Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Study Reveals Insights About Face-to-Face Versus Online Events

(Published in Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine)

On July 18, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), UBM Studios (a UBM company), and the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) released a joint report, “Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events.” The report, which surveyed 479 marketing and event professionals, sought to understand how digital technologies can be best used within the framework of a work environment, answered questions regarding in-person and online events including why individuals attend, what business goals are achieved and how participants engage within these environments. Key findings include:

• People are social creatures in-person and online. More than 80 percent of respondents are comfortable/extremely comfortable connecting and networking with strangers regardless of the setting — either physical or virtual.

• People share information via social media. 41 percent of online delegates and 51 percent of physical delegates respectively have tweeted and texted to share event information to their entire network.

• People will pay for virtual events. 25 percent of respondents will pay the same fee as an in-person event, and 74 percent will pay less at an in-person event.

• People are multitaskers. Compared to their online counterparts, in-person participants are nearly as likely to be checking email (81 percent versus 83 percent) or leave a meeting/session for some reason (65 percent versus 68 percent).

• People want accessible content. Respondents seek access to content online or via mobile before, during and after the event.

The full report is available at: