Why Visit a Conference? Why Attend Virtually?

People physically attend conferences and other educational events primarily to (1) expand their networks and (2) to have a personal interaction with others. On the other hand, they attend remotely (“virtually”) to save money and time.

These and other revelations are revealed in a survey report titled “Measuring and Maximizing the Impact of a Hybrid Event,” which includes responses from 247 attendees of the Virtual Edge Summit 2011. The report is sponsored by the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI).

Here are the top reasons given for attending the event in-person:

>> expand their network (43 percent);

>> personal interaction with presenters/and or attendees (41 percent);

>> learn better in person (30 percent); and

>> build deeper relationships with network (26 percent).

Here are the top reasons given for attending the event remotely:

>> cost savings (56 percent);

>> time savings (52 percent);

>> “attend the sessions that I want” (40 percent); and

>> try a virtual event (37 percent).

If no virtual option was available, 93 percent of virtual attendees would not attend the in-person event whereas 78 percent of in-person attendees would attend a virtual option.

For those who did attend virtually in 2010, VEI determined that 18 percent of virtual attendees attended in-person in 2011. In a separate poll of those attendees, 82 percent indicated that attending virtually was “very helpful” in making the decision to attend the 2011 Summit — and all respondents indicated attending virtually was “helpful.”

“The survey results provide great insight into the motivations behind why people attend an event in person or virtually, underscoring the intrinsic value of a virtual option itself for attendees,” says Michael Doyle, executive director of VEI. “Not only can a hybrid event extend your reach, but as we’ve seen with Cisco Live in the past, and now with this case study, it can also drive virtual attendees to attend an in-person event in the future.”

When responses were filtered by generation, the survey revealed that average ratings were similar across generations, averaging 3.86 on a five-point scale for Boomers (born 1946-1964), 3.73 for Gen X-ers (born 1965-1981) and 3.83 for Millennials (born 1982 to present).

Millennials are increasingly becoming advocates of virtual technology solutions, ranking the following statement highly:

“I am more confident that virtual solutions can accomplish business objectives.”

“I am more confident that my audience will benefit from virtual experiences.”

“I have more trust in virtual technology platforms available today.”

“I am more excited about the future of virtual experiences.”

ROI of Engagement, an organization helping companies to credible forecast and measure ROI, conducted the survey.

–More info: http://bit.ly/j0qGnV, http://bit.ly/HybridCaseStudyImages

People physically attend conferences and other educational events primarily to (1) expand their networks and (2) to have a personal interaction with others. On the other hand, they attend remotely (“virtually”) to save money and time.

These and other revelations are revealed in a survey report titled “Measuring and Maximizing the Impact of a Hybrid Event,” which includes responses from 247 attendees of the Virtual Edge Summit 2011. The report is sponsored by the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI).

Here are the top reasons given for attending the event in-person:

>> expand their network (43 percent);

>> personal interaction with presenters/and or attendees (41 percent);

>> learn better in person (30 percent); and

>> build deeper relationships with network (26 percent).

Here are the top reasons given for attending the event remotely:

>> cost savings (56 percent);

>> time savings (52 percent);

>> “attend the sessions that I want” (40 percent); and

>> try a virtual event (37 percent).

If no virtual option was available, 93 percent of virtual attendees would not attend the in-person event whereas 78 percent of in-person attendees would attend a virtual option.

For those who did attend virtually in 2010, VEI determined that 18 percent of virtual attendees attended in-person in 2011. In a separate poll of those attendees, 82 percent indicated that attending virtually was “very helpful” in making the decision to attend the 2011 Summit — and all respondents indicated attending virtually was “helpful.”

“The survey results provide great insight into the motivations behind why people attend an event in person or virtually, underscoring the intrinsic value of a virtual option itself for attendees,” says Michael Doyle, executive director of VEI. “Not only can a hybrid event extend your reach, but as we’ve seen with Cisco Live in the past, and now with this case study, it can also drive virtual attendees to attend an in-person event in the future.”

When responses were filtered by generation, the survey revealed that average ratings were similar across generations, averaging 3.86 on a five-point scale for Boomers (born 1946-1964), 3.73 for Gen X-ers (born 1965-1981) and 3.83 for Millennials (born 1982 to present).

Millennials are increasingly becoming advocates of virtual technology solutions, ranking the following statement highly:

“I am more confident that virtual solutions can accomplish business objectives.”

“I am more confident that my audience will benefit from virtual experiences.”

“I have more trust in virtual technology platforms available today.”

“I am more excited about the future of virtual experiences.”

ROI of Engagement, an organization helping companies to credible forecast and measure ROI, conducted the survey.

–More info: http://bit.ly/j0qGnV, http://bit.ly/HybridCaseStudyImages

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