How Popsugar’s Play/Ground exhibits the publisher event model in 2023

If Complex Networks’ ComplexCon has been the paragon of a publisher event, Popsugar’s Play/Ground offers an alternative, more replicable model, especially as companies like Popsugar parent Vox Media ramp up their experiential businesses to span more than 100 in-person events this year.

This year, Popsugar pared down its health- and wellness-centric event from a two-day, 15,000-person festival to a one-day, 600-attendee affair that it hosted on June 2 in Los Angeles, as documented in the video below.

“We decided that the experience in person was better, smaller and more intimate and people just had a better experience here so they could really have conversations and engage with each other, engage with our vendors,” said Tara Reilly, vp of experiential and partnerships at Vox Media.

The event’s attendee count may have been smaller, but its list of activities was packed, from beauty treatments and B12 shots to fitness classes and on-stage sessions.

“I did the sculpt class. I got a B12 vitamin shot. I’ve had food. I got a little eye makeup done. So I’ve just been taking it all in,” said one attendee.

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