Business Motivations and             Social Behaviors for         In-Person and Online Events                  July 2011A ...
OverviewThe Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), UBM Studios and theVirtual Edge Institute combined effo...
Methodology•   The survey was conducted amongst 479 North American marketing and event    professionals during May 2011.• ...
Key Findings•   Business Travel to Conferences, Conventions and Tradeshows Generally Remain The    Same•   It Is Valuable ...
Business Travel SentimentThose who ‘enjoy’ traveling for business (32%) attend more work-related conferences than thosewho...
Business Travel Remains UnchangedThough physical meetings and events are beginning to show signs of recovery for the first...
Market Content Before,                During and After the EventRespondents are seeking to access content online or via mo...
All Participants Are Easily Distracted                                                                                    ...
People are Social Creatures                       Both In Person and Online“A chance to notonly see newproduct offerings  ...
People Seek the Same Information                    Virtual                                             In-personRegardles...
Content and Ease of Use Motivates             Online AttendanceAttendees continue to show interest in virtual events due t...
Network and Collaboration Motivates        Physical AttendanceWhen asked why respondents would attend a physical event ove...
Conclusion•   There are many similarities in the way people behave during online and in-person    programs•   We were surp...
Incorporate Best PracticesBy focusing on audience needs and experience, exhibitors can move toward a model where virtual b...
General Demographics  Audience Profile                       15
About the SponsorsAbout PCMA    The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is the source for education, pro...
Download Report"Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person andOnline Events" can be downloaded at:http://bit....
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Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events

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The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), UBM Studios (a UBM company), and the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) combined efforts to survey marketing and event professionals in order to get a pulse on the work-related uses of events, expositions, virtual engagements and the motivations and behaviors surrounding physical and online event participation.

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Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events

  1. 1. Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events July 2011A Research Study Conducted by:UBM StudiosVirtual Edge InstituteThe Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) 1
  2. 2. OverviewThe Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), UBM Studios and theVirtual Edge Institute combined efforts to survey marketing and event professionals inorder to get a pulse on the work-related uses of events, expositions, virtualengagements and the motivations and actions surrounding physical and online eventparticipation.Instead of a “virtual versus face-to-face approach,” the survey sought to understandhow these technologies can be best used within the framework of a workenvironment.Until now, most research has centered on if organizations plan to implement orincrease their use of virtual engagements or comparing virtual to their physicalcounterpart. 2
  3. 3. Methodology• The survey was conducted amongst 479 North American marketing and event professionals during May 2011.• Respondents answered questions regarding the business motivations behind in- person and online events – why do people attend these events, what business goals are being achieved, and how are they engaging within these environments.• Before commencing the survey, respondents reviewed the definition of a virtual engagement in written form and had the option of viewing a short video demonstrating several examples of virtual environments. The written definition provided was: – Digital event, meeting and learning technologies include: webcasting (streaming media), virtual environments (2D and 3D) such as virtual events, virtual trade shows, conferences, campuses, learning environments and perpetual (365 days per year) business environments. 3
  4. 4. Key Findings• Business Travel to Conferences, Conventions and Tradeshows Generally Remain The Same• It Is Valuable to Market Content Before, During and After the Event• All Participants, Both In-Person and Online, Are Easily Distracted• People are Social Creatures – Both In-person and Online• People Seek the Same Information• Exhibitor Goals Seem to Align with Attendees’ Needs• Content and Ease-of-Use Motivates Online Attendance• Networking and Collaboration Motivates Physical Attendance 4
  5. 5. Business Travel SentimentThose who ‘enjoy’ traveling for business (32%) attend more work-related conferences than thosewho ‘don’t mind’ travel (51%of the respondents) and those who ‘don’t enjoy’ traveling for business(17%) are more likely to be heavy users of virtual meeting options. 5
  6. 6. Business Travel Remains UnchangedThough physical meetings and events are beginning to show signs of recovery for the first time since therecession began, delegates remain largely unchanged in their plans for traveling to these events. As high as78% plan the same amount of travel over the next 12 months with 16% planning to increase traveldomestically. Fewer respondents will increase travel internationally, but the majority of those who alreadytravel overseas plan to continue to do so at the same levels. 6
  7. 7. Market Content Before, During and After the EventRespondents are seeking to access content online or via mobile before, during and after the event. Thedigital channel allows meeting and event practitioners to connect with audiences throughout the entireevent cycle, connecting audiences from the physical event to the online channel and back again. 7
  8. 8. All Participants Are Easily Distracted “My main issue with virtual events is the increased potential for interruptions since they are done from the office.”Compared to their online counterparts, in-person participants are just about as likely to be checking email (81% versus 83%) orleave a meeting/session for some reason the virtual events (65% versus 68%). Online attendees are significantly more likely totake a phone call during a presentation than physical attendees (66% versus 48%) and shopping/surging on the web (42%).Though both physical and virtual attendees both admit to surfing the web or shopping during a presentation, its more commonamongst online attendees (42% versus 28%). 8
  9. 9. People are Social Creatures Both In Person and Online“A chance to notonly see newproduct offerings “Where I can seebut learn the vendorssomething I can presentation andput to use at my see their product incompany as well.” action and being able to ask questions and examine the pros and cons.”“Easy to use andworks well withouttechnical glitches.” A common misconception is attendees are uncomfortable networking with strangers online and prefer a face to face setting. In fact, Over 80% of respondents are comfortable/extremely comfortable connecting and networking with strangers regardless of setting – both physical and virtual. Furthermore, 41% of online delegates and 51% of physical delegates respectively have tweeted and texted to share event information to their entire network. Not surprisingly more online attendees use IM to share information than physical attendees. 9
  10. 10. People Seek the Same Information Virtual In-personRegardless of format, people have the same drivers for attending an exhibit hall, seeing ‘what new’ isthe number one motivation by far. Gathering relevant product and company information as well assubject matter expertise are all cluster in second place. Demos and application education are oftensought as well. 10
  11. 11. Content and Ease of Use Motivates Online AttendanceAttendees continue to show interest in virtual events due to the value of the content provided and the ease-of-use oraccess with virtual environments. As expected, content is king with 97% of respondents saying that compelling contentis important or very important as is an easy-to-use environment scoring 90%. Interestingly, the ability to ‘ask questionsand participate actively’ also scored 90%. Also strong drivers to attending virtually include reduced travel costs andhassles (88%); and minimizing time away from family/office (87%). 11
  12. 12. Network and Collaboration Motivates Physical AttendanceWhen asked why respondents would attend a physical event over an online event, the primarymotivations were related to networking and collaboration: meeting with speakers/experts/colleagueswas mentioned by 68%; meeting customers/prospects 56%; and to collaborate more effectively 52%. 12
  13. 13. Conclusion• There are many similarities in the way people behave during online and in-person programs• We were surprised by how many multi-tasking activities were the same for both• People attend events for Content – the differences between virtual and in person is the fall off in networking in the online experience• Digital event producers need to create structured networking activities• People are equal in their comfort level in making new acquaintances and chatting with strangers online and in person• Attendees from both want to stay up-to-date on what is new, and want to learn from subject matter experts• Attendees want to gain knowledge to help them do their jobs better• Exhibitors want brand and product exposure, new business opportunities and ability to educate the market• Virtual environments are enhanced with video, demos, rich content and interactivity 13
  14. 14. Incorporate Best PracticesBy focusing on audience needs and experience, exhibitors can move toward a model where virtual booths ceaseto be replicate website content but rather morph into an extension of an attendees experience at a tradeshowor convention.• Market Before, During and After: Evaluate content marketing • Incorporate Real-Time, Video Product Demos: Most product strategies to meet attendees’ desire to receive information videos in online exhibit booths are on-demand replays. Yet, online before, during and after an event, such as creating an event- attendees desire live product demos, allowing them to ask specific blog or offering a sign up page for an enewsletter. questions in real-time and “touch and feel” the product as they could in person. If a product demo must be done on-demand,• Include Subject-Matter Experts: Booth staff must be consider “scheduling” specific times throughout the day to play the knowledgeable about a.) the company products and services, demo and holding questions and answer sessions in real-time. b.) how this benefits an attendee, and c.) how customers are using this information. Evaluate your staffing strategy to invite • Segment Content by Audience: Attendees are expecting more customers and subject matter experts to staff the booth. customized information that fits their specific business needs and Consider holding live “ask-the-expert” sessions within the booth industry. This is an opportunity for virtual event platform providers during lulls in the event agenda as an incentive to drive to enhance capabilities to match content based on attendee audiences to the booth. profiles or behavior within the environment. In lieu of this, exhibitors should evaluate audience demographics to categorize content by business need and industry.• Highlight Recent News & Developments: Physical and online attendees are looking for up-to-date information. Designate an area where attendees can learn about new developments and “I think there should be more interactivity, virtual demos ask questions. For example, labeling a tab “What’s New?” within and videos. Downloading documents is good but there the online exhibit booth. should be a lot more in the booths.” What would make the virtual exhibit experience more engaging? 14
  15. 15. General Demographics Audience Profile 15
  16. 16. About the SponsorsAbout PCMA The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is the source for education, professional resources and advocacy for the meeting, convention and exhibition industry. Founded in 1957, PCMA represents more than 6000 meeting management professionals from associations, non-profit organizations, corporations, independent meeting planning companies, multi-management firms, and association executives who recognize the importance of meetings to their organization. PCMA provides members with the tools they need to succeed as meeting professionals and to promote the value of the industry to their organizations and the general public. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at pcma.org.About UBM Studios UBM Studios leads the industry in world-class user engagement for virtual environments, social networking and gaming. A global marketing service, UBM Studios delivers content, audience and in-depth analytics driving deeper award-winning user engagement paired with vision, process and execution. Visit UBM Studios at www.ubmstudios.com.About The Virtual Edge Institute The Virtual Edge Institute is an organization dedicated to advancing the development and adoption of digital event and meeting technology and best practices for collaboration and marketing. Founded in 2008 by Michael Doyle, the Institute does this by supporting and contributing research, education, thought leadership, promotion, and professional networking. Learn more at http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com. 16
  17. 17. Download Report"Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person andOnline Events" can be downloaded at:http://bit.ly/BizMotivationsReportFor any media questions, please contact:• For PCMA, contact Mary Reynolds Kane at 312-423-7243 or mkane@pcma.org.• For UBM Studios, contact Michele McPhail at 773-687-4321 or michele.mcphail@ubm.com.• For Virtual Edge Institute, contact Cece Salomon-Lee at 415-608-0302 or clee@virtualedge.org. 17

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