A new wave of caution for personal gatherings is spreading to marketers as the COVID-19 Delta variety is growing, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
The marketing professionals we surveyed this summer give an average of 5 out of 10 chances to attend an event in person by the end of 2021. Compared to April, When respondents gave an average of 6 out of 10 chances to attend an event in person in the fourth quarter of 2021.
About 30 to 30 percent of the approximately 170 marketers surveyed in our latest Events Partition Index said it was highly unlikely (1 in 10) that they would attend an event in person this year. On the other hand, 20 said they are most likely to attend an event in person this year (10 out of 10).
This comes at a time when many trade shows, conferences and small regional shows are being planned for the rest of 2021. This is after the announcement of the New York Auto Show It will not hold its 2021 event.Despite being optimistic earlier this year that it could personally host thousands of attendees.
Outlook for 2022 has slightly improved. Respondents gave an average of 6 out of 10 chances to attend an event in person in the first half of 2022.
All of this suggests that the kind of attendance seen at conferences, trade shows and more before the epidemic will not return in the near future.
Looking to 2022.
Despite long-standing safety concerns, both attendees and exhibitors are personally budgeting for the 2022 event.
About 78% of respondents said they have been budgeted for attending a very small number of private events in 2022, while only 12% said they have been budgeted for a large number of people. We saw the same trend with exhibitors, who make up a small portion of our respondents. About 19 percent said they were budgeted for exhibiting at a much smaller number of private events next year, compared to 5 percent expecting more people to show up.
2022 Attendance may also be limited by geography. While 56% of marketers said they would attend regional events that they could access by land transport or driving, only 40% said they would travel long distances to attend.
Of course, the desire to attend the conference in person depends on how safe the participants feel, so it is not surprising that 70% told us that the organizers should only allow vaccinated adults to attend.
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-Biotech Covid 19 vaccine, which could lead to more vaccine options across the United States. New York City has already required vaccination proof to visit restaurants or Jammu, and many large employers also require staff to be vaccinated. The Consumer Technology Association’s next CES 2022 event will also take place in January. Proof of vaccination is required to participate..
Still, 30% of our respondents do not agree with making vaccination mandatory, suggesting that administrators should expect it to be another limiting factor in terms of attendance.
What does hybrid mean to the audience?
Introducing a digital component to a live event is nothing new. Conferences such as SXSW, TechCrunch Disrupt and more included digital livestreams in their pre-epidemic events. But lockdown proves the value of virtual events, with organizers betting that hybrid events that combine personal and digital experiences are the future. However, it is not clear what the audience wants from the hybrid events.
About 32% of the marketers we surveyed said they would prefer a hybrid event where the personal experience is shorter and paired with a more virtual experience. On the other hand, 25 said they would personally prefer a larger event paired with a smaller down virtual presentation.
About 26 percent said the personal and digital components of a hybrid event should be the same in scope, while 17 percent said they saw no value in the hybrid event experiences.
The beauty of Hybrid during the epidemic is that it allows organizers to engage a large audience, both in person and in a virtual audience. About 40% of the marketers we surveyed said they would personally attend an event and gain access to virtual content. About 22% said they would only attend in person, while 38% said they would only participate in virtual components.
Virtual to live.
Many of our respondents commented on how the last 18 months have changed their views on vocational training and networking. For many of them, virtual events have increased their access to actionable information.
“It’s great to take advantage of high-end offers from my office security. Virtualization has allowed a lot more people to attend events and learn from the best,” one respondent wrote.
“While I personally love events, I think I’ve attended virtual events and training far more than that. It’s probably a combination of less time commitment, and not paying for travel. Karna. I also feel that the training I have received has not diminished from being personal.
But when it comes to networking, digital experiences leave a mark on many professionals, which is amazing in the age of social networking.
“I didn’t find virtual networking useful. It’s impossible to really connect when there are a lot of participants, and the relationship I get from being in a conference personally is completely broken. I don’t know. What’s the point of magic (the relationship between bad coffee and lack of sleep?)
This answer may give a complete summary.
“Virtual training is possible. Virtual networking; not so much.