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Prior to 2020, in-person events were just… events. Everything happened at convention centers, exhibit halls, hotels, and whatnot. Owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, many businesses, schools, and communities had to rely on virtual events to meet and collaborate.
Virtual events have grown in popularity since then. According to a LinkedIn report, over 67 percent of all marketers have increased the time and money they invest in webinars and other virtual event solutions.
However, as the pandemic begins to abate and normalcy returns, a lot of people are wondering if virtual events will now become a thing of the past.
In 2022, vFairs got in touch with several event profs to understand “The Future of Virtual Events”. We surveyed individuals from different industries including corporate, healthcare, government, and event services from all across the world to find out what they think of the future of virtual events.
We wanted to understand the following:
Let’s have a look at the high-level results.
Here are the main findings from the research:
In-person events rely on people who have the resources and time to travel to conferences and trade exhibitions, keeping a big chunk of the population out of the loop.
Going virtual eliminates those limitations. To put it another way, you’re putting your event right into the home and offices of your potential attendees.
Our survey corroborated this. 93.2% event profs claimed their virtual events from 2021 were successful and 59.3% stated that they were very successful.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many physical events go virtual, from concerts and festivals to conferences and seminars. Virtual gatherings are essential for many people in establishing social and professional relationships.
Despite the popularity and ease of virtual events, in-person offer the ability to connect with attendees on a deeper level. Our survey showed event profs missed hosting and being part of in-person events so we’ll be seeing a lot more of these in the future.
With that said, the virtual events fanbase is still going strong. According to our survey, 95.5% of people will continue to use virtual events as a part of their events strategy. This could be in the form of hosting hybrid events or taking turns hosting virtual & in-person events for more diversity and increased reach. Event profs stated multiple reasons for this strategy: virtual events have helped them boost attendance, save costs, gain more sponsorships, lower administrative burden, and boost inclusivity.
As the pandemic gradually becomes news of the past (fingers crossed!), event profs will include all three event formats – virtual, in-person & hybrid – to create a more comprehensive events strategy and reap several benefits. Here is a look at the report summarized.
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