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Virtual Events Statistics

Last updated: 04.08.2022
Author: Marija

Even if it seems like the global pandemic is behind us, going back to in-person events doesn’t feel safe quite yet. Thankfully, virtual events statistics show that advancements in that field that would have taken five to six years, happened in just five-six months.

Necessity-driven innovation has also yielded hybrid events — a mix of in-person and virtual meetings — that are unlikely to die out even after the global outbreak has completely subsided. That’s why we’ve prepared the most relevant facts and stats to keep you in the loop.

Virtual Events Statistics (Editor’s Choice) 

  • 30% of trade shows in 2021 were held as hybrid events. (Statista)
  • The virtual events market was worth $114.12 billion in 2021. (Grand View Research)
  • 99% of companies say webinars are crucial for their events. (Statista)
  • Over 50% of marketers prefer in-person events over hybrid or virtual meetings. (Statista)
  • A virtual session usually lasts 54 minutes. (Meetings Net)
  • A 20 minutes session has 68% of watch time on average. (Bizzabo)
  • 62% of virtual events are single-day events. (Bizzabo)
  • 49% of marketers claim engagement is the top factor in event success. (Markletic)
  • 59% of organizers use gamification to increase engagement. (Markletic)
  • Future events are expected to be 32% physical, 45% virtual, and 23% hybrid. (Marketing Tech News)

General Virtual Events Statistics

1. The virtual events market size was $114.12 billion worldwide in 2021.

It is further projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.7% up to 2028. This has come about with corporations implementing video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Hangouts across industries amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

(Grand View Research)

2. Global events industry revenue has reached $1 trillion.

Out of that, the share of virtual events in 2022 will be a full 40%, virtual events stats show, despite the planners’ expectations for the protective measures to go to a minimum, and hopes of live events getting a revival. 

(Statista)

3. One-third of trade shows in 2021 were hybrid events.

Then, 20% of trade shows were further virtual-only. What’s more, nearly four out of 10 US marketers and exhibitors had reported planning to lift their virtual events spending.

(Statista)

4.  99% of companies said webinars were a “critical element” in their event planning in 2021.

And not only organizers, but people attending events also preferred webinars in 50% of the cases, with such events largely facilitated by the use of webinar software. Virtual events statistics from the same survey further reveal that up to 75% of marketers used live streaming video in 2021.

(Statista)

5. Over 50% of marketers prefer in-person events over virtual or hybrid meetings.

They cite the price of hybrid events as the main reason for this, while also claiming in-person and digital experiences can never bring the same quality. Half of the employees, however, think attending and working remotely is a determining factor when choosing employment in the future so some form of the hybrid solution is evidently a must.

(Statista)

6. The average duration of a virtual session is 54 minutes.

Even though virtual events stats show that 52% of organizers of virtual sessions are focusing on interaction, only 42% of attendees say they watch the whole virtual event. Their attention is held and they feel engaged for the first 68% of the session. Event marketing statistics meanwhile show the average number of sessions for a virtual event is 15.

(Meetings Net)

7. Around 67.7% of marketers say it’s hard to keep virtual event attendees engaged.

The biggest challenge is keeping the audience focused on the event content. Even short sessions that last 20 minutes have 68% of watch time. Attention span on any type of video content drops significantly after 20 minutes and segments should be planned around the audience’s focus, virtual event fatigue statistics show. 

(Bizzabo)

8. 58% of virtual sessions have up to 300 live attendees.

Larger keynote events happen 14% of the time only. Then, 62% of virtual events are single-day events. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the average number of sessions per one virtual event is 12.

(Bizzabo)

9. 63% of marketers considered tools for virtual events of vital importance in future strategies.

The same percentage, 63% of event organizers, believe mobile event apps increase engagement of attendees, and 70% of marketers keep track of attendee engagement as a KPI for event success, according to virtual event attendance statistics. For 37%, it’s the main way to measure the success of a virtual event, along with satisfaction.

(Bizzabo)

10. 78% of companies that use an event application say it contributes to the positive ROI.

Attendees mostly use the apps for familiarizing themselves with the agenda and the registration process. Yet only 30% of the companies use an application for their virtual events despite evidence that it boosts engagement. Virtual events stats meanwhile show that 61% use video to keep the engagement high, 68% use video streaming, and 30% organize giveaways.

(Markletic)

11. Salesforce World Tour Sydney Reimagined event had 80,000 live stream viewers.

Some of the biggest and most successful virtual events are: 

  • Salesforce World Tour Sydney Reimagined
  • The NBA restart
  • SBC Digital Summit
  • Sports Backers’ Great American 5000
  • Tomorrowland Around The World — The Digital Festival
  • Zoomtopia
  • The Virtual Estate Experience
  • Cvent CONNECT Virtual

(Social Tables)

12. Virtual event platforms saw 1,000% increases in events in 2020, virtual events statistics show.

Zoom is the dominant tool when it comes to virtual events and conferencing but other platforms also saw massive increases in events and revenue. Zoom’s share price meanwhile soared during the pandemic, hitting $560 in the fall of 2020. 

(Forbes, Comet Chat)

13. Up to 91% of large event organizers have sponsored sessions to increase revenue.

In addition to that, 87% of marketers chose virtual event platforms with virtual sponsorship booth capabilities. When looking for a platform, 70.6% of respondents look for good marketing automation integration tools. Virtual events stats meanwhile suggest that 74% of B2B event organizers see positive ROI at least half a year after the virtual event in question.

(Markletic)

14. 68% of organizers report one-on-one meetings at virtual events help raise audience satisfaction.

Some 34% of marketers use sending virtual gift bags and 59% use gamification strategies to increase engagement. Around 63% of event organizers choose pre-recorded sessions and a live Q&A that follows.

(Markletic)

15. A single webinar can create over 500 leads.

60% of companies create webinars to convert users into clients, virtual events statistics show. The average webinar attendance rate is from 40% to 50%. The percentage of webinar use by company type looks like this:

  • 61% of B2B 
  • 17% of B2C companies
  • 11% of nonprofits

(Findstack)

16. Up to 72% of companies in the UK and Ireland will continue with virtual events in the long term. 

Types of virtual events in the future are expected to be 32% physical, 45% virtual, and 23% hybrid. Linkedin surveys show 45% of future B2B events are expected to be fully virtual. Up to 77% of B2B events organizers meanwhile show interest in turning to hybrid events, virtual event statistics confirm.

(Marketing Tech News)

17. LinkedIn Live streams increased over 400% year-on-year in 2020.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn Live broadcaster rose by almost 500%. 81% of the organizers of these events claimed that they presented opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable.

(Marketing Tech News)

Hybrid Events Statistics 

18. 25% of marketers say they will organize five to 10 hybrid events per year.

Predictions show that 34% of marketers plan to invest more in the hybrid events sphere over the next couple of years and also, 34% say they will start using hybrid events soon.

Hybrid and virtual event statistics meanwhile show some 21% of companies are making efforts to get a hybrid event platform. And with good reason, with 57% of attendees stating they would rather attend the in-person part of the event than the virtual part. 

(Markletic, Cvent)

19. 39% of virtual attendees of hybrid events say they did not feel included.

This phenomenon can be fought off by making events shorter and spreading them over multiple days. Up to 49% of event management companies found time zones to be a difficulty when organizing a global hybrid event. It also takes significantly more time to put up a hybrid rather than an in-person or virtual-only event, according to 38% of marketers, hybrid and virtual events statistics show.

(Markletic)

20. 71.1% of organizers list connecting virtual and live audiences as their top challenge.

46% of organizers further say speakers struggled engaging two different types of audiences simultaneously. For 67% of event organizers, having the right technology is an issue, while 35% saw finding the right venue as their biggest challenge.

Virtual event statistics show connectivity presents a problem for 32.9% of event organizers, but only 12% made sure to have a backup internet connection solution ready.

(Markletic)

The Bottom Line 

Virtual events were on the rise years ago but the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic propelled them to a whole new reality that would have come years later. While in-person events will likely make a comeback, virtual event statistics show that remote attendance is here to stay, including as part of hybrid events, which have emerged as a cost-effective compromise. 

Virtual Events FAQ

How popular are virtual events?

Event industry statistics point to steady popularity for virtual events, even as pandemic measures get lifted. Stats show that 72% of respondents in a survey will attend the same number (or even more) of online events as they have during lockdowns even as in-person events return.

(Vimeo)

How much have virtual events increased?

Virtual events stats show since the global pandemic virtual events went up by 1,000% on certain virtual platforms. A GBTA study shows that 2020 brought a 290% increase in hosting virtual events compared to the previous year. The development that was expected to happen over years happened over a couple of weeks. Up to 93% of companies report they had a minimum of one virtual meeting in 2020.

(Forbes, Cvent)

What is the average attendance at a virtual event?

Virtual event attendance statistics show that the average attendance was 1,356 people for virtual meetings when looking at international association meetings worldwide. Regular meetings counted an average of 908 attendees. Still, most virtual events count fewer than 300 attendees.    

(Statista, Bizzabo)

What is the ideal length of a virtual event?

The recommendation for the ideal length of a virtual event is anywhere from two to four hours. The attention and engagement for work events might stretch to five hours, virtual events stats found but anything longer than that would be a mistake. Live events meanwhile can run for a full day due to breaks and changes of pace, in-person meetings, and activities that are unavailable online. 

(Stream Go)

When do most people register for a virtual event?

Most people register for a virtual event two to three weeks in advance. Advertising and promotion too early on will not have much effect and will not be cost-efficient, according to virtual event statistics.

(Marketo)

How do you measure the success of a virtual event?

One can measure the success of the virtual event using a number of ways, the most common one is through the virtual event attendance rate. Other ways include measuring attendee engagement, attendee retention, online visits, app visits, feedback forms, surveys, social media metrics, and revenue generated.

(Smart Meetings)

What percentage of virtual event costs come from technology?

Virtual event statistics show that up to 75% of the live event budget is used for a venue, staff, travel, decor, and similar and only 25% is allocated to technology. The opposite is true for virtual events where 75% of virtual event costs are covering technology solutions.

(Cvent)

What percent of virtual events are free?

Looking at virtual events pricing, in 2021 the percentage of free events grew to 91%. Up to 80% of virtual events were free according to the analyses of 988 virtual events on the Bizzabo platform in 2020.  

(Meetings Net)

What is the average cost of a virtual conference?

According to virtual events statistics, the average cost of a virtual conference depends on the number of attendees. The average cost per person is from $1,000 to $1,500 for large virtual conferences. The virtual conference price is lower for smaller events, which are the most frequent ones, the second most popular type of events are networking events and round tables.

(Markletic)

How big is the virtual event market?

The global virtual event market size is estimated to be $9.03 billion in 2020 and is expected to go up to $22.75 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 12.24% in the period from 2021 to 2028 according to virtual events statistics by Verified Market Research.

(PR Newswire, Statista)

Sources: Statista, Grand View Research, Meetings Net, Bizzabo, Markletic, Marketing Tech News, Social Tables, Forbes, Comet Chat, Findstack, Markletic, Cvent, Vimeo, Statista, Stream G, Marketo, Smart Meetings, Cvent, PR Newswire

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