The number of business leaders that say live events are critical for success has doubled year-over-year, according to the 2020 Event Trends and Benchmark Report by Bizzabo, an event software company. In all, 85 percent of 500 senior-level marketers surveyed affirmed the power of live events in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world.

“The coronavirus may be canceling events, but according to our findings, the most successful organizations still are investing in in-person,” said Alon Alroy, co-founder and chief of customers and strategy at Bizzabo. “In fact, we found that leadership across industries understand the value of in-person events and are increasing event marketing budgets accordingly.”

Other key findings:

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents believe in-person events are the most critical marketing channel—a 20 percent increase compared to last year’s report.
  • Most marketers are investing at least 21 percent of their marketing budget in live events, with the majority (62 percent) expecting to see a marketing budget increase for in-person events in the coming year.
  • Trends show that the biggest obstacles to achieving event success include attracting the right audience and demonstrating event ROI. More than half of respondents surveyed expressed difficulty in proving event ROI. Of the marketers that are currently using event software, 80 percent do not have trouble showing ROI.
  • Technology plays a role in increasing operational efficiency. The vast majority (89 percent) of respondents who use event software believe that they save time to plan events by using technology.