Emerald Releases First Annual B2B Events Industry Outlook 2022 Report: Charting Success Amid Evolving Expectations

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Benchmark, data-driven report highlights survey responses regarding B2B event industry outlook in 2022, and points to shifting expectations for integrating digital, commerce and other year-round engagement models

Emerald, a leader in building dynamic, market-driven platforms that integrates live events with a broad array of proprietary B2B digital solutions, released its first ever annual research report reflecting the changing expectations influencing and shaping the future of the business-to-business (B2B) events industry.

“As we enter a time of recovery and resurgence, companies are re-evaluating their value propositions and go-to-market strategies to ensure they can quickly and effectively respond to changing B2B customer behaviors in both shopping and buying. Our goal with Emerald’s “B2B Events Industry Outlook Report”

Developed by Emerald’s content strategy and marketing agency Content4Demand, G3 Communications, “B2B Event Industry Outlook Report 2022, Charting Success Amid Evolving Expectations” surveyed more than 1,000 B2B event planners, vendors/providers and attendees in the United States and Canada to understand how events are driving business growth in an industry that is both recovering and evolving. Additionally, the report examines how constant connectivity is driving the demand for year-round engagement and, thus, creating a pivotal transformation in the future B2B event landscape.

“Our inaugural B2B Events Industry Outlook details industry participant outlook during an unprecedented pandemic-induced economic reset of our industry,” said Issa Jouaneh, Executive Vice President, Emerald.

“As we enter a time of recovery and resurgence, companies are re-evaluating their value propositions and go-to-market strategies to ensure they can quickly and effectively respond to changing B2B customer behaviors in both shopping and buying. Our goal with Emerald’s “B2B Events Industry Outlook Report” was to identify actionable, data-driven opportunities through the data and then apply our collective expertise to generate new perspectives, guidance and insights into the rapidly evolving event industry,” added Jouaneh.

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Emerald’s “B2B Events Industry Outlook 2022” underscores that while in-person events remain a lynchpin for driving business growth, there is a common thread that identifies a growing demand for virtual and digital offerings. Previously considered as complementary and optional, these digital offerings are now deemed core and essential components to augment the in-person event experience and drive year-round engagement – squarely on achieving customer-centricity.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • The number of in-person events planned – as well as participation in those events – are anticipated to rise in 2022 from 2021 but expected increases don’t fully offset 2019 vs. 2021 declines
  • The 2022 growth projection estimates a 50% increase in the number of in-person events and participants from 2020 according to the surveyed B2B vendors and planners/organizers
  • These B2B vendors/providers expect sales pipeline attributed to events—both live and digital—to more than make up for the downturn from 2019
  • All three surveyed groups indicated that in the future, they’d be prioritizing the quality of contacts and level of engagement beyond actual events
  • Attendees and B2B vendors/providers value in-person events. However, they are also looking for a dynamic model that combines the best features of live and digital events orchestrated for year-round engagement and commerce
  • Responses indicate that e-commerce will become a growing component of year-round engagement. All survey groups, including 84% of attendees surveyed and 67% of B2B vendors/providers and planners polled, want organizers to enable and help facilitate these transactions

Review infographic of the Five Key Takeaways here

Andrew Gaffney, President of Emerald’s G3 Communications division, commented, “Events have served as the central part of pipeline building strategies for most B2B brands, and while the survey responses suggest that will continue, there are evolving expectations around how events will guide more of the entire buying journey.”

“While the core, in-person aspect of an event will remain critical, companies appear to be looking for year-round engagement, diversification, commerce and community. Event organizers would do well to consider using content to build dialogue, meet buyers where they live and make it a more seamless process to move from discovery to evaluation to selection,” added Gaffney.

Emerald’s B2B Events Industry Outlook 2022 report also provides a detailed analysis and further insights into:

  • The impact brands have seen on business from the limited number of events they were able to stage in 2020 and 2021
  • What B2B companies are looking for in the new event model
  • The expectations for online commerce solutions for B2B businesses to make transactions throughout the year

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