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The virtual events industry isn’t going anywhere. How can we tell? Virtual event statistics indicate that virtual events are here to stay. To be candid, virtual event statistics indicate that the industry will grow due to its convenience and effectiveness.
You may be asking yourself, how and when should I start using virtual events within my business? To help answer that question, this article contains a compiled library of virtual event statistics.
But first, a discussion on why virtual events are useful.
Understanding Virtual Events
There are many different styles of virtual events of which you may not be aware.
Webinars are one of the more common virtual events out there. They are useful for many virtual event organizers who are starting out, but there are still many more categories of virtual events.
The term “virtual event” also includes things like a virtual conference, a virtual job fair, a virtual trade show, an online product launch, a virtual fireside chat, and more.
Next, there are hybrid events. They act as in-person events while attracting more event attendees online. This often allows businesses to gain more traction when creating online events because it appeals to and includes everyone in your client base.
Online events can even create virtual booths for exhibitors and sponsors as you would for in-person events. This can increase funding when hosting virtual events, as well as increase credibility for your business.
But there’s more to understanding virtual events. It’s also important to look at virtual event statistics, forecasts, and others’ experiences. First on deck is promotion.
33.7% of marketers believe the average cost per virtual event attendee to be between $500 and $1000.
The average cost per attendee for larger virtual events is higher at $1000–$1500.
Thirty-eight percent of organizations expanded their marketing budgets for events, as opposed to 28% in 2020.
The large majority of virtual event budgets are spent on the hosting platform. The second largest pool of virtual event costs are speakers and moderators.
Many companies place around 10%–20% of their marketing budget on online events.
84% of businesses that hosted virtual events in 2020 said that they spent less than when hosting in-person events.
80% of virtual events are free of charge.
Virtual Event Audience Engagement Statistics
49% of event marketers say that participant engagement is the main indicator of successful virtual events.
34% of event organizers believe that attendance is the most influential difference between virtual and in-person events.
Marketing surveys find that 80% of virtual event attendees join events solely for educational purposes. The runner-up is networking events, which is the main motive for why people attend events in person.
Nearly all (90%) event organizers utilize surveys when measuring attendee satisfaction.
Statista has found the general attendance rate for virtual events is about 1,356 participants. This is much higher than the average attendance at in-person events, which is about 908 attendees.
The average percentage of no-shows for virtual events lies at 35%, which is a bit higher than for in-person events.
Fifty-two percent of companies who hosted virtual events saw “the same or more attendance” as they would have at physical events.
Close to 34% of event planners believe that increased attendance is “the most positive result of pivoting to virtual, followed by lower overhead costs”, which were at 27%.
92% of companies proceeded to host virtual events even after the return of physical events.
This was not without drawbacks, as 53% of attendees experienced “virtual fatigue”.
Forty-eight percent of companies say that pushing attendance is their biggest challenge when hosting events.
Only 30% of organizers send giveaways to their attendees.
Over 20% of organizers live-stream their events on social media.
Businesses that conduct virtual events say that Q&A sessions and talks are among the top engagement techniques available today.
When discussing successful events, event organizers say that having a good microphone is more important than a good camera. Microphones were ranked at 70% importance while cameras were 60% important.
Around 68% of attendees will rewatch content from events they’ve already attended. (Vimeo)
Seven percent of people intend to join virtual events that take longer than one hour.
Most marketers (61%) use videos as an engagement tool.
Over 63% of U.S. marketers say that webinars are effective for creating new clients, earning purchases, and generating leads. Another 45% of marketers believe it is the most effective tactic to generate demand.
Fifty-seven percent of all online events are hosted as single-day events.
Success and Challenges Statistics
The two greatest challenges for virtual event organizers are audience engagement and audience interaction.
Thirty-eight percent of marketers find that they run into technical problems when hosting virtual events.
Twenty percent of all trade shows in 2021 were organized as virtual events.
Thirty-two percent of respondents chose to postpone or cancel their virtual events in 2020. They said that their main concern was being unable to provide the same amount of value using a virtual setting.
The main reason 27% of businesses did not conduct online events was because, as they put it, “We don’t know how to get participants to attend a virtual event.”
The average percentage of no-shows of virtual events lies at 35%. This percentage is slightly higher than in-person events.
Virtual event attendee satisfaction is a factor in successful events for 85% of marketers.
Over 45% of marketers say that the main goal of virtual events is to generate a pipeline.
Almost 66% of event organizers make the decision to place their virtual events available on-demand after the event.
Virtual Event Promotion
The majority of marketers say that email is the most effective tool to drive registrations for virtual events. The final percentage adds up to 76% (LAI Live).
In general, the usual time needed to promote your virtual event is around three to four weeks. Keep in mind that this period almost doubles to six weeks when promoting C-level events. Choose wisely when planning.
Many event organizers, about 52%, use Facebook to market their events. This seems to imply that using both email and Facebook would work well. (EventMB)
68% of companies measure their events’ success by attendance and the engagement of online attendees.
49% of marketers say that advertising using programmatic strategies is a large contributor to successful virtual events.
51% of B2B marketers use company business partners to help drive registrations.
Most B2B marketers target decision-makers when marketing virtual events.
On average, sponsorship packages cost $8,456.
More than three-quarters (78%) of organizations say that using an event app resulted in positive event ROI.
Last of all, most event organizers say that chatbots and live chat software are effective for virtual event success.
Preparation and Organization of Virtual Events
Most businesses need three to six weeks when preparing small virtual events.
ON24 studies indicate that the best time to host a webinar is 2:00 p.m. EST (or 11:00 a.m. PST). Due to the lack of time conflicts coast to coast during this hourit is generally the most convenient for all U.S. time zones.
Most small event organizers choose Zoom (41%) as their virtual event platform. The runner-up being Microsoft Teams (29%).
The most popular virtual event type is small gatherings. This is then followed by networking events, and then roundtable discussions.
Most respondents and event marketers (63%) believe that the ideal duration for a virtual roundtable discussion should range from 60–90 minutes.
More than 67% of virtual events use external speakers to address attendees, instead of choosing speakers from within the company.
65% of event organizers accept sponsorships for their events.
Most online events have 12 separate sessions. (Bizzabo)
67% of businesses offer complementary virtual events when hosting in-person events.
Marketers report that the main reasons for using event apps were reviewing agendas and increasing event registrations.
55% of event organizers plan to invest more into virtual events in the future.
75% of event organizers plan to host virtual events in 2022. However, 78% would like to return to hosting in-person events when they are able to do so.
Based on a survey of global event marketers, virtual events should rise by 5% in 2022.
Hybrid events will become more common, as nearly 30% of trade shows that took place in 2021 were mixes of remote and in-person events.
Forty-five percent of B2B marketers in Canada and the U.S. say that live streaming will be an intrical part of their events in 2022. Thirty-seven percent said that live streaming will promote better branding opportunities, while 38% said it was for mobile access.
63% of respondents have already agreed to sign up for two or more virtual events in 2022.
60% of respondents plan to attend even more events in 2022 for professional purposes.
Interpreting These Virtual Event Stats
Here are a couple of points that sum up what these statistics have shown us, as well as how virtual events will grow in the future:
- Companies will still use virtual events when physical events are also allowed.
- Hybrid events utilize virtual events and often have the same providers.
- Companies are continuing to grow remotely in part.
- The metaverse will create more space for virtual events.
- Machine and AI learning will grow data-driven and automated approaches to events.
- Virtual events are a big part of the future.
How Should You Use These Virtual Event Statistics?
These virtual event statistics should be able to give you insights in the virtual event industry. What’s more, they should be able to help you improve your virtual and physical events in the future and develop a proper business intelligence strategy.
These statistics are proof that virtual events aren’t some passing fad. They also show that most business owners can expect changes in company strategy. It is clear that virtual events present many opportunities internally and externally. All these points towards virtual events trending, which you can look forward to, no matter what business you own.
If you enjoyed reading this article about virtual event statistics, you should check out this one with event WordPress themes.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like setting up a WooCommerce events calendar, event planning tips, marketing strategies for ticket sales maximization, hybrid event ideas, and event management skills.
Not only that, but we also created articles about virtual event ideas, how to get sponsors for an event, tech conferences, and the most-watched sporting event.