Survey finds marketing events shifting from the physical to the virtual

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San Francisco—A newly released survey on the anticipated use of trade shows and conventions indicated a significant anticipated shift from the physical to the virtual this year.

Webcasting and virtual events company ON24 sponsored the online survey of more than 10,000 executives.

Seventy-six percent of respondents said their company already has begun using such online events as webinars and virtual shows, or plans to begin using them, to supplement physical events in 2009.

Citing the perceived advantages of virtual events, 75% liked that no travel is required; 64% said they appreciated attending on their own schedules; and 58% enjoyed forwarding to colleagues virtual sessions they found useful.

Meanwhile, 42% of respondents said they expect to participate in fewer physical trade shows this year, and 64% said they will have fewer physical sales kick-off seminars or none at all.

The survey found the largest negative of virtual events is the lack of real networking, with 61% saying that attending virtual events would cause them to miss seeing others in person.

—Christopher Hosford

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