I’m really jazzed to be getting on stage to present the research we did with AdvertisingWeek!  

It’s always fun to work with the AdvertisingWeek team to ideate these research projects, and the study we ran this year yielded some fascinating results that I’m pumped to start sharing with the world. 

Give us a little behind the scenes moment or anecdote from past events that illustrates the energy or atmosphere we’re building? 

One of the things I love about working in events is seeing all the little details that get planned behind the scenes come to life, and getting to feel the vibe and see how people engage with the experience in real time.  

But I think what even more so speaks to whether what we’re creating and bringing into the world is resonating with the audience and successfully creating those meaningful, memorable moments is the unsolicited feedback that comes weeks/months/sometimes even years after an event wraps. 

So, it’s not necessarily one anecdote, but the absolute best feeling for me is when someone comes up and says something from a previous event stuck with them.  

Things like: “I still think about how good that coffee was at Quirk’s New York! Are you bringing it back this year?” or “That presentation at Quirk’s Chicago was the best case study I’ve ever seen illustrating how aggregate sample is the key to accurate survey results. Gave me a lot to bring back to my team.” or “That Cint water bottle from TMRE is my daughter’s absolute favorite – she won’t go anywhere without it. Thank you!” 

Many people think about an event as just the dates that the event is on the calendar for; but, in reality the entire event experience starts way before the event kicks off and the impact of the event should last well after the booths are packed back up and the lights go out.