What will events look in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic? Marketing strategists from mdg, A Freeman Company, offer five predictions.
Attendees will return to in-person events. The Freeman Data Solutions team reports that attendee confidence is returning and overall positive sentiment is the highest they’ve been since the beginning of the pandemic.
Exhibitors will return to live trade shows, but only if their customers are there. Freeman Data Solutions reports that exhibitors say they are looking for at least 80 percent of prior attendance to maintain ROI. Based on the current attendee outlook, Freeman predicts many programs could achieve 80 percent of prior attendance in the fall of 2021.
Virtual can’t replace physical. Freeman research shows that attendees value digital programs for their ability to provide access to learning and content. But these types of gatherings can’t replace face-to-face.
Virtual events open doors to new audiences. Online programs attract new participants who are interested in the topic at hand, but may not have been able to get out of the office.
Integrated models will be the new normal. Hybrid is here to stay and webinars, peer-to-peer roundtables, podcasts, community management platforms, smaller regional gatherings that happen year-round are part of an integrated strategy that will proliferate.