The majority of marketers are increasingly turning to virtual and hybrid events as part of an overall marketing strategy, according to Unisfair, an InterCall company and provider of virtual events and business environments. The company recently announced new research that shows virtual engagement are emerging as “the new normal” in marketing, training and collaboration.
Based on responses from more than 550 marketers nationwide, the second annual Unisfair survey reveals 60% of respondents plan to increase spending of virtual events and environments this year.
According to the survey, 42% of marketers plan to decrease spending on physical conferences and tradeshows over the next year. Respondents are increasingly turning to virtual events, with 40% indicating the primary benefit of holding a virtual event is the ability to reach a much larger audience for less money. Other benefits highlighted by respondents included: “I get the same or better results as a physical event for less effort” (24%); and “I get quantifiable results” (19%).
Virtual events offer broad business benefits to diverse audiences, respondents indicated they plan to host virtual events for a number of purposes in the next 12 months, including:
1. Training (42%)
2. Customer engagement (36%)
3. Internal collaboration (34%)
4. Lead generation (29%)
5. Networking (8%)
Virtual engagement shows growth in the near future; 46% of those polled predict more than 50% of corporate events will be hybrid within two years, with another 41% predicting that shift will take place within five years. Additionally, most respondents would like the ability to attend a virtual event from a mobile device.
Being able to multitask and having the choice to be “invisible” until the user would like to engage with colleagues or vendors was found to be two of the best features.
“This research proves that no matter the business purpose, virtual business environments are here to stay and are rapidly becoming a marketing standard,” said Joerg Rathenberg, VP of Marketing, Unisfair. “It also indicates that virtual events are being adopted across industries and enterprises and will continue to be the preferred way to meet, market, collaborate and educate for both hosts and attendees alike.”