At Dow Jones, our mission is to provide the world’s most trusted journalism, data, and analysis to help people make decisions. Our unique collection of brands — including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch — are the sources that people turn to when navigating complexity and uncertainty. We help readers filter out the noise and deliver the information they need to take action.
As one of the most trusted news sources, we’re always looking for new ways to bring our quality journalism to live audiences across the U.S. and around the world. Online or on-site, our events bring together global decision-makers to pioneer impactful experiences that engage audiences, build meaningful communities, drive member value, and amplify our brands.
The return of in-person events brought an exciting opportunity for our team at Dow Jones: to develop a new and engaging hybrid event model. After two years of testing various online platforms, we hosted our largest hybrid event to date, The Wall Street Journal’s fourth annual Future of Everything Festival, in May 2022.
After a successful hybrid Festival in 2021, the events team was equipped with valuable insights and reinvigorated excitement to produce an action-packed 2022 programme filled with newsworthy moments and hands-on experiences. It was no surprise that the event generated a high level of interest and garnered 16k+ registrants.
Here are four key elements we offered festival attendees to make this hybrid event truly successful:
1. Newsmaking programming
Attendees with an eye on emerging trends heard and learned from scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and athletes, getting an informed first look at who is creating seismic shifts in how we live, work, and play. We hosted a star-studded roster of speakers, including:
- J Balvin, musician and entrepreneur.
- Jerome Powell, U.S. Federal Reserve chairman.
- Christina Tosi, Milk Bar founder and chef.
- Diane von Furstenberg, chairwoman and founder, Diane von Furstenberg.
2. Immersive activations
Alongside our newsmaking programming, we offered engaging and interactive experiences, including:
- Two Chef’s Table dinners featuring Cadence and Dirt Candy, female-owned, plant-forward restaurants in New York City. Guests enjoyed a multi-course meal and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with the head chefs.
- Classrooms offered attendees intimate opportunities to learn from TikTok influencers, visionaries from Roblox, and an empire-building yoga instructor.
- Our Drive-In Movie Experience screened the film Everything Everywhere All At Once against Manhattan’s skyline. Producer Anthony Russo offered opening remarks and it also included live music, graffiti artists, a taco truck, and backyard games for attendees.
- The Lab, our interactive hub, featured future-forward brands like Astreas, a chocolatier for astronauts; Magic Leap, a tech company that debuted its new AR glasses; and Grow Your Own Cloud, a research-led organisation exploring alternative relationships with nature and technology.
- Iconic Mints, Dow Jones’ first NFT exhibit, invited attendees to interact in-person and online with curated NFT collections through immersive visuals and audio guides. In recognising the carbon footprint associated with crypto mining, Dow Jones pledged to plant a tree for every visitor to the gallery, totalling over 1,600 trees.
3. Connective platform
Our online event platform served as the connective tissue between our in-person and online guests. This year, we integrated new features, including:
- The Future Feed: Our social media feed allowed attendees to stay connected and see behind-the-scenes videos of the stage and various demos.
- The Multiverse: Cutting-edge technology experiences included The Field, Iconic Mints, an interactive 3D digital twin of The Lab, and 360 videos from the festival.
- Video-On-Demand: This allowed our guests to catch up on any sessions they missed.
4. Engaging sponsored moments
Year after year, we collaborate with our sponsors to deliver best-in-class experiences and programming. This year, our sponsors included brands that offered impactful sessions focused on innovation, interactive experiences in The Lab, and an intimate dinner at the world-renowned Eleven Madison Park.
WSJ’s 2022 Future of Everything Festival proved to be a powerhouse event. After two years of mainly virtual and hybrid events, the events team applied its learnings to create one of the most immersive, live journalism experiences WSJ has offered to date.