In the post-pandemic Zoom age, after years of virtual conferences and events, brands and businesses may have gotten too comfortable with that two-dimensional format, even though they all tend to look and feel the same—in short, unmemorable. But the bland impact doesn’t stop there—new research finds that, when not executed correctly, virtual events can harm a brand’s ability to connect with target audiences.
The new report from virtual and hybrid event platform Airmeet, The Right Virtual Event for the Right Audience is a Catalyst for Growth, dives into key aspects that make up an organization’s event mix and sheds light on the importance of having the right people, partners and technology in place.
The study, a survey of 165 virtual events decision-makers, CEOs and marketing executives across North America, conducted by Forrester Consulting, examines how these leaders view their organizations’ virtual events strategies, goals, and challenges. Overall, the biggest challenges for event organizers are creating unique events and differentiating from competitors, understanding a customer’s journey, lack of talent and technology. Without these event challenges addressed, the ability to demonstrate event ROI is weakened yet remains essential, given current economic conditions.
Over 80 percent of event decision-makers are planning either the same or more virtual events during the next 12 months as they did last year, while 77 percent said virtual events are now a permanent fixture of their organization’s event mix. Yet, under a quarter of attendees find virtual conferences unique or personalized, which is found to negatively impact a brand’s reputation, its ability to maintain or increase future attendance and prevent it from gaining any success virtual events can bring when done correctly.
Additional findings include:
- 64 percent are seeking of organizations are seeking technology partners to fill the critical need for more effective measurement
- Virtual event staff shortages remain one of the top pre-event challenges and 74 percent of respondents are currently looking to obtain talent with the right skills
“Digital engagements are now a permanent part of how people do business, socialize, and network. Events play a key role in a customer’s journey. When paired with the right experience at the right time, events can turn undecided buyers into customers,” said Mark Kilens, chief marketing officer at Airmeet, in a news release.
Virtual events are most successful when the right type of event is offered to the right audience at the right phase of the customer journey.