Conde Nast Hosts First Virtual Events Upfront

Condé Nast hosted its first virtual-events upfront this afternoon, presenting its programming slate to advertisers.

Condé Nast says its recent pivot to virtual programming, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has included more than 150 virtual events globally, reaching more than 700,000 consumers at home.

To date, 80% of Condé Nast virtual-event attendees are Gen-Z and millennials, who have spent 650,000 hours engaged in the company’s virtual events.

For example, Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ brand them hosted 12,000 virtual attendees at “Out Now Live,” which was created in response to cancelled Pride festivals.

For the first time, presenting partners will have the opportunity to buy into Condé Nast’s events at scale, according to the presentation hosted by Craig Kostelic, Chief Business Officer of U.S. advertising revenue and head of global advertising solutions, and Eric Johnson, senior vice president of commercial marketing and events.



“With consumers still at home, brands are facing a huge challenge when it comes to connecting with audiences in authentic and engaging ways,” stated Johnson. 

Virtual events can also be integrated with shoppable technology, which can shorten the path to purchase, according to the company.

“In the absence of live events, virtual experiences have become an increasingly popular entertainment option for consumers,” stated Pamela Drucker Mann, Global Chief Revenue Officer and president, U.S. revenue. “And because virtual experiences offer advertisers the immediacy of live television alongside a number of additional consumer touchpoints — while many popular streaming services don’t — these events represent a tremendous opportunity to connect with and engage consumers in new ways.”

Advertising partners will also have access to Spire, Condé Nast’s audience targeting capability, in addition to social amplification and syndication across the company’s distribution network.

According to a Condé Nast consumer study conducted in May, 70% of the 1,200 respondents said they had already attended a virtual event. Some 87% said they had a positive experience, while 94% said they would attend future virtual events.

Also, 90% said they would seek out virtual events even after the pandemic subsides.

Popular virtual event topics for the respondents include cooking, music and health and wellness. Interactivity was a key component.

Condé Nast's event slate announced at the upfront “aims to tackle relevant cultural, economic and political themes,” according to a release.

Two new events were announced during the presentation.

“Checking In” will be a free, three-week virtual event hosted by Self that will focus on inclusive wellness, featuring conversations between editors and influencers from the magazine, as well as from GQ, Allure and Epicurious. 

Starting September 28, the event will provide advice, interactive tools, master classes, roundtables, group activities and workshops.

Starting in September, the new “Road to Summit” from Teen Vogue will be a three-event series of monthly workshops designed to help young people achieve their goals. There will be three themes: fashion + media, neauty + wellness and politics + culture.

The popular “New Yorker Festival,” “Glamour Women of the Year,” “Forces of Fashion” and the “Teen Vogue Summit” will be transformed into virtual events this year.

“The New Yorker Festival” is returning this October as a seven-day virtual event series.

Attendees in the New York City area will also get curated activities to do inside and outside the home, including culinary experiences, screenings and opportunities to explore the city.

Glamour’s 30th anniversary “Women of the Year” festival will honor the women who have changed 2020, in a 60-minute film that will air on October 19.

Vogue’s annual “Forces of Fashion” event is returning virtually for its fourth year in November. The “Teen Vogue Summit” will focus on career, culture, politics and style with workshops, speakers, performances and networking opportunities this December.

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