According to research from event platform Bizzabo, 80% of marketers were able to reach wider audiences and increase their ROI by hosting virtual events. To succeed in the virtual event market, 72% of respondents have adopted engagement tools and platforms to improve their event quality and reach.
The Evolution of Events Report highlights the current state of event marketing, exploring the benefits of hosting virtual events during the pandemic, the adoption of technology to manage events and the challenges with creating engaging events that drive value. The report also explores the potential future of event marketing, and the strategies marketers are planning to employ for 2021.
According to the report, the biggest challenges marketers faced when hosting virtual events include:
- Issues with providing networking opportunities;
- Maintaining engagement with attendees;
- Providing sponsors valuable opportunities; and
- Creating memorable experiences.
Other key takeaways from the report include:
- 63% of respondents partnered with production service companies such as ON24 to help execute virtual events;
- Only 14% of marketers feel confident in their ability to provide value for sponsors;
- 40% were able to include great speakers for their events, increasing attendee engagement and partnership opportunities;
- 59% have adopted a hybrid virtual and in-person solution to manage their events;
- 97% of respondents believe hybrid events are the way of the future in 2021; and
- Roughly 90% will resume in-person events by the fall of 2021.
“As we all know, COVID-19 hit the events industry with unprecedented force,” said Alon Alroy, Co-Founder, CMO and CCO of Bizzabo, in a statement. “To get a sense of how the industry is evolving as a result, we surveyed event marketers from some of the world’s largest brands. Our analysis revealed that the category has been forever changed. And, moving forward, the most successful events will be those that are hybrid — events that meaningfully integrate in-person and virtual experiences.”