One in three of us now attend more than 10 virtual events a month, according to the latest annual Redback Report, which reveals the extent to which attendance at online events has grown this year.
More than half (51%) of the respondents to the study expect to attend even more virtual events this time next year, while four in five say virtual events can be “as good as or better than their physical event counterparts”.
The results seem to indicate that the sharp growth in virtual event attendance may outlast current work-from-home requirements to become a permanent feature of our working lives.
Redback publishes the Redback Report every year to track the preferences of virtual event attendees.
This year we conducted the research with 100 respondents to a quantitative and qualitative online survey, as well as an analysis of more than 1500 digital events conducted by Redback in the year to June 2020.
The 2020 results also reveal:
- Almost two in three respondents (64%) now attend 6 or more digital events a month
- The proportion of ‘heavy’ digital event-goers (those attending more than 10 events a month) soared from 2% in 2019 to 30% of respondents this year
- Live viewing is increasing, with four in five respondents (83%) attending at least half of all digital events live rather than on demand — up from 64% who did so in 2019
- The most common digital events attended include webinars, internal company meetings, workshops, briefings, external conferences and customer meetings.
The data supports earlier research we conducted that indicates four in five workers (80%) expect face-to-face meetings will decline even when they re-enter the physical office environment.
But event organisers must be on their guard against “digital event fatigue”: 86% of respondents say they have abandoned a virtual event early — up from 66% 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 that are “too salesy and not educational enough”.
We know people are most likely to attend virtual events for professional development, education and learning.
People won’t stick around to view irrelevant content, or disengaged presenters, and they are unlikely to suffer through a poor technical experience.
On top of that, expectations are rising: people now expect digital event organisers to cater to different learning styles and offer networking, opportunities for social connection, and other engaging experiences.
There’s a whole new, virtual world out there. We need to embrace newcomers to the virtual event community and continue to innovate and deliver the best, most engaging virtual experiences possible.
We’re looking forward to pushing the boundaries of webinars, virtual conferences, workshops, live streams and podcasts to new limits in 2020-21.
To find out how to deliver brilliant digital events that will keep your audience coming back for more, download your copy of the Redback Report for 2020