April 23, 2020 Cheri Keith
Last Friday, I hosted a webinar “Bridging Physical Events and Digital Experiences” which is certainly a topic that is top of mind for a lot of marketers right now. I had several polling questions throughout the webinar (Pro-tip: make sure you call out the Q&A engagement tool at the beginning of your webinar) but promised to get back to the audience after the event with the results. And here we are now!
How Marketers Are Spending on Virtual Events
The first question was about your physical events and digital experiences spending and if it matched up to the industry benchmarks I had shared during the webinar. The results from the poll were positive in my opinion with 64% of attendees reporting that it was on par with the benchmarks.
How Quickly Have Marketers Shifted From Physical to Digital?
I then polled the audience about how long this topic had been top of mind for them when it comes to unifying physical and digital events. Not surprisingly, 63.6% of the audience said it had just happened.
Now, I’ve been covering physical and digital events for several years and have been looking at unification strategies so I wasn’t surprised that others had been as well. But the need is acute now and I would venture to guess that the majority of people who responded with six months or a year plus- may have been THINKING about it but not necessarily taking drastic and massive actions in this direction.
But the good news is that we have some learnings from researching and doing it for several years across many B2B marketers. I shared many of those strategies during the webinar, using the construct of pre-, at- and post-events. Then, I asked which of those categories would be where you would try to discover synergies between your physical and digital events.
We had a close race between pre- and at-event with the audience reporting 42% and 44% respectively. I would say that these results are in line with what I would expect given the focus on getting these events right in the next few months and the timelines that marketers are working on.