One big unknown in 2021 is the comfort level of attendees when it comes to the return of live events.
A recent survey of healthcare professionals conducted by FHTglobal shares feedback from healthcare professionals. It gives us an idea of what’s worked so far, and what hasn’t. It also looked at what may be holding healthcare professionals back from making travel plans, or why they are eager to get back to in-person meetings.
The Risk of Travel
In their summary of this survey, the Events Managers Blog looked at the impact of COVID-19 vaccines on travel. There are concerns that the industry may not see events get somewhat close to pre-pandemic numbers until the third quarter of 2021.
Live events have captive audiences. There aren’t any concerns about time zones, or if attendees have other commitments that will keep them away from their screens.
Many of the comments that questioned the value of virtual events seemed to be related to time zones, especially if content wasn’t immediately then available on-demand.
A great way to promote content, and highlight sessions that attendees may have missed is through a digital daily newspaper.
Lack of Networking
Both meeting organizers and industry partners will probably be very happy to hear that attendees miss networking opportunities – something that virtual events cannot replicate.
Another element that is missing, many said, were the Q&A segments, along with the opportunity to speak directly with presenters after a session.
How can virtual exhibit halls be more welcoming, and help both attendees and exhibitors get the most out of their experiences?
One interesting suggestion returned to the topic of time zones: making sure that company representatives are available throughout the event, to speak with all attendees. Of course, this could be the middle of the night for some time zones.
How are you showcasing your virtual exhibitors? Consider a virtual exhibit guide, while also reminding attendees about the virtual exhibit hall via a daily email newsletter.