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Virtual Events benchmarks you want to see before your competitors do

Posted on 09/01/2020

If you intend to grow your virtual events, you must be aware that one of the main pillars for your strategy is monitoring virtual events benchmarks in the industry.

The thing is: virtual events are evolving quite quickly and getting a more professional approach every day. So how to monitor if your own virtual events are doing well?

So, we gathered some fresh stats from the most reliable sources, including our own analytics, to make it possible for you to compare.

Thus, whatever your company’s field of action, these numbers can give you clear guidance about the next steps.

1. Promoting time

  • For small virtual events, most people need between 3-6 weeks to promote the event successfully. (Source: Marketlic)
  • For large virtual conferences, 65% of marketers need more than 6 weeks to promote the event and drive the desired amount of registrations (Source: Marketlic).

Even before the pandemic, 61% of event profs were already using martech to market their events. At the current moment, there’s just no way you could think about creating a marketing plan for your virtual event without it. So we’re probably seeing this number raising up to 100%.

Whether you’re new to virtual events or have questions about how to integrate all the promotion tactics involved, we recommend you to read the article we prepared on the subject: Marketing Plan for Virtual Events: how CX makes it’s magic on attendees minds.

2. Opportunities

  • Only 30% of event organizers send their attendees giveaways. (Source: Markletic).

There are several ways to make your online events more interactive. Some tactics have proven to work quite well, like Q&A’s and polls.

However, in this age of hybrid events, mixing virtual and physical is still an untapped world to be explored.

We organized a virtual wine tasting a few weeks ago and the result was impressive. The simple fact that you can go beyond the visuals and tease other senses can strongly improve your attendee’s experience.

3. Biggest challenges

  • Audience engagement is the largest challenge when it comes to virtual events. The next biggest challenge is interaction. (Source: Marketlic)
  • The biggest annoyance of virtual events is a bad connection. The second-largest frustration comes from bad microphones. (Source: Marketlic)

Engagement and interaction are key for virtual events success. After all, this is how a business can find out whether it is reaching the right audiences or not. Besides, this how we can understand how positive is the value we’re adding to their lives.

We recently hosted a virtual event on how to increase virtual events engagement. As showing is always better than explaining, we counted on a live sketching performance to have our event summarized in a nicely present graphic.

You can replay this event and download this sketch if you’d like.

Also, if you need a step-by-step on how to apply those to your own projects, we recommend you this read: Virtual Events Engagement 101 [or how to increase attendee’s engagement on online conferences].

4. Strategy

  • 70% of marketers don’t see virtual events as a short-term fix (Source: EventMarketer
  • 63% of marketing profs say they are using this time to develop their virtual events strategies (Source: EventMarketer)

From presenting virtual events to getting familiar with data privacy laws, event profs had develop dozens of new skills in the last months.

The learning curve has been steep, we know. The good news are: everything that you had to get used during 202 won’t go to waste.

Experienced event professionals like Aleksandra Panyukhina, Carina Bauer and Miguel Neves say that hybrid events will be the future, regardless of the virtual and in-person portion they adopt.

Ps: did you already get the chance of understating what exactly are hybrid events?

5. Price

  • 80% of virtual event registrations are free. (Source: Bizzabo)
  • The average price for a paid virtual event in June 2020 was $254 USD. (Source: Bizzabo)

“Can I charge people to watch my virtual events?”. This is probably one of the hot topics of the moment for event profs.

A pricing model has challenges in several aspects. For instance: benchmarking with in-person experiences.

It’s known that the costs of virtual events are way lower. So, if you’re attendees are aware of that, they might have the feeling of being overcharged.

In the other hand, especially in times of pandemic, most of the virtual events are being the only way to add value through experiential marketing.

So far, as we see this new market being developed, the best way to understand how much and how to charge for your online events is to gather as much information as possible about what your competitors are doing.

6 . Formats and characteristics

  • 40-50% is the average registrants / real attendees ratio;
  • The preferred length of time for a virtual event session is 30-40 minutes;
  • The average number of sessions per event is 12, breakouts included;
  • More than 80% of virtual events organizers use feedback forms to measure attendee satisfaction.

The virtual events benchmarks in this topic have been extracted from our own InEvent Analytics, considering the virtual and hybrid event organized with our platform.

Conclusion and key takeaways

These virtual events benchmarks have been extracted from analysis and systematic reasoning from industry leaders to conduct a more efficient decision-making process.

Virtual events are not a conceptual idea anymore. Getting out of the conceptual plane and knowing exactly how these virtual events benchmarks help your own projects in the practical world is fundamental for this new trend to be used to its full potential.

Taylor Estes, experienced planner ahead of Apple Box, has also insisted that copying and pasting in-person experiences to online is not recommended.

BizBash Editor Claire Hoffman posted a poll on her website recently. Even though she calls it a highly unscientific method, the results should not be overlooked. Out of 194 respondents, 69% answered that virtual events should not have more than two to four hours per day.

Virtual Event Trends 2021

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