Bizzabo research | 12 July 2022

The Events Industry’s Top Marketing Statistics, Trends, and Data

Bizzabo Blog Staff

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive list of event marketing, event management, and event planning statistics, you’ve come to the right place.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced the events industry to pause and pivot, but remarkable change and innovation came along with that. Would you believe that 60% of leadership believe that events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals?

What’s more, Verified Market Research, a leading global research and consulting firm, expects the global events industry to bring in a whopping $2.194 trillion by 2028 — quite the uptick from the $887 billion the market commanded in 2020.

To inspire your event strategy or as fodder for your next event marketing presentation to get buy-in from key stakeholders, we’ve compiled a list of marketing and event statistics.

Starting this list off, we’d like to share some current data as of July 2022 based on Bizzabo customers:

  • 2X increase in hybrid and in-person events over the last three months vs. the 3 months prior
  • More than 25% of in-person and hybrid events are paid vs. only 10% of virtual events
  • 90% of paid events hold up to 20 ticket types vs. 80% of free events, which feature 1-2 ticket types
  • 44% of Bizzabo customers who hosted events ran at least one paid event
  • ~1,000 events with at least one paid ticket option launched over the last three months on Bizzabo’s platform, marking a 30% increase compared to the previous 12 months
  • $655 is the average ticket price for paid events
  • 50% of paid tickets used discount promo codes and 75% gave a full discount

Virtual Event Statistics

When the pandemic forced everyone into lockdown, 60% of event professionals pivoted to virtual events. Although in Q4 2021, 75% of events on Bizzabo’s platform were virtual, only 30.6% of Q2 2022 events are planning to go virtual. As we prepare for the next wave of in-person events, it’s important to note that although 96% of event marketers don’t believe that virtual events will ever replace in-person experiences, they believe this event format still has merit.

  • 40% of events in 2022 will be virtual, based on a survey of 8,227 marketers (Statista, 2022)
  • 71% of event decision makers say that it’s difficult to make virtual events accurately mimic the IRL experience, with 2 in 3 (67%) feeling it’s difficult to articulate a brand narrative through virtual events (BlueJeans and Forrester, 2021)
  • The average number of sessions per virtual event is 12 (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 58% of virtual sessions are smaller, capping at 300 live attendees (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 14% of virtual event sessions are a larger keynote format (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 62% of virtual events are single-day events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 62.6% of event marketers work with a production services company to help execute virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 93% of event professionals plan to invest in virtual events moving forward (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 80.2% of event organizers were able to reach a wider audience with virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 54% of virtual event registrants convert to virtual attendees. (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 80% of event professionals report measuring event success based on attendee engagement and satisfaction (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 39.5% of event organizers found it easier to find outstanding speakers for virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 80.2% of event organizers have been able to reach a wider audience with virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 55% of respondents say customer relations, education, and retention are the main goals for their virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 68% of event marketers reported that a hybrid solution that can manage both virtual and in-person events will play a key role in the 2020 and 2021 event strategies. (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 52.5% of event marketers are challenged by the logistics of virtual events and believe virtual events require a different set of skills and resources (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 68.8% of event marketers believe it’s more difficult to provide networking opportunities at a virtual event (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 80% of virtual event registrations are free (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 52.9% of event marketers believe it is more difficult to create unique and memorable experiences for virtual attendees in comparison to in-person events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 61% of event professionals believe keeping virtual attendees engaged is their biggest challenge (Forrester, 2021)
  • 13% of virtual attendees want to network with in-person attendees (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 42% of virtual attendees would attend online again, although they’d prefer to attend in-person (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 42% of virtual attendees would join online next time becasue it’s their best option (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 18% of virtual attendees don’t want to socialize at all (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 75% of virtual event participants found access to on-demand sessions most valuable (Forrester, 2021)

In-Person Event Statistics

The next wave of in-person events is at our doorstep. In Q4 2021, a mere 16.8% of events on Bizzabo’s platform were in-person. Compare this to Q2 2022, in which 48.5% of events are scheduled to be in-person. Are you ready to ride the in-person wave?

  • 35% of events in 2022 will be in-person, based on a survey of 8,227 marketers (Statista, 2022)
  • 88% of respondents expect meetings in 2022 will have an in-person component (AMEX, 2021)
  • 67% of event professionals believe in-person meetings will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within one to two years (AMEX, 2021)
  • 81% of events expected to have an in-person element (AMEX, 2021)
  • 78% of in-person attendees prefer to network with other in-person attendees (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 58% of virtual attendees are willing to network with anyone (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 85% of leadership (senior managers, executives, and board members) believe in-person events are essential to their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 95% of marketers believe in-person events have a significant impact on achieving primary business goals (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 61% of marketers believe that in-person events are the most critical marketing channel — a 20% increase from the previous year (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 78% of event marketers believe that in-person events will become increasingly important to their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 41.1% of event planners would only attend a physical event in-person if it was local (EventMB, 2020)
  • 55% of event organizers report that safety is the biggest obstacle for resuming in-person events (EventMB, 2020)

Hybrid Event Statistics

The future of events is hybrid, because you reach a wider audience, deliver greater accessibility, increase sustainability, and gain deeper attendee insights. According to Bizzabo data around events on our platform, in fact, 20.9% in Q2 2022 will be hybrid versus a mere 8.10% in Q4 2021.

  • 35% of events in 2022 will be hybrid, based on a survey of 8,227 marketers (Statista, 2022)
  • 68% of event professionals are looking for hybrid event technology that supports both in-person and virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 50% of hybrid speakers said that feeling connected is extremely important to them (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 76.5% of event marketers have never hosted a hybrid event (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 71% of event marketers believe they have a clear understanding of what a hybrid event is (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 35% of event organizers say that finding the right venue to host a hybrid event is a challenge (Markletic)
  • 30% of event organizers plan to switch to hybrid for their next event (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 25% of event professionals cite the ability of the event venue to host hybrid meetings as a key factor in choosing a meeting location (AMEX, 2021)
  • 46% of event organizers say that speakers had difficulties engaging a virtual and in-person audience simultaneously (Markletic)
  • 38% of event organizers say that it takes more preparation time to host a hybrid event compared to hosting a dedicated in-person or virtual event (Markletic)
  • 35% of virtual and hybrid events would require the services of a full-service agency, which, depending on what is required, could provide presenter training, pre-recorded interviews, virtual studio space, and post-event, edited sessions made available to attendees (AMEX, 2020)
  • More than 80% of respondents say their organizations strive to incorporate DE&I into their meetings and events (AMEX, 2021)
  • 50.7% of executives think that in the future, all in-person events will have a virtual component (Marketing Charts, 2020)
  • 67% of event organizers reported that their meetings and events policy contained explicit language around safety and security (AMEX, 2021)
  • 63% of virtual attendees report being unsuccessful in socializing during hybrid events (Bizzabo, 2021)
  • 57% of in-person attendees report successfully socializing during hybrid events (Bizzabo, 2021)

B2B Event Industry Statistics

Event marketing plays a large role in achieving business goals. In 2021, event marketers reallocated their budgets to go online — for a successful year of virtual events ranging from VIP experiences to corporate events.

  • 97% of B2B marketers believe that in-person events have a major impact on achieving business outcomes (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 87% of B2B marketers say in-person events are a critical component to their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 82% of B2B marketers believe that attendee engagement is an important KPI for event success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 94% of B2B event organizers use “pipeline generated” as their key success metric (Markletic)
  • 65% of B2B marketers within the professional services industry host one-day conferences (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 54% of B2B marketers within the professional services industry host VIP events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 51% of B2B marketers within the professional services industry host thought leadership events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 72% of respondents project overall B2B marketing budgets will increase, stay the same, or only be cut moderately (by less than 20%) (Event Marketer, 2020)

Commercial and Professional Services Event Statistics

Commercial and professional services industries know that events can provide a platform to connect with their audience. Whether the event’s goal is to drive brand awareness with brand activations and event branding or to create a meaningful space for networking, the majority of event marketers believe events are a critical element of their company’s success.

  • 96% of respondents in the commercial and professional services industry believe events provide valuable opportunities for attendees to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 92% of respondents in the commercial and professional services industry agree leadership teams are very committed to their events strategy (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 86% of respondents in the commercial and professional services industry believe that in-person events are a critical component of their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 72% of professional services companies expect a marketing budget increase for in-person events in the coming year (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 54% of event marketers in the professional services industry host events to drive brand awareness (Bizzabo, 2019)

Media Event Statistics

Media events understand that event software can integrate with other core business software and provide meaningful data to produce exceptional events. Check out these statistics to learn more.

  • 97% of respondents within the media industry believe in-person events can have a major impact on achieving a company’s primary business goals (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 94% of respondents within the media industry believe event software makes it easier to achieve business outcomes (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 85% of respondents within the media industry reported that their leadership teams are supportive of their events strategy (Bizzabo, 2019)

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Event Marketing Budget Statistics

Event budgeting has become more complex with the rise of virtual and hybrid events. In this section, we’ll explore today’s state of event marketing budgets.

  • 64% of event professionals say their overall meeting spend is increasing in 2022 (AMEX, 2021)
  • 85% of leadership (senior managers, executives, and board members) believe in-person events are critical to their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 48% of respondents state that their businesses allocate at least 21% of their marketing budgets to in-person events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 50% of businesses are spending 21% or more of their total events budget on hosting events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 33% of businesses are spending 21% or more of their total events budget on sponsoring events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • Most organizations spend more than 25% of their marketing budgets on events (CIOreview, 2019)
  • 70% of businesses that are outperforming their company goals expect their in-person event budgets to increase (Bizzabo, 2019)


The Event Budgeting Guide for In-Person, Hybrid, and Virtual Events

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Event Technology Statistics

Event technology is an integral part of any event. In this section, we will uncover statistics related to event management software features, the importance of event apps, and how event organizers are adopting event technology to improve their events.

Event Management Software

  • 89% of businesses using event technology save roughly 200 hours per year, and 20% see 360+ hours saved per year (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 51% of event decision makers are satisfied with their virtual events platform, but 94% encountered issues with their platform’s setup (BlueJeans and Forrester, 2021)
  • 92% of marketers believe event software makes it easier to achieve business outcomes (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 80% of marketers that are currently using event software don’t have trouble proving ROI (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 89% of marketers who use event software believe they save time when planning events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 79% of event marketers integrate their event software with a CRM (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 20% of event marketers believe APIs and integrations will hold the greatest areas for improvement for event technology in the future (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 59.4% of event marketers are looking for a hybrid software solution that will manage both in-person and virtual events (Bizzabo, 2020)

Event Apps

  • 62% of marketers believe a mobile app for an event can help drive attendee engagement (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 98% of event professionals use agenda and session features for their event app (EventMB, 2020)
  • 97% of marketers in the tech industry use agenda features in their event app (EventMB, 2020)
  • 60-70% of event app features commonly used across industries are engagement-focused (EventMB, 2019)
  • 41% of apps analyzed by EventMB included advanced networking features (EventMB, 2019)
  • 100% of verticals analyzed by EventMB named “event agenda” in the top three most important features for an event app (EventMB, 2019)
  • Users of Bizzabo’s Ultra Branded App saw an 84% increase in audience networking (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • Users of Bizzabo’s Ultra Branded App saw a 42% increase in audience engagement (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 27% of all virtual/hybrid meetings will make use of a mobile app (AMEX, 2020)

Event Technology Adoption

  • 90% of event marketers believe that technology can have a major positive impact on the success of their events (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 80% of marketers believe that their leadership team is supportive of their event strategy (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 40% of event app developers boast an average adoption rate of over 80% (EventMB, 2019)
  • 52% of event app developers say that attendees use event apps mostly for session information (EventMB, 2019)


the-event-software-buyer's-guide

Event Sponsorship Statistics

As virtual event ticket costs are drastically reduced (and in many cases free), event sponsorship is becoming an increasingly important role in funding events. Here’s how event sponsorship will play a key role in organizers event strategies in 2021.

  • 50.6% of respondents believe that tools to connect sponsors and attendees both virtually and in-person will play a key role in their 2021 event strategies (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • On a scale of 1-10, event marketers rated their confidence in the value of their sponsorship opportunities at virtual events an average of 6.5 (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 51% of respondents believe their budget for sponsoring or exhibiting will remain the same in the coming year (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 33% of respondents allocate 21% or more of their marketing budget towards sponsoring or exhibiting at events. (Bizzabo, 2019)

Event ROI Statistics

Based on the stats below, event marketers know the importance of tracking and measuring event ROI, but the majority struggle to prove it. Check out how organizers use event software, KPIs, and more to measure event success from the data we uncovered.

  • 91% of respondents believe event software makes it easier to achieve business outcomes (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • The average price paid for a virtual event in June 2020 was $254 (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 22% of respondents said multi-day conferences have the biggest impact on key business objectives (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 37% of respondents primarily measure attendee engagement and satisfaction as a KPIs for event success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 54% of respondents have trouble showing event ROI to key decision-makers (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 64% of event marketers say their primary goal for hosting events is brand awareness (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 39% of event marketers believe email marketing is the most effective channel for promoting events (Bizzabo, 2019)

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Attendee Engagement Statistics

Virtual events have created new challenges for event engagement. More than half of event marketers find virtual engagement more difficult. We’ve compiled the most interesting stats surrounding engagement and what virtual event tools planners believe will help virtual attendees stay engaged.

  • 50% of organizers found moderating Q&A with virtual and in-person audiences as a challenging aspect of hybrid events (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 67% of hybrid event speakers found polls a helpful way to connect with audiences (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 46% of organizers found networking to be a challenging aspect of organizing hybrid events (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 67.7% of event marketers find it more difficult to keep attendees engaged during virtual event sessions (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • The average virtual attendee watches 68% of a virtual session that is 20 minutes or longer (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 63% of respondents believe tools to engage virtual attendees will play a key role in their future event strategies (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 90% of event marketers believe providing a personalized attendee experience is important (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 93% of respondents agree that in-person events provide attendees with valuable opportunities to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 90% of respondents say providing a personalized attendee experience is important to them (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 70% of respondents track attendee engagement and satisfaction as a KPI for event success (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 54% of event planners are spending more of their time and attention on the attendee experience rather than logistics (AMEX, 2019)
  • The majority (63%) of respondents believe a mobile event app can drive attendee engagement (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 37% of respondents say attendee engagement and satisfaction are the primary KPIs they measure for event success (Bizzabo, 2019)

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DE&I and Sustainability Statistics

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) continue to be at the forefront of event marketers’ minds. Judging from the stats below, the industry is moving forward but still has a lot of work to do to promote diverse events, including the need for speaker selections to be more diverse.

  • Among respondents who track DE&I, 47% measure progress of diversity and equity goals at least twice per year; 43% measure progress of inclusion goals at least twice per year (SHRM, 2021)
  • 33% of event speakers are female (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Executive diversity and inclusion job titles have increased 113% since 2015 (ZoomInfo, 2020)
  • 35-40% of events don’t have a single Black speaker (EventMB, 2020)
  • Nearly 40% of Fortune 500 companies now have executives dedicated to DEI (ZoomInfo, 2020)
  • When comparing the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Canada tied for most diverse with 64% male speakers versus 35% female speakers, respectively (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Technology events were found to have 63% male speakers versus 37% female speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Education management events had 50% female speakers and 50% male speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Job search and info sessions had 69% female versus 31% male speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Fundraisers and galas had 58% female versus 42% male speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Summits had 85% male versus 15% female speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Conferences and conventions had 66% male versus 34% female speakers (Bizzabo Diversity Report, 2019)
  • Women’s participation in virtual STEM conferences increased by as much as 253% compared to in-person conferences (USC, 2021)
  • 61% of respondents believe that the events industry has improved, but not enough, when it comes to diversity in speaker lineups (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 83% of respondents said their organizations take sustainability into account when planning meetings and events (AMEX, 2021)
  • Streaming experiences can reduce total climate pollution from events by 60-98% (Eventcellany, 2020)

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That’s a wrap on event marketing stats. We are confident this year will bring forth new and exciting data, and we’ll continue to update these lists as more relevant insights surface throughout the year.

Editor’s Note: This post was published in December 2018 and has been updated for relevance.


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