News: Virtual event budgets expected to increase in 2021

Research shows that virtual event budgets are expected to increase from 20% in 2020 to 36% in 2021.

In August, Integrate conducted a research study with 500 senior B2B marketers across the US and UK to uncover the impact of coronavirus on its event strategies this year and how this will shape 2021 plans.  

The results showed that both marketing budgets and virtual event budgets are expected to increase next year. In addition, 80% of B2B marketers expect to run or participate in hybrid events in 2021. Of the 80% of marketers, 32% suggest they’ll return in Q1, with another 29% in Q2. While virtual events have created opportunities for marketers, the results indicate that  there are still challenges with engaging audiences, recreating networking opportunities and converting attendees into qualified leads. 

Chris Wickson, VP & GM, Events, Integrate, said: “It would clearly be an understatement to say 2020 has been a challenging year and in our B2B marketing world, events have suffered more than most. From the mass cancellations and postponements earlier in the year, the scramble to virtual and dramatic increase in webinars to the ongoing uncertainty around when we can return to in-person and of course, the looming spectre of hybrid.

We’re now in planning mode for 2021 and forming a solid events strategy is a daunting task with the event landscape shifting fast and blurring lines between event formats. However, history tells us challenging times like these also brings opportunity to reset, rethink and reinvent. In 2021, I believe we’ll see events break out of the silo they have for so long operated in and marketers’ ability to leverage events, be it online or in-person, as part of their broader omni-channel strategy will finally be realised.”

The B2B Marketing Leaders report 2020

We recently sent a survey based on the four pillars of execution to 100 marketing leaders. The results of this survey were used in this report to demonstrate where marketers are at in their journey to digital marketing maturity. Check out all the findings here.

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