Event Industry Trends & Stats

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Even with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberating throughout the industry, there is no doubt that events remain a critical part of most businesses’ overall strategy. Whether the purpose is to skyrocket sales, cement brand recognition, or bring together industry thought leaders, an event can be a game changer. In fact, 60% of leaders believe that events are the most critical marketing channel for achieving business goals. And, research predicts that the global events industry will bring in $2.194 trillion by 2028 – a huge jump from the $887 billion it generated in 2020.

So if you’re looking for inspiration for your next event, re-evaluating your marketing strategy, or need some fuel to inspire buy-in from key stakeholders, keep reading for some exciting (and eye-opening) stats and trends for the ever-growing events industry.

Event technology statistics

Since InGo’s platform is the #1 tool for scalable professional referral marketing, we had to start with some tech stats. There is no doubt that technology such as event apps and software can improve event planning and optimize results.

Event apps

  • 27% of all virtual/hybrid meetings will make use of a mobile app (AMEX, 2020)
  • Mobile event apps make it possible to get 42% more engagement than if they weren’t used at all (GES)
  • 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)
  • 100% of verticals analyzed by EventMB named “event agenda” in the top three most important features for an event app (EventMB, 2019)
  • 98% of event professionals use agenda and session features for their event app (EventMB, 2020)

Event management software

  • 89% of marketers who use event software believe they save time when planning events (Bizzabo)
  • 89% of businesses using event technology save roughly 200 hours per year, and 20% see 360+ hours saved per year (Bizzabo)
  • The event management software market was valued at USD 9.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of USD 16.71 billion by 2026 (Mordor Intelligence)
  • 92% of marketers believe event software makes it easier to achieve business outcomes (Bizzabo)
  • 80% of marketers that are currently using event software don’t have trouble proving ROI (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)

Event technology adoption

  • 90% of event marketers believe that technology can have a major positive impact on the success of their events (Bizzabo)
  • 80% of marketers believe that their leadership team is supportive of their event strategy (Bizzabo)
  • 40% of event app developers boast an average adoption rate of over 80% (EventMB)

Hybrid event statistics

Hybrid events remain the buzz of the event industry – and with good reason. Combining the best of virtual and IRL events allows you to reach a wider and more diverse audience, while offering attendees the option to attend your event in a way that makes them feel most comfortable. But, challenges remain in ensuring a truly successful hybrid event.

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 50.7% of executives think that in the future, all in-person events will have a virtual component (Marketing Charts)
  • Streaming experiences can reduce total climate pollution from events by 60-98%. (Eventcellany)

Event marketing budget statistics

They say money makes the world go ‘round and the same is true for the events industry. Investing in a solid event marketing strategy is critical to successful events, and with the rise of hybrid (along with virtual and in-person) formats, budgeting can get pretty complex.

  • Most organizations spend more than 25% of their marketing budgets on events (CIOreview)
  • Given a 10% increase in budget, 33% of event professionals would prefer to use the extra funds to improve the on-site experience, while 31% would increase the use of technology. (Global Meetings & Events Forecast)
  • 75% of companies with an event budget between $50-100 million expect more than 5:1 of an event ROI, 48% of brands expect between 3:1 and 5:1, and 44% of marketers experience a 3:1 from event marketing (EMI & Mosaic)
  • 64% of event professionals say their overall meeting spend is increasing in 2022 (AMEX)

B2B event industry statistics

As we noted earlier, events can play a huge role in achieving business goals, and event marketers are taking note.

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

Virtual event statistics

The pandemic forced most events to go online and required innovation and creativity for creating engaging virtual experiences. While virtual events will never be able to fully replace in-person ones, the format does have its merits and they won’t be going away anytime soon.

  • In 2019, 39% of event professionals agree that ‘engaging attendees’ is the most crucial element of a live event. (EventMB)
  • 73% of planners have been able to successfully pivot their event to virtual. (EventMB)
  • 57% of attendees believe that they can conduct the majority of their event objectives online. (Reed Exhibitions)
  • 34% of planners consider increased attendance the most positive result of pivoting to virtual, followed by lower overhead costs (27%). (EventMB)
  • 43% of virtual event registrants attend live, while 13% attend on demand. (Intrado)

In-person event statistics

While it can feel like a roll of the dice to plan an in-person event, more event planners are returning to this format, with a few adjustments (read: virtual elements). With most quarantine mandates lifted around the world, attendees and event planners alike are eager to get back IRL.

  • 67% of event professionals believe in-person meetings will return to their pre-pandemic numbers within one to two years (AMEX, 2021)
  • 41.1% of event planners would only attend a physical event in-person if it was local (EventMB)
  • 55% of event organizers report that safety is the biggest obstacle for resuming in-person events (EventMB)
  • 81% of events expected to have an in-person element (AMEX)
  • 35% of events in 2022 will be in-person, based on a survey of 8,227 marketers (Statista)
  • 78% of in-person attendees prefer to network with other in-person attendees (Bizzabo)
  • 85% of leadership (senior managers, executives, and board members) believe in-person events are essential to their company’s success (Bizzabo)

An exciting year ahead

The remaining months of 2022 look to be interesting ones for the events industry as we navigate the twists and turns of different formats, goals, and ROI. As we look ahead to 2023 and beyond, there is no doubt that we’ll continue to see explosive growth in the industry, and more numbers and trends to inform the events of the future.

As an event planner, you have a lot on your plate, so let InGo take marketing off the menu for you. Whether you’re going virtual, in-person, or somewhere in between, we can help solve your biggest marketing challenges, boost attendance, and drive engagement. Reach out today to learn more. 


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