It’s a new year and time to start planning your events for 2022. Lucky for you, we have some fresh virtual event statistics to give provide insight on the current struggles of event organizers and what attendees currently want to see to help you build the most effective virtual event.

Virtual events are just as relevant this year as they were in 2020 and 2021. In fact, this year’s virtual events will likely be even more effective as event organizers utilize lessons learned from the surge in virtual events over the past two years to make their events even better.

Here are the top virtual event statistics that you need to know to upgrade your event strategy for 2022.

1. Event Organizers Are Split on Their Focus For 2022  

In Q4 of 2021, we polled our LinkedIn audience on their event focus for upcoming events. The results were very split. 54% were focused on building a hybrid event strategy, while 46% were still focusing on optimizing their virtual events strategy.

Both of these are valiant goals, as a well-rounded event strategy will often feature a variety of event formats including both hybrid and virtual events. Event owners should continue to build up both their hybrid and virtual event strategies, as both event types are anticipated to be prominent throughout 2022 and beyond. 

2. About 10% of Attendees Log on to The Event Site Before the Official Start of The Event

Pre-event content and networking is an underutilized virtual event strategy. Encouraging attendees to log on prior to the official start date allows you to provide them with a more comprehensive event experience – and it also comes with some benefits for your sponsors.

In 2022, make better of this opportunity by loading your event site with pre-event content and using your pre-event emails to drive traffic to content and networking opportunities that can be accessed before the official start date.

3. Attendees Preferred Form of Networking Is Small-Group Video Calls

We dove into the data from our 2021 events and found that the most heavily utilized networking feature on our platform was Roundtables.

Roundtables are small group video chats that can host up to six people. These chats can be started by attendees, speakers, or sponsors and may be public or private. In 2021, there were 7,193 Roundtables hosted on our platform. This feature surpassed Happy Hour chats, Boardrooms (larger group video calls), and other popular networking functions. 

It is best to leverage multiple networking formats in order to best accommodate attendees’ unique communication and networking preferences. However, it’s worth noting that small and intimate video calls are popular among attendees. As you plan your 2022 virtual events, encourage speakers and sponsors to host their own Roundtables so that they can take advantage of this popular format.

4. 56% of Event Owners Want to Provide More Post-Event On Demand Content

When polled on what they would most like to provide for attendees after an event, 56% of event owners said playback of event content. 

Providing on demand content before, during, and after the event is an amazing way to increase your reach and provide greater value to your attendees. On demand content allows attendees to catch up on sessions that they couldn’t attend due to busy schedules or time zone issues. 

Providing post-event on demand content also allows you to reach attendees that find your event after the official event has ended. Many event owners leave their event sites open for late registrants that want to watch playbacks of event content. Attendees also like to revisit and play back virtual event content to refresh their memories or enhance their learning.

5. Measuring ROI Was the Biggest Challenge for Virtual Event Organizers

We polled our LinkedIn Community to ask what their largest challenge was when planning virtual events in 2021. 38% indicated that measuring the return-on-investment (ROI) was their greatest challenge. 

Tracking the ROI of your events is very important – but it can be tricky without the right tools and data. Event owners using Social27 Virtual Event Platform have access to rich data insights both in real-time and in post-event reporting through the Event Owner Dashboard. Organizers can track connections made, content interactions, and more to determine whether their event KPIs were met. Sponsors can also use the Sponsor Workplace Dashboard to track their own analytics.  

Event owners, exhibitors, and sponsors can also easily follow-up with leads that scanned their badge at Exhibitor Booth Microsites or filled out lead generation forms in order to continue the conversation and close sales. Thorough follow-up is a driving factor in attaining a positive ROI for events and event sponsorship, and Social27 Virtual Event Platform makes it easy to keep track of your hot leads.

6. 44% of Event Organizers Say That Keeping Attendees Engaged Is the Largest Gap in Their Event Strategy

Our LinkedIn audience reported that when planning virtual events, finding ways to keep attendees engaged was the largest gap in their strategy.

This is not surprising, as attendee engagement is frequently touted as event organizer’s biggest concern when switching to a virtual format. However, keeping people engaged during virtual events is not as challenging as it sounds. Attendee engagement comes from providing valuable and engaging content, while also utilizing the engagement tools built into virtual event platforms (like Social27 Virtual Event Platform!). If you currently fall into this statistic, explore engagement tools such as in-session polling, chat features, live Q&As, and more to add some excitement into your sessions.

Plan Your 2022 Virtual Events with Social27

Kickstart your new year’s event goals and dive into the world of virtual and hybrid events. Set up a demo today to learn how Social27 Virtual Event Platform can help you take your 2022 events to the next level with attendee engagement tools, rich data insights, and top networking features.  You can also revisit our 2020 virtual event statistics and 2021 statistics blogs for even more helpful virtual event statistics.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in our virtual and hybrid event polling series. Follow us on LinkedIn to vote in the next series and stay up to date on virtual events trends and technology.