Virtual events will remain – still, many marketers are hopeful of attending in-person business events in the latter part of 2021.
The pandemic induced lockdowns and the social distancing rules norms have ruled out the in-person business events globally. Hence, the marketing landscape has moved to digital platforms completely. Even though people expect the virtual events to stay a while, many still expect the normalcy to return and participate in physical events soon.
Business leaders are already having low expectations about safely attending in-person events in 2020. This is not surprising as the world is passing through an unprecedented time due to the widespread COVID-19. The latest Event Participation Index from MarTech Today has bottomed out the likelihood of marketers of attending conferences.
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However, many marketers are hopeful of traveling and attending events, trade shows, and conferences in the second half of 2021. This is despite the concerns over second and third waves of the pandemic – which has begun to show. Around 350 marketing professionals have been surveyed to get insights around the subject.
Unsurprisingly, the sentiment about joining events in 2020 hit only two out of ten. This is a new low compared to the previous surveys. The optimism increased up to 40% when asked about attending in-person events during the H1 2021. And more market leaders gave the prospect for the same in the second half of 2021 – nearly 60% of them.
This rising optimism could be secured to the expectation of an effective, extensively accepted vaccine to be available soon. With the absence of a vaccine, about 68% of the surveyed marketers indicated that they would only be comfortable attending virtual events – through the H1 2021.
The disruptions associated with the pandemic have triggered considerable financial strain for the event organizers. This is primarily for the larger trade shows, business expos, etc. However, many marketing agencies could successfully convert lined-up events to virtual experiences. Indeed, virtual events will remain, even after the pandemic.
Nearly 67% of marketers revealed that they would actually pay and attend virtual events. In fact, the vast majority of marketers are willing to spend between $99 and $499. Even some said they are okay with paying more than $499. Thus, it is safe to say it is all about the quality, knowledge, and unique experience – along with convenience.
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Although virtual events are hassle-free and effective, the networking and lead generation part still remains tricky to facilitate. However, the latest pulse in the marketing sector is a virtual marketplace, and marketers are getting the hang of it, including socialization and innovation.
Experts noted, marketers need to discover more innovative ways to stay relevant in these unprecedented times.