Growth in digital events set to continue despite return to in-person, says Totem

News World
Growth in digital events set to continue despite return to in-person, says Totem

The UK-based Event technology company Totem has found that less than a fifth of industry practitioners expect hybrid and digital events to reduce in prevalence in the coming year.

Totem interviewed delegates during International Confex, 8-9 March, at London’s ExCeL, and found that 37% expect work on virtual and hybrid events to increase during 2022 than in previous years. Delegates pointed to a combination of inclusivity, seamlessness and sustainability as reasons why hybrid will hold its ground.

When interviewees were asked about the most important feature of a virtual or hybrid event, 53% cited networking opportunities. This was followed by data at 19%, and on-demand content at 9%.

Alex Hughes, co-founder of Totem, said: “What we’re hearing from the industry is that while we’re going to see a major push back to in-person events in the coming months, digital transformation continues apace. Hybrid plays an important supporting role in ensuring that organisers, sponsors and attendees have more ways to be event happy in 2022.”

Interviewees were asked to give their reasons why hybrid will continue to play an important role in 2022 and beyond. Responses included increased inclusivity and affordability for international teams, alongside improved time management and comfort levels.

Victoria Logan, director of marketing and education at the British Society for Rheumatology, commented: “One of the reasons people attend conferences as medical professionals, is that they have to keep up to date with what’s going on with research. While some people love attending these events, others don’t want to go to Glasgow for five days, but they still want to get the information. So, I think virtual will always be an attractive option for them.”

The results also showed how digital events can be used to extend and enhance the full attendee experience. Sarah Williams, head of events at Faversham House, commented: “As we’ve come back to physical, we have put on several hybrid opportunities. What we found is that most people want to come in real life, but we can also offer some content digitally. So, you might buy a ticket to a physical conference, and then also have the opportunity to attend a digital webinar or a specialist roundtable as part of that overall ticket. So, it’s really just blending all those things together.”

Leave a Reply