Exclusive: A Look Inside Paramount's Upfront Dinners for 2024

The company left its decades-long upfront event at Carnegie Hall in 2023

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After surprisingly ditching its decades-long Carnegie Hall upfront week event in 2023, Paramount is set for another round of its “intimate, bespoke” upfront dinners.

The company confirmed in January that it would once again host smaller client gatherings in lieu of a lavish, one-off upfront event, which a spokeswoman told ADWEEK is “more effective and efficient,” creating an opportunity for two-way conversations with partners.

“We received great feedback around this model last year and look forward to hosting our partners again this year,” the spokeswoman said.

Paramount has already held gatherings for clients in Los Angeles and Chicago. And for the 2024 New York events—taking place over two weeks starting Monday—the company is once again transforming Chelsea Factory with Paramount branding.

Paramount branding on the exterior of Chelsea Factory.Courtesy of Paramount

Last year’s events featured memorabilia from iconic Paramount intellectual property, including costumes from Star Trek and the Lombardi Trophy ahead of CBS’ showing of the Super Bowl.

This time around, a cocktail area will be enveloped in a large, curved LED screen, acting as a “living diorama” and window into Paramount’s content.

The LED will feature exclusive, original videos shot for the events and the specialized screen, giving viewers a look through the lens of production while aiming to create a feeling of being on set.

Featured scenes include content from CBS Mornings, Criminal Minds, Ghosts, Halo, Mayor of Kingstown, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Daily Show, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Yellowstone.

The LED screen surrounds Paramount’s upfront cocktail area.Courtesy of Paramount

Last year’s events included talent such as Stephen Colbert, Gayle King and Yellowstone actors, and this year’s events will also feature various talent stopping by, according to the company. However, Paramount wouldn’t disclose which of its stars would participate.

“From talent appearances and remarks to set design, visual effects and programming throughout the evening, guests will see and feel all the TV and movie magic that’s foundational to the company’s legacy and future as a core theme,” the spokeswoman said.

In its first year of dinners in 2023, Paramount had a successful upfront season, closing talks up low- to mid-single digits in dollar commitments. Additionally, outgoing CEO Bob Bakish noted in an earnings call in 2023 that the dinners “cost significantly less than the old model.”

When talking to ADWEEK about the dinners last year, ad sales chief John Halley said, “We’re not going to go back to the old way of doing things.”

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