New Integrate Research Finds Event Marketers Need to Learn New Skills and Adapt to New Ways of Working 

Phoenix, AZ – November 18, 2020Integrate, the pioneer in B2B precision demand generation, today revealed the results of its State of Events survey to understand how marketers are thinking about the future of in-person events in light of the current pandemic. The research found that 80% of marketers expect to move to a hybrid world where in-person and virtual events will coexist, with over half of marketers saying they will participate in hybrid events in 2021. However, nearly 60% of survey respondents say that they won’t return to in-person events unless safety precautions (e.g., mandatory masks, social distancing) are put in place and 29% won’t return to in-person events until there is a vaccine.

“This year’s pandemic has irrevocably changed how we think about B2B event marketing and underscored the importance of digital and an omnichannel experience,” said Deb Wolf, CMO of Integrate. “These survey results demonstrate that while events remain an important part of the marketing mix, in order to continue to drive measurable business value, event marketers will need to evolve their skillsets and connect their tactics to other demand channels to create impactful buyer’s journeys. 

In lieu of cancelled and postponed events, survey respondents state that their companies have turned to virtual events (74%), conducting webinars (64%), exhibiting at third party events that have pivoted to virtual (60%), and 55% are utilizing digital channels (e.g. social, paid, content syndication) to supplement their demand generation efforts.

“As we wait and plan for in-person trade shows in the second half of 2021, we are changing up our event mix. We have moved some of our event budget to external webinars and are reimagining those webinars to both drive new leads and nurture existing customers, said Emma Anderson, Events at Trojan Technologies. “As an event marketer, I’ve shifted my focus to be more demand and digitally-minded to drive results.” 

Integrate’s “State of Events” survey also points to how event marketers will need to learn new skills and adapt to new ways of working.  

  • 43% need to learn new skills and technology to shift their in-person event focus.   
  • 31% need to hire different vendors than those they usually engage with for in-person events.  
  • 58% need to rethink their events strategy in a new way to ensure it’s successful and meets the organization’s goals.  
  • 47% need to work with different people or teams in their organization to get their job done.

The study surveyed 500 senior marketers in the U.S. (350 respondents) and U.K. (150 respondents) from August 12-21, 2020 to understand how they are thinking about the future of events. Survey respondents were 18+ years, fulltime employees in marketing departments at companies with 500+ employees and were involved in the decision-making process related to events.   

For more information on the Integrate and Market Cube “State of Events” survey, please watch the on-demand webinar, which discusses the survey results, or visit our blog post, “The Insights You Need for Your 2021 Event Plan. An abridged version of the report can be downloaded here