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Attendee Experience, Event Planning & Management
15 May 2023 

The Benefits of In-Person Conferences: 4 Reasons To Reprioritize Your Strategy

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
The Benefits of In-Person Conferences: 4 Reasons To Reprioritize Your Strategy

In-person events are regaining dominance in the events space at a rapid clip. To supercharge your event strategy for 2023 and beyond, you must reprioritize your in-person conference strategy. It’s that simple.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the benefits of in-person events and examine four key reasons why today’s best events teams are putting most of their eggs into the in-person conference basket this year.

7 Benefits of In-Person Events

In-person events can provide various benefits that are difficult to replicate through virtual means. Here are some advantages of in-person events:

1. Easier networking

In-person events allow attendees to connect and build relationships with others in their industry. Meeting people face-to-face can often lead to more meaningful, clear, and productive conversations than virtual interactions.

2. Enhanced learning

Attending a conference or seminar in person can provide a more immersive learning experience. You can interact with speakers, ask questions, and participate in discussions that can deepen your understanding of the topic.

3. Unmatched inspiration

Being surrounded by like-minded individuals and hearing from experts in your field can be highly motivating and inspiring. In-person events can provide the energy and enthusiasm you need to take your work to the next level.

4. Better brand awareness

In-person events can be an effective way to promote your brand and generate buzz around your products or services. You can create a memorable impression and attract new customers by showcasing your offerings in a live setting.

5. Improved morale

In-person events can help improve employee morale and engagement. They allow team members to escape the office, learn new things, and have fun.

6. Better decision-making

When surrounded by people who share your interests and goals, you’re more likely to make decisions that align with your values. Plus, when you see other people passionate about the same things you are, it can inspire you to keep going.

7. More Serendipity

One of the unexpected benefits of in-person events is the potential for serendipitous encounters. Whether bumping into a potential business partner or conversing with someone who shares your interests, you never know who you might meet at an in-person event.

72% of event organizers agree that in-person events are a crucial part of their organization’s overall marketing strategy

4 Reasons To Reprioritize Your In-Person Conference Strategy

1. In-Person Events Are Regaining Dominance

After decreasing in volume for the better part of three years, in-person conferences are regaining dominance among event formats. Here are some compelling stats:

  • In our survey on The State of In-person Events, we found that 72% of event organizers agree that in-person events are a crucial part of their organization’s overall marketing strategy. 
  • Additionally, 98% of those surveyed planned to host at least one in-person event in 2023, and 85% planned to host three or more events.
  • On Bizzabo’s OS, the number of in-person events during Q1 2023 was up 62% year-over-year, and hybrid events were up 36%.
  • The Winter 2023 Freeman Syndicated Survey of Event Attendees found that 80% of attendees prefer in-person events over remote alternatives.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that virtual and hybrid events should be abandoned altogether. But it does indicate that events teams would be wise to make in-person events the cornerstone of their event strategy.

2. Many Employees Still Work From Home and Crave In-Person Connection

Before the pandemic, 4.7% of employees were remote; at the pandemic’s peak, 61.5% of teams were distributed. Although companies are slowly transitioning back to the office, about 30% of the workforce is still remote, according to the data-collection project WFH Research.

In fact, Gartner estimates that by the end of 2023, 48% of knowledge workers worldwide will be fully remote (9%) or in a hybrid arrangement (39%). In 2023 in the United States, fully remote and hybrid workers are expected to account for 71% of the workforce!

Although many work-from-home employees want to continue working remotely, you can only stare at a computer screen for so long. The opportunity to attend an in-person conference is a great way to attract teams of remote workers who can use the event as an opportunity for team-building, professional development, and networking in addition to other business goals.

3. Virtual Is Great, But Nothing Beats Face-to-face Interaction

Some employees enjoy the convenience of virtual events, but talking to someone over a computer screen doesn’t quite replace the energy and excitement that comes from being in the same physical space as someone else. 

Plus, in-person interactions can result in clearer communication, stronger relationships, and better opportunities for cultivating confidence, according to Kimberly Pedego, vice president of client services at Noble Studios, writing on Fast Company.

If you want your attendees to make the most out of your next event, you need to give them the option to attend in the flesh. According to Zippia data, 67% of workers are distracted during virtual meetings. If all of your attendees engage with your event content through computer screens, many are likely missing out on great insights as their minds drift off to other matters. 

Plus, in-person events are great opportunities to meet and create new relationships or strengthen existing ones. Although building good relationships virtually is possible, there’s no substitute for shaking someone’s hand and patting them on the back. This is why twice as many marketers were “extremely likely” to attend an in-person event in 2023 compared to those “extremely unlikely” to attend.

80% of attendees prefer in-person events over remote alternatives

4. Never Fear: You Can Continue Engaging Virtual Audiences

Virtual events have been a boon to many companies, allowing them to engage a more diverse attendee audience — including those with disabilities — and to expand globally to save money or increase reach.

If this sounds like your company, you’ve probably used an event management platform to ensure your in-person and virtual audiences can network and connect. When you invest in a powerful, all-in-one event management platform, you get access to all the tools you need to host any event — whether it’s in-person, virtual, or hybrid. 

For example, Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS was designed to power every aspect of in-person conferences while delivering a friction-free, delightful experience for attendees and sponsors alike. 

Power Your Next In-person Conference With Bizzabo

If you want to ensure your next in-person conference is an unforgettable experience, Bizzabo can help. Our comprehensive end-to-end event engagement platform allows you to deliver an on-brand experience that engages attendees and delivers value to sponsors with all of the following:

  • Bizzabo’s SmartBadge™ wearable tech, providing the ultimate networking experience, as seen at HubSpot’s INBOUND 2022 
  • A branded mobile app that keeps attendees engaged and informed throughout your event, with access to session Q&A, 1:1 messages, and even a venue map
  • A lead scanning app that makes it simple to scan name badges, track lead retrieval, take notes, and qualify leads on the spot
  • Robust dynamic registration tools that enable you to segment your audience by ticket type, attribute, and more while delivering personalized experiences
  • A turnkey website builder that enables you to create a fully branded website without writing any code
  • More than 2,500 integrations with the popular tools your team uses every day, including CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and sales enablement solutions
  • And more!

To learn more about why Bizzabo is the most trusted platform for in-person conferences, request a demo today.

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