EXHIBITOR Research Shows Virtual Events Unlikely to Soon Replace Face-to-Face Marketing

Marketers Not Adopting Virtual Alternatives to Live Events as Rapidly as Previously Expected
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ROCHESTER, MN – May 24, 2011 – EXHIBITOR Media Group, the leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, today announced the results of EXHIBITOR magazine’s 2011 Virtual Events Survey, revealing that marketers are not adopting virtual alternatives to live events as rapidly as previously expected.

Results of the survey, sponsored by Lynch Exhibits Inc., Impact Unlimited Inc., and Altus Inc., indicate that virtual events are unlikely to replace face-to-face marketing any time soon. Key findings show that more than 70 percent of respondents are not currently allocating a single cent of their marketing budgets to virtual events.

“For the time being, it appears face-to-face is safe and sound,” commented Travis Stanton, editor, EXHIBITOR magazine. “But as more marketers become increasingly familiar with virtual alternatives, and as virtual-event firms become more adept at selling their benefits, their impact on our industry will undoubtedly increase.”

The survey uncovered these additional findings:

• Less than 40 percent of companies surveyed have ever participated in a virtual event, the majority of which participated as an attendee only, rather than as an exhibitor, sponsor, or organizer.

• Among marketers who have already dipped their toes in the virtual waters, only 28 percent claim those virtual efforts “met” or “exceeded” their expectations.

• Nearly half of respondents who have used virtual events reported that virtual events helped them increase their brand awareness, and 36 percent reported that their virtual events attracted attendees who did not attend live trade shows and events at which they participated, effectively extending the reach of their marketing campaigns.

• 68 percent of respondents who have participated in virtual events say they’d rather host a live event, most notably because they “miss the energy and networking of a live event” or because “attendees seemed less engaged during virtual events.”

• Less than 30 percent of marketers claim they personally understand how to execute virtual events.

• When asked about their personal prognosis for virtual events in the context of exhibit and event marketing, 59 percent say virtual events offer only moderate potential.

Comprehensive results of the 2011 Virtual Events Survey will be published in the June issue of EXHIBITOR magazine.

About EXHIBITOR Media Group

The leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, EXHIBITOR Media Group publishes EXHIBITOR magazine, a monthly publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR's Learning Events include: EXHIBITOR2011, the industry's top-rated conference and exhibition for trade show and corporate event marketing; EXHIBITORFastTrak, accelerated learning conferences; and EXHIBITOR eTrak, professional online learning. EXHIBITOR Media Group is also the founder and sponsor of CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer), the world's only university-affiliated certification program for trade show and event marketers. EXHIBITOR'S web site, www.ExhibitorOnline.com, is the trade show and event community's most comprehensive online resource. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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