Most marketers prefer to attend in-person conferences by early 2022

As employers allow employees to travel again, professionals are also becoming addicted to virtual opportunities.

This is good news for organizers kicked out of conference centers by digital consoles: Most marketers are willing to return to conferences in person in early 2022. But the improvement of virtual conferences and the pandemic problems we face are waiting for us. for fewer programs.

About 38% of the roughly 250 marketers we surveyed in March said they were likely to see a live show in the first half of 2022, offering the customer a moderate to very likely opportunity. The numbers are decreasing as we get closer to the present, with only 21% saying they will attend regular meetings in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 17% less likely. Until the third term.

The findings were part of the March issue of the Event Attendance Index survey, which we have conducted regularly since the start of the pandemic to help organizers understand the marketing community’s attitudes toward attending the conference.

Marketers are more likely to attend face-to-face events as more employers impose restrictions on business travel. According to our survey, 23% of respondents said their company already enables business travel. About 30% said their employers lifted the restrictions in the third quarter, 17% said their employers lifted the restrictions in the fourth quarter, and 30% said their employers didn’t lift the restrictions until 2022.

The responses should give organizers hope that face-to-face programs will be successful if offered in the fourth quarter or early 2022, but also indicate that a percentage of marketers are still unsure whether they want to attend in person. To wear clothes.

In fact, 55% of respondents said they would only participate in virtual events until 2021.

Here to stay

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally disrupted personal events and the entertainment industry overnight but added new events to digital events. The record company also compared experiences, as large corporate shows and small regional conferences were often reduced to video training and networking. It is a medium that the public has discovered out of necessity and is likely to stay there.

About 92% of marketers who participated in our survey said organizers should offer virtual events, even if they return them in person. And the reasons are not surprising. Most say they can participate in different events and integrate them into the calendar more easily. Others mention the safety of the pandemic and the lower environmental impact of digital applications. But most respondents mention the costs.

“While we can only send one person to a live event based on cost, we can send a few workshops online,” one interviewer wrote.

While a personalized service can cost the company four figures to send a single employee in terms of tickets, travel, and hotels, virtual events were largely free or cheaper. The average ticket price for a virtual event was $ 443 in the last six months of 2020, according to a survey by event manager Bizzabo.

Martech appears

The core of virtual events has led to software such as webinars, recording and management platforms, video, and of course conference platforms. Some platforms were so interested that waiting lists were formed. ON24, one of the most famous players of the webinar and digital event, received the ticket with a prize in February. And Google’s video conferencing platform is no longer a secondary issue, but it’s been aggressively updated and improved to keep up with Zoom.

But the huge demand for technological resources for virtual events has not yielded clear leaders. He also highlighted the ingenuity of marketing teams to use different technologies to provide online opportunities. In a recent survey among event organizers, Zoom was by far the most common technology respondent to say it wants or wants to use it, with a 13% adoption rate, according to the CEIR Global Virtual Event Trends report. In the second-highest percentage, 6% of respondents said they use a combination of internal resources for this purpose. Popular tools like ON24, YouTube, Vimeo, and StreamYard are or are used by only 2% of respondents.

Of the 100 instruments mentioned, 80 were used by 1% or less of the interviews.


Although virtual apps have entered the world of events, marketers still hope to return to personal experiences and are currently being vaccinated or inoculated. According to our research, only 13% indicated that they do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

When they return, however, they expect their personal experience to change. Most respondents said they would like to see mandatory masks, health posts, and greater distances. Others want organizers to ask visitors for proof of vaccination.

Some have even suggested that the sites have the latest air filter systems to remove pollution.

All of this points to the key question for organizers: how much does it all cost? Organizers will have to weigh the impact of these costs against the possibility of fewer visitors.

“Do not be greedy and do not be too many people,” said one interviewer. “It reduces everyone’s ability to feel safe again.”

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