What is the value of in-person events?

If you are wondering what your marketing mix should look like in a post-crisis world, take a look at the increasingly strong case for in-person participation at meetings, conferences & exhibitions.

A period of absence has significantly increased the appetite for business events

UFI, the global association of the world’s leading tradeshow organisers have released their 2021 Global Exhibition Barometer to provide insight into the perceived importance of live events. Following a period of inactivity in 2020, this season’s edition provides a unique perspective.

The findings states that 64% of companies globally (compared to 57% 6 months ago) – are confident that “COVID-19 confirms the value of face- to-face events.”

This optimism is highest in the Middle East and Africa where 70% of companies believe recent challenges have underlined the value of in-person business events.

Connectivity and discovery is more tangible at trade shows

Speaking to Forbes, Cindy Lo, CEO of Red Velvet, a Startup serving South by Southwest’s fringe clientele believes trade shows will be the first market to naturally rebound towards in-person events.

“Let’s say I don’t know what I’m shopping for but I know what industry I’m shopping for. As an attendee, I want an easy way to see and actually meet the people that can creatively match my needs. This has not translated well at all in the virtual world, and that’s why I’m predicting this will be the first type of corporate event to return.”

In-person sales are most effective

Prior to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, a report commissioned by the Events Industry Council (EIC) revealed that;

  • Every dollar spent on face-to-face meetings and business events generated an additional $1.60 or 160 percent for the U.S. economy.
  • 93% of senior-level business managers said that face-to-face meetings improve their ability to close deals.

Post pandemic, Bizzabo’s 2020 event marketing report states;

  • 20% more marketers from 2019 to 2020 believe in-person events are the most important channel for achieving business goals.

Hybrid solutions do not bridge the gap for exhibitors

Research conducted in 2021 by Freeman, the world’s leading live event and brand experience company states that 69% of exhibitors rate virtual events as only fair or poor while 63% of exhibitors said virtual events do not meet their goals.

A similar survey by The Association of Event Organisers revealed;

92% of exhibitors experienced some impact as a result of cancelled and postponed shows.

78% of exhibitors say that virtual events are less valuable or far less valuable than live events.

Trade shows are the number 1 resource of sales leads, relationship building, product launches and brand awareness

Navigating the changes

As we look forward to a highly anticipated in-person event that is set to reunite the jewellery industry at large, your safety remains at the heart of our decision making.

Informa Markets – 17/F China Resources Building, 26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

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