No in-person events until 2nd half of 2021, marketers say

But satisfaction with virtual events suggests that professionals are currently agreeing on alternatives.

Marketers only accept online opportunities, such as personally attending a conference during the COVID-19 pandemic through 2021.

In our survey of more than 300 marketers, respondents expected to attend an event in person by the end of the first half of 2021. This is the same as the last time we saw the number of visitors. Events in June, but at the time we were wondering how likely we would be in person by the end of 2020.

This suggests that the growing number of cases, particularly in the United States, and the lack of a vaccine for COVID-19 make it difficult for people to imagine a time when large-scale events are safe.

This weekend, the United States surpassed 140,000 deaths from COVID-19, and in some countries where the number of cases is on the rise, the government is considering reopening plans and even ordering homes.

Several vaccines are in development but are still being tested.

Now online

While the suspension of personal conferences and business opportunities has been devastating for many non-marketing industries, the level of participation and satisfaction with online or “virtual” opportunities to replace canceled conferences is positive.

Nearly 70% of respondents said they would participate in online events only until a COVID-19 vaccine is produced, according to our chances of participation. But 81% said they had attended a virtual event in the past three months.

Even more encouraging for the organizers, 75% of our respondents said they were satisfied with these experiences.

Make the change

We can add more information to our next sign-up option to look for virtual experiences that marketers will appreciate, as experience varies from program to program, as well as personal opportunities.

Some organizers try to replicate the visual experience with virtual learning sessions, booths, and even networks, while others may only focus on educational sessions.

Interestingly, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research noted how the organizers who had to cancel the events responded personally and although the majority (80%) have gone virtual, the focus on exhibition experiences is not universal.

About 65% said they had held educational sessions online, 47% offered sponsored content or exhibitors, and 41% tried to present the entire shoulder experience, including online exposure, found CEIR.

Third Door Media, which publishes MarTech Today, MarketingLand, and Search Engine Land, featured two virtual events instead of conferences, Discover MarTech and SMX Next. In the autumn we will also hold a virtual MarTech conference.

Here are some things we have learned about virtual events.

• Creating vibrant opportunities couldn’t be easier. It requires a good team structure, a solid foundation for project management, and producers with knowledge of digital experience.

• Selected supplier. Event platforms are very popular today, but the ease of management, the experiences they offer to the public, and the pricing and support models they offer can be somewhat rigid. Don’t be afraid to give it a try if you plan to host multiple events.

• Content is still king. Organize a good session that is very useful for your audience. If you can add interactive questions and answers, real-time surveys, and other virtual enhancements to real-time or asynchronous networks, that’s great. But pay close attention to the quality of your content.

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