Organization of events - their role and value in the business world
Half of the representatives of HR, sales and marketing departments say that the pandemic has contributed to a decline in commitment and a hindrance to cooperation - indicates the latest Antal and Eventory report "Company meeting and events in times of change", whose patron is BRIEF. 60% of respondents consider the form of in-person meetings as having the best impact on employees' willingness to work, and 47% indicate the hybrid model.
Most companies are aware of the important role of event marketing and despite the limitations and "changes to the rules of the game", they do not give up organizing events. Each business meeting model has its own strengths, weaknesses and complexity levels. Which form of events will work best in terms of building relationships in the post-pandemic future?
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF ORGANIZING BUSINESS MEETINGS?
Return on investment for an event is a flexible term that indicates the value that can be obtained after deducting the cost associated with organizing it. The value may be the income generated from registration, but may also include sponsorship and partnerships, potential customers added to the sales funnel, number of people who attended the event, participant satisfaction, PR and recruitment benefits, and more.
Companies in Poland most often measure the return on investment from the organization of an event by analyzing the number of participants (47% of responses) and the profit on sales carried out during the meeting (42% of responses). The value of an event can be assessed, for example, on the basis of registrations, sponsorships, the number of new customers or a CV in the database, as well as many other goals and indicators that cannot always be expressed in PLN (generated leads, brand awareness, long-term customer value).
Events as understood by the marketing, sales, HR and PR departments include training courses, meetings, meetups, conferences, team-building trips, CSR events and many other forms that the company organizes for its clients, employees and business partners. For years, marketers have been wondering how to prove their real impact on the company's business development. A pandemic ensued and many event managers lost their jobs or changed the scope of their responsibilities in the company. What's more, budgets for event activities have been cut significantly. Why? Since the company did not know the specific effects of event marketing, such a move by many of them seemed obvious – explains Natalia Pocztowska, Head of Sales Eventory.
THE BIG ROLE OF DIGITAL TOOLS IN THE ORGANIZATION OF EVENTS
Currently, the most popular tools used during the organization of meetings include software for video calling, such as Zoom or MS Teams (81% of responses) and messaging tools in the form of popular e mail boxes. Less than half of the respondents use social media, reporting tools or even those enabling the preparation of materials for participants. More advanced solutions are used by less than half of the participants.
Recruiters and marketers have had digital tools for a long time, but now the emphasis on them is much greater, and the acceptance of this communication channel by target groups is growing. When talking about strategy, creation, new solutions and technologies in marketing, it is important to be able to exchange market information and seek knowledge through industry meetings, events or conferences – says Iwo Paliszewski, CEE Marketing & Employer Branding Manager Antal.
THE FREQUENCY OF ORGANIZING EVENTS AND BUILDING COMMITMENT
The main goals of organizing meetings and events from the perspective of HR representatives are education and training, recruitment and internal communication. Willingness to develop, expanding knowledge and acquiring new skills affect the effectiveness of business activities, which determines the possibility of achieving better results by the company. Human resource management departments can contribute to improving the quality of services and products offered, including by organizing training courses for employees. Most often, meetings are organized in the areas of HR and sales. In the case of these groups, most respondents chose the answer that business events are organized "several times a week", 73% and 68%, respectively.
By observing the current mood and talking to our partners, we anticipate two scenarios. In the first of them, when we finally manage to return to the reality from before the pandemic, we expect a sudden increase in participants' interest in stationary events. After a long time of online events, participants will primarily be hungry for human interaction. The second scenario is that a large proportion of people will prefer online participation. Time saving, travel costs and ease of access to the event are the overwhelming advantages of online participation. In the future, therefore, we must take into account the preferences of the audience and, when planning events, aim at hybrid events – adds Agnieszka Kapłon, Head of Customer Success Eventory.
A FUTURE OF HYBRID MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Businesses can already see that online events and meetings have a lot of advantages. As the most important companies, they indicate better ranges, better attendance at events or lower costs. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to 100% replace an offline event with an online event. According to the survey respondents, it was easier to establish relationships during in-person events and ultimately lead to a transaction.
58% of respondents choose a hybrid model of meetings in the future. Hybrid events allow you to combine the strengths of online and in-person events. This is probably why the respondents representing various areas agree that they will most often be organized in the future. In the case of HR representatives, as many as 77% believe that the hybrid will be the model most often used in the future, 54% of sales representatives and almost half (43%) of marketing and PR representatives share the opinion.
In order to provide all participants with the same opportunities – especially those who choose to participate online in the event – special attention should be paid to the digital part. Tools for conducting the on-line part of the quality reflecting the possibilities of the participant in the in-person part will be sought and desired. What does it mean? At a facetoface event, the participant can simply walk up to another person to talk to. Thus, in the hybrid model, the option of networking and talking to others should also be provided to the participant in an online event – says Jakub Śmietana, Sales Leader Eventory.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH: The Antal and Eventory survey was conducted among 316 managers, including HR (32%), Marketing and PR (36%) and Sales (32%), using the CAWI method, on February 15-28, 2021. The report aims to describe the role that online, in-person (traditional face to face) and hybrid meetings and business events (live events with simultaneous online transmission, enabling remote participation) play in building an active attitude of employees, customers and partners of the company.