Learn how to optimize your events marketing with a recent Forrester study.
Key Takeaways from the Study Include:
1. Events are now more critical to driving top business goals. Across the organization,
events today are crucial to driving revenue, delivering great customer and employee
experiences, and accelerating digital transformation efforts.
2. Companies benefit from optimizing in-person engagement while leveraging digital reach
and insights. In-person events drive engagement, deepen customer relationships, and
utilize digital features to expand reach and deepen customer understanding.
3. Event leaders want to consolidate technology for a more holistic view of event
performance. While event leaders are becoming more confident in choosing the proper
event format for the right goal(s), problems with capturing and activating data,
measuring performance, and delivering more engaging experiences make streamlining
their technology stack and vendor relationships more critical.
The mold was broken, a new path was forged by technology. Event teams and leaders have
become more adept at harnessing digital to enhance the in-person experience and extend
event reach to broader audiences.
All that progress also brought with it heightened attendee expectations. Now accustomed to
the convenience and value of digital experiences, a new template has been set. With event
technology permeating the business, events are becoming more critical in driving key business
Forrester surveyed 509 global event and meeting strategy leaders and found that there’s a
great deal of opportunity that exists as organizations look to bring more events online and
integrate them with the rest of their digital marketing mix. Managing this new channel for
maximum value needs to become a core competence for marketing leaders.
Events Drive Business Goals
According to the Forrester survey, events are important or critical in delivering on an
organization’s top business goals—including increasing revenue, improving customer
experience, improving efficiencies, improving business agility, and accelerating digital
Events uniquely combine high touch with scale to help impact these outcomes. In fact,
respondents report their top internal and external event goals actually revolve around
increasing customer/member (49%) or employee (65%) engagement, along with deepening
customer (47%) and employee (63%) understanding.
Event Attendees Love Digital—and Want More of It
The technology that connected organizations with audiences during the pandemic has reset the
game for event attendees. Yes, this includes in-person meetings and conferences as well. As in-
person events continue to increase in number and size, 77% of Forrester respondents say they
have higher expectations for digital features than they did a few years ago.
These expectations include, for example, on-site digital features like mobile event apps,
automated check-in capabilities, and the ability to offer remote attendees access to event
content synchronously or on demand. Convenience is key. 73% percent say that serving virtual
event attendees will be a part of their ongoing in-person event strategies. Tech has
transformed the event landscape, regardless of format.
The Future of Virtual Events & Webinars—Data Goldmines
One of the most significant advantages of virtual events is the amount of data and behavior
that can be tracked. Digital meetings make it easier for people to attend. Technology makes it
easier for marketers to learn what people are tuning in for, what they are staying for, what they
are downloading on-demand, and how they connect to digital content.
Webinars also continue to drive ongoing revenue and adoption. While webinars are more
passive than virtual events, they offer multiple tracks and choices of experiences. Of those
Forrester polled, webinars continue to deliver value by driving revenue, supporting partners
and sponsors, and increasing product adoption.
Choose a Holistic Event Strategy
It’s essential to track cost and performance across all virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Yet
only 42% of the respondents of the Forrester survey can do so today. Moving forward, 76% say
that they expect to invest in a platform that serves their needs across all event formats,
enabling a holistic view of performance and improving experience delivery.
Given that the number of systems and the amount of data flowing between them continues to
increase, it should be no surprise that companies struggle most to capture the correct data and
leverage insights from it to support all dependent stakeholders, including customers, sales, and
marketing. A single platform offers fully integrated reporting and dashboards that give
businesses a clear, holistic view of data (including spend).
Align Format to Goals
Aligning format and goals goes beyond hosting individual events. Optimal event programs
should harness the strengths of all these formats to drive continual customer and employee
engagement (e.g., inviting attendees to topical webinars after an in-person event based on
their engagement and interests during that event). A single platform can help organizations
attain this goal faster than those with disparate point solutions.
With digital engrained in every event format, there is an opportunity to improve participant
experience and drive revenue for companies that connect data and insights to understand
better and serve employees and customers.
In-person events have returned—but they don’t quite resemble the meetings, conferences, and
trade shows of years past. Digital has transformed the industry. Attendees expect more in 2023.
And marketers need to deliver on those expectations to increase engagement and drive leads.
Forrester’s research supports a shift towards event technology consolidation and improved
integration to deliver the best business and participant outcomes and reduce inefficiencies
caused by managing across multiple partners and platforms.
Fortunately, the event technology market is maturing, offering broader functionality to support
in-person, virtual, and hybrid events and improved integration with more enterprise systems.
See all of the data in the full study, Level Up Your Event Platform Capabilities, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cvent.