Mathias Sondermann: Creating a Target Audience of One

Person in an office holding up a mobile phone with the Skift Meetings Podcast with an episode titles Creating a Target Audience of One featuring Mathias Sondermann

Skift Take

Dive into the AI-powered future of events with Mathias Sondermann, senior director of events at SAP, and learn from his experience in creating strategic event experiences.

Mathias Sondermann, senior director of events at SAP, is optimistic about the future of event marketing. He had no doubt that events are critical for creating memorable brand moments in an information-saturated world. “In a world where everybody’s confronted with floods of information in 10-second snippets, it is hard to make the difference. And events are by design the one thing that sticks, the one thing that creates deep emotions,” said Sondermann.

Embracing AI for Event Marketing

Sondermann is excited about the burgeoning role of AI technology in events, particularly its potential to personalize experiences. “AI will probably allow us to reach every single person in their preferred channel,” he stated. With AI, event invitations could be tailored to individual preferences, enhancing engagement and interaction—foreseeing a time when events cater to audiences of one without sacrificing the communal experience.

“AI can really make this relevant for this individual person, which will ultimately lead to trying and being able for companies and event planners to create target audiences of one. So, every single person will be able to consume and experience an event in their very special individual way”

The Shift in Event Roles

The traditional role of event planners is evolving from logistics to strategic planning, according to Sondermann. He sees this as a long-term impact of the Covid pandemic. Since this dark period for events, companies have gained a deeper understanding of their strategic important. This is leading to planners getting a “seat at the table” as they are more involved in the why behind events. He advised planners to be confident and patiently await their imminent inclusion in strategic discussions. “Not giving events the seat at the table is not going to be beneficial for companies,” he asserted.

Handling Event Stress

Reflecting on his journey in the world of corporate events, Sondermann has been no stranger to stress, and managing high-pressure situations. His personal strategy involves setting clear boundaries: “I decided to just decide to shut down. Nobody’s going to die if I don’t send out this email tonight.” He also touched on fostering inclusive environments and implementing dual roles to alleviate the pressure on his teams.

Looking Ahead

Sondermann believes the industry is at the cusp of a transformative era where events are more integral to marketing strategies. He sees technology playing a leading role in creating individualized yet communal experiences. He also feels that when event professionals can work on the big-picture strategy, it makes everyone’s contribution better. Now it’s up to event professionals to embrace the change, “The job itself is stressful enough. So let’s work on the environment and make that easier for everybody.”

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