DiscoverThe Digiday PodcastHow Apartment Therapy's Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate
How Apartment Therapy's Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate

How Apartment Therapy's Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate

Update: 2022-11-29
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For Apartment Therapy, it just makes sense to bridge its events business with commerce. Not because the expectation is to make $10 million from affiliate commissions, according to the company’s president Riva Syrop, but because it’s only fair to give attendees every opportunity to make a purchase as possible – the struggle she often faced when attending industry trade shows.

So during this year’s flagship shopping event Small/Cool, as well as smaller co-sponsored events like Dine By Design, Sryop’s team worked to figure out how this model worked both for consumers and sponsors alike, including using transaction data as a KPI.

That said, as the economy toughens and advertisers look for more bottom-of-funnel advertising strategies, experiential – regardless of how transaction-focused it is – is one campaign type that might get put on the back burner until late 2023.

“[2022 has] definitely not been my favorite year, if I’m being honest. It has been a slog.” said Syrop during the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. “Advertising was very difficult. A lot of our normal, big partners pulled back in the back half. So we did fine this year, but I feel much more optimistic about what's to come [in 2023] than what we're coming out of,” she added.

Apartment Therapy earns about 70% of its revenue from advertising, equally split between the direct and programmatic businesses. Commerce contributes 15% and events contributes another 10%, with the remaining 5% coming from the company’s licensing businesses, which includes product and content licensing through a number of partnerships.

To give more “breathing room” to both advertisers and consumers, Syrop said that Small/Cool will be moved from its Q2 timing to the back half of the year in 2023, with the hope that the economic downturn will have bounced back by then.

“What we often see is consumer content consumption behaviors change, you sometimes see consumer purchasing behavior change, sometimes the advertiser behaviors change, but rarely do they all change at the exact same time. So this was definitely a readjustment year for us,” she said.

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How Apartment Therapy's Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate

How Apartment Therapy's Riva Syrop is pivoting its events business around the economic climate

Digiday