Although this study starts off on a strange note stating “In the three years since their inception, virtual events have demonstrated robust growth,” I would say virtual events have been around for easily 10 maybe 15 years. They certainly have seen tremendous growth in just the last three years so some might think they just came into existence but companies like Unisfair and iTradeFair have been out since about 2000 with other homegrown solution even older.
Other than that I think the report has some good information and you should take a moment to go to ON24.com to download it but you will have to fill out a lead form.
The basic question the study is seeking to answer is: does the current rapid adoption signify that virtual events are firmly becoming the next great apparatus in the marketer’s tool chest, or is this simply a product of the downed economy? And if they are here to stay, where do virtual events fit in the mix, and how can they be used to marketers’ best advantage?
The study confirmed long established benefits of adding virtual extensions to physical events:
- Virtual has the ability to attract larger and more varied audiences.
- The intelligence that you’re able to collect around leads is a lot richer than what you can get through a live event.
- The ability to view on-demand content is valuable.
- You can attract better speakers that otherwise might not be willing or able to travel to a physical event.
- You have the ability to accommodate a larger and broader array of content and more niche content.
- They enhance physical events and provide an improved means for communicating with customers on a more frequent basis.
- Marketers see them as a means of generating leads, building brand exposure and awareness, and serving as a means of educating customers and prospects.
Some interesting stats:
- 84% of respondents said they have taken some action as a direct result of attending a virtual event, and 61% have taken two or more actions.
- Three-quarters (76%) of respondents report no change in their likelihood to attend physical conferences.
- 21% said virtual events will cause them to attend fewer physical conferences.
- 40% have attended a Virtual Trade Show .
- Close to half (49%) of respondents report revisiting the event on-demand.
- 83% had heard about the events via email an 22% indicate they heard through social media.