The Pico Group has released fresh industry research to reveal what has fundamentally changed in event experiential marketing, how well equipped are professionals to deal with challenges, and where brands are seeing success and room to improve.
As expected, respondents rated virtual/online events more highly in 2021 than they did the year before: 71% deemed them ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important, a year-on-year increase of 26 percentage points.
In addition, over 90% said they have held or are considering hybrid events, while just 32% said offline or live events were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important (2020: 45%).
Entitled One Year On: How has the pandemic changed event and experiential marketing?, the industry research was conducted during February and March 2021. The new findings follow up on earlier client research the Group released in 2020, which investigated how brands and marketers were reacting to Covid-19.
Respondents for this latest survey included executives (11%), directors (31%), managers (46%) and other titles (12%) from a wide variety of industries across Asia Pacific (65%), Europe (19%), North America (13%) and the Middle East/North Africa (3%). The results show a clear sea-change in current market sentiment toward the post-pandemic era.
“The heightened level of tactical importance for virtual and hybrid events revealed by the 2021 survey makes it obvious that those formats will further establish themselves as the norm in the short term. Indeed, considering the pace of economic recovery and vaccination in much of the world, physical events are almost certain to remain the exception rather than the rule for many markets,” said Tyronne O’Callaghan, vice president, strategy, global activation, Pico.
“However, we believe the perceived value of offline events is still strong because of the uniqueness of what they offer to audiences. Their intimacy, sensory stimulation and emotion are hard to recreate digitally. When we quizzed respondents about critical success factors for virtual events, over 70% said ‘interactivity’ and ‘personalisation’,” O’Callaghan added.
For more insights, download the full Pico Group Industry Research report here.