The past few years have drastically changed the way we do business, particularly in the events industry. At Digital Leaders, we ran an in-person programme until mid 2019. About 6 months ahead of the pandemic we began running virtual events. Our first virtual week was interesting, it was experimental, we were doing it in a world where everyone was still doing in-person events.
As the first lockdown hit, we managed to pivot easily into a very busy virtual programme of events using a wide range of platforms and event management tools that were built specifically for the online event space. We were able to adapt quickly and become an expert in this field.
As we now come out of lockdown, we can see a rush back to in-person events. But the turnout has been mixed, for many a failure, but why. Instead of guessing, we have carried out an “Attitudes to Events’ survey asking delegates, speakers, event orgainsers and sponsors to tell us their attitudes to virtual and in-person events in the year ahead.
The findings of the survey were presented during DLWeek as a webinar which you can watch here:
There were four key takeaways from the survey:
1. Virtual events are here to stay. Having come out of lockdown we could have expected to see that everyone was heading back in the room, but that is not the case. Delegates as a persona are most keen to continue to reap the benefits of virtual events and the sector should take note
2. Travel and cost are the biggest differentiator. With an average of 90% across all personas saying travel and cost are the biggest benefit to virtual, followed by accessibility, sustainability and accessing speaker materials afterwards
3. The opportunity to connect is still a big focus for sponsors. The biggest drawback of a virtual event is seen as being less able to make connections, but delegates are least concerned by this, but for Sponsors it’s crucial.
4. There is clear demand for accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity. Whether participating in a virtual or in-person event, those that participated in the survey clearly call for more of these three factors.accessible, something that we need to be mindful of the next time we participate in an event, regardless of the format.
You can find out more about our online events service called “Digital Lounge” here