When Are Events Coming Back? 5 Research Takeaways

October 7, 2020

Research, surveys, and opinion pieces about the return to live events have been surfacing since the beginning of the Covid shutdown. We took a look at some of the latest and most reliable information about when events are coming back, and why they're likely to turn to event platforms like CrowdBlink.

Here are the 5 major takeaways from the research so far:

Livestreaming and virtual events will not replace mass gatherings.

In a recent interview, Ali Shaffaee who is behind the Escapade Music Festival, argued that we are not a society that can live without contact — given how large a part live events play in our lives.

This seems to be consistent with the sentiment from live event attendees.

According to data from Enigma Research, out of 2000 live event patrons who had attended a festival in the past 24 months, 73% stated that alternatives such as livestreaming or virtual experiences are no substitute for live events.

Epidemiologist forecasts nod toward 2021 for return of mass gatherings

Back in June, The New York Times surveyed 511 epidemiologists for their opinions about re-opening. About 1/3rd said that it will take 3 to 12 months before mass live gatherings return. 

The remaining 2/3rds foresee a timeline that sees events returning by Summer 2021 — anticipating 1+ year.

With events like The Rebound Festival already taking place in Australia, there are good reasons to be optimistic.

When live events come back, they'll be met with pent-up demand.

The same authoritative survey by Enigma Research showed that 76% of event attendees are either extremely likely or very likely to return to live events.

Virtually everyone (94%) stated that the main thing which will be holding them back from returning to live events was concerns about Covid-19. As mass gatherings re-open, 33% plan to return immediately, while 48% would wait anywhere between 1 week to 3 months before attending.

Patrons more willing to attend your post-Covid event if you use contactless technology.

Contactless technology including access control and cashless payments will play a major role in the return to events. Half of all event attendees are more likely to attend a post-Covid event that uses contactless payments for admission, food, and merchandise (survey).

In combination with contactless, sanitation measures will also be extremely important, with 3/4 attendees reporting that they are more likely to attend if there is hand-washing or sanitizer throughout and extreme sanitation and cleaning at venues.

Industry conferences may face more difficulty acquiring sponsors than festivals.

The pent-up demand for sporting events, music festivals and other live entertainment events is likely to attract brands wanting to play a pivotal role in the return to live — B2C brands will always be competing for visibility.

In the B2B space, however, there is some worry that marketing budgets will not be allocated as generously for conferences — only 1 in 3 demand generation marketers believe that their event budgets will return to pre-Covid levels.


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