Virtually Informed

Recently released research from Unisfair shows that virtual engagement is the new norm in marketing, training and collaboration. The second annual survey finds that 60% of respondents plan to increase spending on virtual events and environments this year and that, if budgets were not an issue, 67% would host 10 or more virtual events in the next 12 months.

Key findings snapshot:

  • 60% will increase spending on virtual events and environments in 2011, while 42% will decrease spending on physical events
  • 67% would like to host 10 or more virtual events this year
  • 87% predict hybrid (part physical, part virtual) events will represent at least half of all events in the next five years
  • 62% want the ability to attend a virtual event from a mobile device

According to the survey, 42% of marketers plan to decrease spending on physical conferences and tradeshows over the next year. Respondents are turning to virtual events, with 40% indicating the primary benefit of holding a virtual event is the ability to reach a much larger audience for less money. Other benefits highlighted by respondents included:

  •  "I get the same or better results as a physical event for less effort" (24%)
  •  "I get quantifiable results" (19%)

Respondents indicated they will host virtual events for a number of purposes in the next 12 months, including:

  • Training (42%)
  • Customer engagement (36%)
  • Internal collaboration (34%)
  • Lead generation (29%)
  • Networking (8%)

46% of those polled predict more than 50% of corporate events will be hybrid within two years, with another 41% predicting that shift will take place within five years.

62% of respondents would like the ability to attend a virtual event from a mobile device. 58% cited the ability to multitask is the best part about attending a virtual event, while 14% find the ability to be "invisible" until they want to engage with colleagues or vendors to be a primary benefit of attending virtual events.

Virtual events are "attended" from everywhere (or anywhere). Unusual places where respondents have attended include:

  • Bed (27%)
  • Beach or a swimming pool (11%)
  • Airplane (4%)
  • Other places, including the car, the kitchen, a baseball game, the patio and a retail showroom (42%)

Joerg Rathenberg, VP of Marketing, Unisfair, concludes that "... no matter the business purpose... virtual business environments... are rapidly becoming a marketing standard... across industries and enterprises... "

To learn more about the survey by Unisfair, please visit here.





1 comment about "Virtually Informed".
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  1. John Maher, May 20, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.

    Let me see if I've got this right. You're publishing "recently released research" about virtual engagement...from a company that bills itself as "The Leader in Virtual Event Solutions for Engaging with Customers"? me crazy, but it seems to me this company has an obvious vested interest in promulgating specious research “results” that help validate and sell their product. This is utter horseshit…and, once again, it does nothing for your credibility as a publisher.

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