PARIS/LONDON — UFI and Explori have released the second part of the Global Recovery Insights 2020 report. This latest global study was conducted by live events research specialists Explori, in partnership with UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and supported by SISO, the Society for Independent Show Organizers.
This part of the global study, based on more than 9,000 responses from 30 countries, builds upon the first part of the report published in October that looked at how exhibitors and visitors of trade shows and business events view hybrid and digital events and how they are being impacted by a lack of live events.
The latest report focuses on the experience of visitors and exhibitors at digital events, with findings on how they perceive current digital offerings, their views on future investment, and what role they think hybrid events will play in the future.
The core findings reinforce the first report confirming a strong demand for a return of live events, highlighting the time and cost benefits of digital events and the increasing comfort level with digitally delivered event content. Exhibitors show a marked preference for live events in all areas and feel that digital events currently don’t provide an adequate ROI.
“The second part of this global study provides key insights for the industry, as we plan for 2021 and move ahead with the reopening of shows and venues. Although it’s clear that our customers are keen to return to face-to-face when possible, the industry landscape has changed. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we should see digital as a major opportunity to enhance the buyer-seller connections we provide,” said Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director and CEO.
Sophie Holt, Managing Director at Explori, adds, “The second part of this global study provides useful insight into what the digital events of the future could look like. In the future, digital events will not seek to replicate the in-person experience but instead leverage their strength at delivering against singular objectives. They will contribute to engaging communities, guide audiences through unfamiliar territory, and help to meet customers where they are. Despite the resounding preference for live events, there are strong reasons to consider the importance digital will play as restrictions begin to ease moving into 2021.”
The full report will be shared with UFI and SISO members during a dedicated UFI connects session in January 2021.