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VEI report reveals online event adoption and attendance growing

A new report conducted by the Virtual Edge Institute [VEI] and sponsored by Digitell Inc. analyzes trends at face-to-face and online events, and the numbers show that attendees are increasingly turning to both hybrid extensions and digital events [non-hybrid] to engage with their organizations.

The 2014 Digital Event Benchmark Report collected findings from more than 200 event producers and offers data and insights for online methodologies, business goals, marketing strategies and measurement approaches.

“Online engagement is growing in importance as organizations strive to extend their reach and capture a larger global audience,” says VEI’s Carolyn Clark. “VEI’s study helps the meetings industry gain insight into best practices for hybrid extensions and digital events and ultimately improve their event marketing and deliver results against business objectives.”

Selected Key Respondent Takeaways:
·         55 percent of hybrid producers and 61 percent of digital event producers indicated their attendance was trending up
·         35 percent are charging hybrid attendees 50 percent of the face-to-face registration fee
·         31 percent of hybrid attendees spend more than 5 hours in the event, while 47% of digital attendees spend 1-2 hours in the event
·         65 percent indicate their goal for producing online events is to serve constituents by providing education to those who cannot attend the physical event
·         57 percent of respondents work to monetize their events, a decline of 19 percent from 2013
·         Monetization tactics are shifting; in 2013 67 percent ranked ‘advertising’ as successful, while only 28 percent indicated ‘advertising’ success in 2014

“Now that the face-to-face cannibalization myth has been debunked, hybrid and digital event producers are challenged with measuring the impact of their events,” says Clark. “Many survey respondents are now tracking subsequent face-to-face attendance; regrettably, 64 percent do not track this metric – this is a business intelligence gap that must be addressed.”

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