A survey recently conducted by onebite, a UK B2B technology and telecommunications marketing agency, has revealed that 91% of journalists have attended virtual events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The survey was specific to UK journalists and was answered by 45 people.
Two thirds of those surveyed said that virtual events delivered what they needed in terms of content, but that the approach they had to take was different to physical conferences; 12% said that they got the same results and in the same way as physical conferences and 14% believed the events were ‘wasted time’ as they did not provide what they needed.
‘Exclusivity’ and ‘real time access to speakers’ were cited as strong reasons to attend future events, with quality of content the leading factor for future event attendance for 64% of respondents, and exclusivity and real time content access valued by 32% of respondents.
Despite this, over half of those surveyed (59%) said that in-person experiences were better than virtual.
When asked what the problems with virtual events were, 43% of respondents said there were no opportunities to get ‘unplanned’ stories beyond what was scheduled, 41% said virtual events don’t offer the same experience as physical events, 35% stated that there are too many virtual events taking place, and 27% said that time spent at virtual events was less productive than time at physical events.
When considering a return to conferences, 41% of those surveyed said they would return at the same rate as before, 23% would return at lower rates than previously, and only 7% won’t go back at all. A quarter of journalists said they would make a decision on their return to events in 2021.
Head of Content for onebite, Mark Kemper, said: “Journalists have shifted over to attending online events and conferences, but these have not met all their expectations around content. There are some simple things that PR and marketing teams can do to maximise how they can make their events useful for press, such as adding more real-time interaction and support for access, and they can use age-old tactics like exclusivity to ensure that journalists get what they need.
“With virtual events likely to be with us for months to come, delivering an engaging and worthwhile experience for journalists should be included within any marketing planning.”