Conferences can create a perfect storm for brands and retailers, uniting enthusiasts and building community to amplify awareness and drive sales. But given the explosive rise in consumer-facing events, brands need to do more to stand out among a sea of competitors. L'Oréal's determination to elevate its cosmetics brand with tech at events such as South by Southwest and the Consumer Electronics Show, as well as Revolve's festival-within-a-festival at Coachella and OGX's sponsorship of Governors Ball provide a foil to the declining relevance of the product-launch strategy that many brands and retailers continue to employ, but that lacks resonance among shoppers.

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