Virtual Events Continue Growth, Unisfair Reports

The march from physical to virtual events continues, as more and more companies are adopting virtual events and environments as part of their marketing, training and collaboration efforts, according to virtual events company Unisfair, which has released the results of its second annual virtual events survey.

According to the survey of more than 550 marketers nationwide, 60 percent of marketers plan to increase spending on virtual events and environments this year. What's more, if budget weren't an issue, 67 percent said they'd host 10 or more virtual events in the next 12 months.

Other key findings, according to Unisfair:

• 42 percent of marketers will decrease spending on physical events this year;

• 87 percent of marketers predict hybrid events — part virtual, part physical — will represent at least half of all events in the next five years;

• 62 percent of marketers want the ability to attend a virtual event from a mobile device;

• 24 percent of marketers say they get "the same or better" results as a physical event for "less effort" while 19 percent get "quantifiable" results;

• The best part of virtual events, according to marketers, is the ability to multitask (58 percent) and the ability to be "invisible" until they want to engage with colleagues or vendors (14 percent); and

• In the next 12 months, marketers will host meetings for training (42 percent), customer engagement (36 percent), internal collaboration (34 percent), lead generation (29 percent) and networking (8 percent).

"This research proves that no matter the business purpose, virtual business environments are here to stay and are rapidly becoming a marketing standard," said Unisfair Vice President of Marketing Joerg Rathenberg. "It also indicates that virtual events are being adopted across industries and enterprises and will continue to be the preferred way to meet, market, collaborate and educate for both hosts and attendees alike."