For B2B marketing and event teams, 2020 delivered a crash course in hosting virtual events. As social distancing rules relax, marketers are starting to shift to hybrid models that incorporate the most successful elements of virtual, while also using in-person events to build relationships with customers.
Digital Immaturity Characterized Most B2B Marketing Events
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, true virtual events — that weren’t simply webinars — and hybrid events were rare.
Most events were in-person with limited virtual engagement opportunities, leaving marketing and event leaders with less-than-optimal insights to improve experiences and measure meaningful results at scale.
In surveying 505 global marketing and event-planning decision-makers, we found that:
- Marketers and event planners operate in silos. While marketing and event management teams executed events jointly, they did so with different budgets and goals (72%).
- Most virtual events amounted to little more than webinars. While 83% of respondents reported that their organizations hosted virtual events of some kind prior to the pandemic, 79% admitted that most or all of their organizations’ pre-pandemic virtual events were delivered as webinars.
- Most companies fail to track event ROI. Even though respondents stated that event ROI is the second most important KPI that they report to stakeholders, 59% reported they were unable to track event ROI consistently or derive a value for it at all.
Marketing teams must put this rich data to work to improve event impact, build a deeper understanding of buyer needs, and track how engagement across your entire events portfolio shapes customer engagement and drives ROI.
As you continue to work closely with event technology platform providers that help you capture and activate this rich data, make sure they meet data and privacy regulations for capturing, storing, and processing data — and that evolving to comply with the everchanging financial services industry regulations is on their roadmaps.