Until mid-March you, as an event professional, were daily involved in bringing people together and connecting. To allow them to network, to transfer knowledge or to reflect on a special moment. The power of live events is that all senses of guests are stimulated, so that emotions are activated, with the result that the message you (or your client) want to convey arrives at the guest. Now it’s different. In this article you will find figures about online events since the corona crisis.

Online and hybrid events were also organized before the corona crisis. That was a conscious choice that was often made for practical reasons and took place in the form of a webinar, while live events focused more and more on interaction and experience.

Then something happened that no one had ever anticipated: all events were banned for at least two months. While you as an event professional have one of the most stressful jobs in the world [source 1], everything came to an abrupt halt.

Figures about online events: financially difficult

Research among nearly 1,000 event professionals shows that 9.3% of companies active in the event sector cannot bridge these two months financially. And if the measures are extended, 2 out of 3 companies will no longer exist in six months. With the knowledge that 83.1% of the respondents recorded more than 50% loss of turnover in March, this is not surprising. [source 2]

Innovation by necessity

Two characteristics of an event manager are flexibility and creativity. Since the corona crisis, innovative ideas have sprouted at lightning speed and planned live events have been adapted to an online variant. Undoubtedly partly out of dedication, but mainly out of dire necessity arising from the fear of 51% of event professionals that no more events will be organized next year and 34.6% indicate that the budget for events has been reduced by more than 50% and in 9 % of cases has even been completely deleted.

Webinars are the new normal

In the run-up to a series of webinars from Halito!, we examined the number of webinars that event professionals attend themselves – before and since the corona crisis. The results are crystal clear: the number of event professionals who (sometimes) participate in a webinar has increased by almost 430% since the corona crisis. [source 3]

This increase can be explained logically: 30.4% of the already planned live events are adapted to an online event and 88.2% of the event professionals have started (or are going to) organize online events. The two main reasons why (more) webinars are attended is to experience how a participant experiences an online event and to gain inspiration about the way in which online events are offered.

Back to live events?

Are online events the future? I started this article with the power of live events and ‘the industry’ agrees with me: 88.1% of event managers say they will start organizing live events again at some point and 85.3% are preparing for 1, 5 meter concepts. Online or hybrid events will never completely disappear, but we believe in the power of live. Until then, I would like to share these examples of events that took place online for inspiration.

Sources for these figures about online events:

  1. Research CareerCast.com – Most Stressful Jobs 2019
  2. Crisis monitor EventBranche.nl
  3. Research by Halito! for Webinar Essentials