Learn what 900 attendees and organizers said.
Are you struggling to organize and create great experiences for virtual and hybrid events?
A recent survey collected from over 900 event organizers and attendees by Whova, an all-in-one event management software company that focuses on in-person, hybrid, and virtual events, revealed their thoughts on and expectations for hybrid events. The objective of this survey was to understand if attendees feel safe in taking part in in-person elements and their intake on remote events. There were three questions asked on this survey: Question #1: What’s the earliest time for people to start attending in person? Question #2: What do you want organizers to provide as a remote attendee? Question #3: By 2023, after the pandemic is over globally, will you still attend events remotely?
As vaccines become more accessible, and companies start to bring their employees back in the office, the first question of the survey was aimed to understand the sentiments on in-person events. The data revealed that 39.6% of organizers and 43% of attendees listed January 2022 as the absolute earliest they would be comfortable with in-person events. Although optimistic 35.2% of organizers said that they plan to hold in-person events as early as September 2021, only 14.6% of attendees said they would attend. Despite being vaccinated, many attendees are not yet ready to move back to in-person events before the year’s end. Therefore, try to delay holding an in-person event until January 2022.
Although people are going back into the office and to in-person events, it is safe to say that virtual events are here to stay. The data for the second question — as a remote attendee what would you want organizers to provide, showed that over 75% of attendees listed video replay as their biggest concern, over smooth streaming which was expected to be the main priority for remote attendees. It is likely that many attendees will have to miss sessions throughout the day, due to scheduling conflicts, time zone differences, and at-home distractions among other reasons, favoring video replay. Attendees also have high expectations for remote engagement and networking, with “over 60% listing participating in Q&A as a priority and around 55% mentioning networking.” As an organizer, make sure to prioritize video replay of events and the talks to increase accessibility for those who cannot physically make in-person events, and plan remote-specific networking sessions virtually.
Lastly, after the pandemic is over globally, an overwhelming 93% of attendees said that they were open to continuing to attend events remotely. Hybrid and virtual events have revealed the benefits from reduced costs to saved time for attendees. It has also allowed people to attend events from anywhere in the world without missing out. As an organizer, incorporate your hybrid event planning skills because they might stay useful well after in-person events are completely safe.
Wondering how to ensure the success of your next event in the new hybrid world? Set up a free consultation call with our CEO, Jenn, to talk about your particular situation and how to make your next event engaging in the new virtual era.