Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

New research finds people are attending more virtual events but they’re increasingly looking for more innovative and engaging event experiences

There’s been a sharp growth in online events driven by remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, which could become permanent, according to a new study by Redback Connect.

Almost two in three Australian respondents now attend six or more digital events a month. And live viewing is increasing, with four in five respondents attending at least half of all digital events live rather than on-demand - up from two-thirds who did so in 2019.

More than half of the respondents to the Australian study also expect to attend even more virtual events this time next year.

“Australians now attend virtual events so often, they know they can achieve most of the things that used to be done face-to-face in the digital environment -- at greater convenience and for a fraction of the cost,” said Redback founder and CEO, Jeff Downs.

The digital event specialist’s research, perhaps not surprisingly, has found four in five respondents say virtual events can be as good as or better than their physical event counterparts.  The most common digital events attended include webinars, internal company meetings, workshops, briefings, external conferences and customer meetings.

However, the study, which comprised quantitative analysis of more than 1500 digital events conducted from July 2019 to June 2020 as well as quantitative and qualitative research with 100 survey respondents, includes a warning about people leaving digital events early.

Downs said virtual event organisers must guard against ‘digital event fatigue’, with 86 per cent of respondents saying they have abandoned a virtual event early - up from 66 per cent a year earlier. The most common reasons to leave a virtual event early include content that is “not what I signed up for” and presenters who are “too salesy and not educational enough”.

“People won’t put up with irrelevant content, disengaged presenters or a poor technical experience. Digital events must offer valuable content and be executed well, with engaging presenters, easy-to-use technology and crystal clear audio,” he said

The research also indicated some misalignment between when organisations are scheduling digital events and when people want to watch them. While people appreciate the convenience of virtual events, they will watch the content on-demand if the live time doesn’t suit. But the increase in virtual events is raising the bar for the quality and design of the experience, with audiences becoming increasingly sophisticated, demanding a more social, innovative and engaging event.

“People are looking for meaningful social, educational and commercial ways to interact with each other whether in the virtual or physical event world,” Downs said. 

“They have taken to video conferencing very quickly and are open to the use of innovative technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. They want event organisers and presenters to cater to different learning styles so they can more easily remember and recall what they learn when attending virtual events.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in