The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the second report in its three-part Global Virtual Event Trends series, sponsored by Swapcard, providing new, hotly sought-after details on virtual events. This global study provides insights among organizations that traditionally run or manage in-person business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions. Report Two – Lessons Learned To Date and Technologies Used synthesizes open-ended comments shared by executives on lessons learned and technology to run their virtual events.
The historic pandemic created another rare phenomenon: the emergence of a new marketplace that appeared almost overnight like a volcanic eruption. When COVID-19 brought the industry to a screeching halt, B2B exhibition organizers who were forced to cancel in-person events flipped to offering events online. It has been a mad dash to secure services to make these events happen, with many market entrants responding and offering virtual event services. This report uncovers a crowded market of virtual event providers – over 100 vendors – vying for this high demand market.
Given the precipitous ‘pivot’ to virtual events, organizers were forced to launch events and ‘learn by doing.’ Report Two – Lessons Learned To Date and Technologies Used synthesizes and summarizes these key learnings. The executive summary provides a check list of recommendations based on the primary key learnings shared by executives.
“I am in awe of B2B exhibition organizers who took on the challenge and made virtual events a reality to serve their communities during this time of crisis,” said CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, PRC. “I thank them for generously sharing their insights on what worked well and where they believe improvements are needed moving forward. This report offers peer learnings for executives searching for a resource for planning or to compare their notes on what worked well or not for their events.”
“CEIR is appreciative of the collaboration and generous support from over a dozen other associations that have made this research possible for the global B2B exhibitions industry,” added CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM. “We thank them for enabling us to provide the industry with insights based on objective, unbiased research that will help our stakeholders understand and successfully respond to these trends.”
The survey fielded in October 2020 was multilingual. The sample was generated via the generous participation of multiple organizations globally. These organizations include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and others. A total of 463 executives responded, of which 346 were qualified to participate and completed the survey.
Through the generous financial support from Swapcard, CEIR’s Global Virtual Event Trends series reports are available to the industry at no cost from CEIR’s website. Click here to download Report Two – Lessons Learned To Date and Technologies Used.