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EXHIBITOR Research Shows Virtual Events Unlikely to Soon Replace Face-to-Face

Marketers Not Adopting Virtual Alternatives to Live Events as Rapidly as Previously Expected

ROCHESTER, Minnesota, USA /PRNewswire/ — EXHIBITOR Media Group, the leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, today announced the results of EXHIBITOR magazine’s 2011 Virtual Events Survey, revealing that marketers are not adopting virtual alternatives to live events as rapidly as previously expected.

Results of the survey, sponsored by Lynch Exhibits Inc., Impact Unlimited Inc., and Altus Inc., indicate that virtual events are unlikely to replace face-to-face marketing any time soon. Key findings show that more than 70 percent of respondents are not currently allocating a single cent of their marketing budgets to virtual events.

“For the time being, it appears face-to-face is safe and sound,” commented Travis Stanton, editor, EXHIBITOR magazine. “But as more marketers become increasingly familiar with virtual alternatives, and as virtual-event firms become more adept at selling their benefits, their impact on our industry will undoubtedly increase.”

The survey uncovered these additional findings:

  • Less than 40 percent of companies surveyed have ever participated in a virtual event, the majority of which participated as an attendee only, rather than as an exhibitor, sponsor, or organizer.
  • Among marketers who have already dipped their toes in the virtual waters, only 28 percent claim those virtual efforts “met” or “exceeded” their expectations.
  • Nearly half of respondents who have used virtual events reported that virtual events helped them increase their brand awareness, and 36 percent reported that their virtual events attracted attendees who did not attend live trade shows and events at which they participated, effectively extending the reach of their marketing campaigns.
  • 68 percent of respondents who have participated in virtual events say they’d rather host a live event, most notably because they “miss the energy and networking of a live event” or because “attendees seemed less engaged during virtual events.”
  • Less than 30 percent of marketers claim they personally understand how to execute virtual events.
  • When asked about their personal prognosis for virtual events in the context of exhibit and event marketing, 59 percent say virtual events offer only moderate potential.

Comprehensive results of the 2011 Virtual Events Survey will be published in the June issue of EXHIBITOR magazine.

About EXHIBITOR Media Group
Leading in trade show and corporate event marketing education, EXHIBITOR Media Group publishes EXHIBITOR magazine, a monthly publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR’s Learning Events include EXHIBITOR2011, the industry’s top-rated conference and exhibition for trade show and corporate event marketing.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin (rubin.judith@gmail.com) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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