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Event Data & Analytics, Event Industry Trends
15 July 2023 

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

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

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 80.4% of event organizers believe that events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals? This is just one of the many fascinating statistics you’ll find in our 2023 The state of in-person B2B conferences report.

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.

We’ve compiled a list of marketing and event statistics to inspire your event strategy or as fodder for your next event marketing presentation to get buy-in from key stakeholders. If you want, click on an item in the table of contents or go down the page.

In-person Event Statistics

We have to repeat it: 80.4% of organizers identify in-person events as their organization’s most impactful marketing channel, according to our recent events industry survey and report. In-person has regained its dominance, and we’re here for it!

  • 52.1% of organizers reported increased attendance at their B2B in-person conferences in the past year (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 86.4% of organizers planned to maintain or increase the number of in-person events in 2024 compared to 2023 (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 47.2% of organizers reported that their events team had grown in the past year (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 76.6% of organizers consider in-person conferences critical to their organization’s overall success (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 80.4% of organizers identify in-person events as their organization’s most impactful marketing channel (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 75.9% of organizers believe in-person conferences will become increasingly critical to their organization’s success in the coming years (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 71.2% of organizers struggle to prove in-person conference ROI to key stakeholders (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 72.7% of organizers say their leadership team and C-suite actively support their in-person event strategies (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 69.7% of attendees consider in-person B2B conferences the best opportunity to learn about new products or services (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 82.8% of organizers believe in-person conferences provide the ideal networking environment (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 77.7% of attendees share the sentiment that in-person conferences provide an ideal networking environment (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 55% of event professionals are planning to have most of their events be in-person experiences (Bizzabo, 2023)
the state of in-person B2B conferences survey report
  • 98% of event organizers are planning to host at least one 1 in-person event in 2023, while 85% plan to host at least three and 35% plan to host at least 10 (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • 72% of event organizers agree that in-person events are a crucial part of their marketing strategy (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • The average in-person event is 47.8% more costly than the average virtual one (Zippia, 2022)
  • 95% of marketers believe that in-person events help achieve business goals (Bizzabo, 2020)
  • 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)
  • 87% of events are expected to have an in-person element (AMEX, 2022)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Virtual Event Statistics

When the pandemic forced everyone into lockdown, 60% of event professionals pivoted to virtual events. In Q4 2021, 75% of events on Bizzabo’s platform were virtual, in Q2 2022 30.6% of events were planning to go virtual, and in 2023, only 9% of event professionals expect that the majority of their events will be virtual, according to Bizzabo data.

That said, 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 and hybrid events continue to be a priority. Case in point: On the Bizzabo platform, 51% of events in January 2023 were virtual.

  • 40% of events in 2022 will be virtual, based on a survey of 8,227 marketers (Statista, 2022)
  • 73% of event professionals are “very ready” or “ready” to return to in-person events (Bizzabo, 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)
  • 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 because 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)
  • 84% of organizations agree that virtual events are more cost-effective than in-person events (WildApricot, 2020)
  • 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)
  • The logistics of virtual events challenges 52.5% of event marketers 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)

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. In fact, hybrid events were named a continued priority for the industry in the Forrester Wave™: B2B Event Management Technology, Q1 2023 report. On the Bizzabo platform, we’ve seen an uptick in hybrid events, from 6% in March 2023 to a planned 18% in June 2023.

  • 40.6% of attendee respondents said hybrid was their favorite event format (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 67.8% of attendees said their favorite event format was either an in-person event or a hybrid event (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 67.8% of attendees prefer in-person + hybrid events vs. 32.2% who prefer webinars + virtual events (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 87.1% of organizers say at least half of their B2B events are in-person (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 70% of events are now hybrid (Skift Meetings, 2022)
  • 22% of event professionals plan to use the hybrid format for the majority of their events in 2023 (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • 41% of event professionals are putting on more events in 2023 than they originally planned (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 53% of event professionals agree that decreasing budgets are the biggest challenge they face (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 20% are most concerned about burnout (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • More than 70% of events had attendance levels at or above 70% of 2019 levels (Knowland, 2022)
  • 75% expect to host more or the same level of in-person events in 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • Upwards of 70% of event planners anticipate meeting length will stay the same (Knowland, 2022)
  • 80% of event organizers believe meetings will go on as scheduled in 2023 and won’t be postponed (Knowland, 2022)
  • 67.5% of event planners are no longer concerned about COVID-19 (Knowland, 2022)
  • 57% of event venues don’t have COVID protocols anymore (Knowland, 2022)
  • 45% of event organizers are prioritizing attendee engagement, while 38% are prioritizing attendance, and 35% are prioritizing budgets (Bizzabo, 2022)
  • Just 22% of event organizers are satisfied with the responsiveness they experience from hotel and venue staff (Knowland, 2022)
  • Just 36% of event planners got bigger budgets in 2022 than 2019 (Skift Meetings, 2022)
  • 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)

Event Marketing Budget Statistics

Event budgeting has become more complex with the rise of virtual and hybrid events. This section will explore today’s state of event marketing budgets.

  • 54.5% of organizers are managing event budgets of more than $500,000. 22.3% have budgets of $1M or more (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • Marketing tops the list of where organizers are spending their budgets, followed by catering and venue costs (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 64% of event professionals say their overall meeting spending is increasing in 2022 (AMEX, 2021)
  • 90% of people will spend more with companies that personalize the customer service they offer them (Zendesk, 2022)
  • 13.8% of organizations have budgets in excess of $500,000 for virtual events, while 14.2% can spend between $100,000 and $500,000 and 18% can spend between $10,000 and $100,000 (Elevant, 2022)
  • 46.3% of event professionals consider the increased price of putting on events to be the biggest challenge they face (Knowland, 2022)
  • 21% are concerned about their clients’ reduced event budgets (Knowland, 2022)
  • 48.1% of event professionals think that food and beverage costs will increase between 20% and 50% in 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • 39.8% of event teams are projecting audio/video costs will increase between 20% and 50%, while 15.6% think they’ll increase even more than that (Knowland, 2022)
  • 89.7% of event organizers think that offering flexible contract terms is very or extremely important (Knowland, 2022)
  • 59.8% of event teams agree that cost leveling is an essential factor to consider for events in 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • Just 7% of event professionals aren’t concerned about a recession and its potential impact on the industry (Knowland, 2022)

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

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

  • 72.5% of organizers recognized the substantial contribution of their event platform to positive outcomes at recent conferences (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 67.4% of organizers switched or intend to switch event software vendors in the next year (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 62.9% of attendees expect in-person conferences to use modern technology like smart badges (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 78% of event planners are using more technology in the wake of the pandemic (Skift Meetings, 2022)
  • The global event management software market, which was valued at $5.6 billion in 2019, is expected to be worth $18.4 billion in 2029, growing 12.9% each year (Fairfield Market Research, 2022)
  • 41.5% of professionals are willing to pay up to $5,000 for new virtual event technology (Zippia, 2022)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • 67.5% of attendees consider it vital for events to offer a mobile event app (Bizzabo, 2023)
  • 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)
  • 86% of event apps use AI in some form, like chatbots or smart matchmaking (EventMB, 2020)
  • 27% of all virtual/hybrid meetings will make use of a mobile app (AMEX, 2020)

Event Technology Adoption

  • 40% of developers say that event apps have over an 80% adoption rate, while 35% of developers are seeing adoption rates between 60 and 80% (EventMB, 2020)
  • The top three challenges with event technology are engagement, cost, and integration in that order (Skiff Meetings, 2022)
  • 73.6% of event planners sharpened their tech skills during the pandemic (EventMB, 2020)

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 increasingly important in funding events. Here’s how event sponsorship will play a key role in organizers’ event strategies.

  • 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)
  • 23% of event planners say sponsorship is the primary source of revenue for virtual events (EventMB, 2020)
  • One out of every four event tech providers doesn’t offer analytics for measuring sponsor ROI (EventMB, 2020)

Event ROI Statistics

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

  • 19.6% of event planners expect to generate more ROI from events in 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • 26.2% of event organizers think ROI will stay the same from 2022 to 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • 24.3% of event teams think ROI will decrease in 2023 (Knowland, 2022)
  • 7.9% of event professionals think they’ll generate negative ROI (Knowland, 2022)
  • 73% of event planners expect costs to rise between 20 and 50% in 2023, which can damper event ROI (Knowland, 2022)

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)
  • 68.7% of event professionals agree that using technology to improve the attendee experience is a trend with staying power (Knowland, 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)

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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • More than 80% of respondents say their organizations strive to incorporate DE&I into their meetings and events (AMEX, 2021)
  • 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)
  • 52.8% of event professionals expect a focus on DEI will remain in the events industry (Knowland, 2022)

the guide to building a DE&I-driven event strategy

Snapshot: Events on the Bizzabo Platform

Here are some insights into how customers were using Bizzabo in March 2023:

  • 50.3% of events were in-person and 43% were virtual; since virtual events take less time and resources to produce, they’re becoming more common
  • Of all registrants on the Bizzabo platform, 61% were virtual attendees and 31% were in-person attendees
  • The average event had 381 registrants
  • The average virtual event had 543 registrants
  • The average hybrid event had 455 registrants
  • The average in-person event had 235 registrants
  • Each Bizzabo customer hosted an average of 2.8 events

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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