Navigating the Future of Tech Events: Insights from Sesame Summit 2024


Sesame Summit 2024

Joanna Kirk, Tech & Event PR Expert, co-hosted an interactive panel discussion on how to deal with the press in 2024 with journalist Anna Heim (TechCrunch). 

In the fast-paced world of technology and startups, staying ahead of the curve requires insight, innovation, and collaboration/community/collective. This ethos was at the forefront of the recent Sesame Summit 2024, held for the first time in the picturesque coastal city of Biarritz, France.

As an exclusive gathering of 50 handpicked guests from across Europe and beyond, including VC heads of communications, tech event organizers, and industry experts, the Summit served as a beacon of inspiration, a catalyst for change and a vibrant community gathering. 

During the Summit, participants delved deep into the evolving landscape of tech events, exploring key trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping the future of the industry. Throughout informal discussions and debate panels, the Summit provided a platform for thought leaders to exchange ideas, share best practices, and forge meaningful connections.

Insights from the PR Panel Discussion: Navigating the Changing Media Landscape

During the panel discussion on “How to Deal with the Press in 2024,” we delved deep into the evolving media landscape. Here are a few key takeaways from our discussion:

Blurred Boundaries: As communication channels multiply and digital landscapes evolve, the once clear-cut lines between PR and communication are blurring. Navigating this ambiguity demands a nuanced understanding of evolving media dynamics and a willingness to adapt strategies accordingly.

AI’s Impact: AI tools have impacted communications and media workflows, automating certain tasks and streamlining processes. Some of the tools mentioned include Otter.AI, Descript or ContentAI. Yet, with this efficiency also comes an inundation of content and a heightened demand for differentiation, challenging communications and PR professionals to cut through the noise and deliver truly impactful narratives.

Content Avalanche: Anna mentioned that the exponential surge in content volume has left journalists grappling with an avalanche of pitches and stories, amplifying the competition for attention. Standing out amidst this deluge necessitates a commitment to quality, relevance, and authenticity in storytelling. Events are an important means of connecting with journalists and building meaningful relationships. 

Evolving Partnerships: Traditional media partnerships are undergoing a lot of change, with brands and media outlets seeking innovative collaborations that transcend traditional boundaries. This evolution presents both opportunities and challenges, requiring brands to navigate shifting landscapes and forge authentic connections with their audiences.

How to create the best experience for journalists at events: Some key considerations include providing journalists with key information ahead of the event, avoiding scheduling conflicts with other events, facilitating interviews and networking, having a dedicated press lounge, ensuring moments of connection with speakers, providing guidance to meet key players & startups, providing moderation opportunities, avoiding spamming, curated content, and a local ecosystem press tour. 


Beyond the panel discussions, participants had the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers and contribute to the collective advancement of the industry. From candid conversations to spirited debates in breakout sessions, we were able to talk about the realities, challenges, and opportunities that define the tech event landscape. 

While the Summit provided a platform for immediate dialogue and exchange, the impact also lies in the ongoing conversations and collaborations that continue after the event has concluded. 

As someone who attended all eight Summit editions and took part in their inception, I was curious to see if the Summits’ essence, which consisted of informal discussions, community connections, and lively debates addressing collective topics in our industry, was still relevant.

The end of the Summit confirmed the feeling I had the first few minutes I set foot at Biarritz Aquarium at the welcome event, which is that there is still a need for moments/gatherings/a dedicated platform like this. And of course, communities, event formats, and challenges continuously evolve, but I believe that may be the exact reason why the essence of the Summit is alive and kicking. 


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