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WHITE PAPER: COVID-19 and How it’s Changing the Event Industry

December 22,2020

Reed Exhibitions has released its first White Paper on ‘COVID-19 and How it’s Changing the Event Industry’, highlighting findings from our COVID Customer Needs and Mindset Barometer.

The Barometer is the largest and most ambitious research project ever undertaken by our company, which is helping us to evaluate the impact of COVID on customer attitudes to physical and digital events. 

Managed by Layla Northern’s Digital Insights team, it has reached out to nearly 3,000 of our exhibitors and over 9,000 attendees across 201 of our events. It has enabled us to analyse our customers’ key concerns and insights, at regular intervals, tracking changing attitudes to physical events and digital event technology over time. 

This important, ongoing research is helping us to constantly evolve and update our technology platforms and services in response to COVID. It also offers valuable insights into how we might reshape our events to our customers’ advantage, and drive profitability and growth in the future.

Among key findings, the White Paper reveals:

  • ​How COVID is changing consumer behaviour towards digital technology
  • Which digital event tools are of the greatest interest to visitors
  • How increased familiarity with event technology is driving engagement and demand
  • How exhibitor and visitor belief in the value of in-person events hasn’t changed
  • Why digitally augmented events are here to stay

Importantly, it shows that COVID has not diminished the value of in-person events for participants who are committed to returning as soon as restrictions are lifted. And that our customers are increasingly open to the idea of engaging with digital alongside in-person events as they reopen.

The White Paper has been shared with the media and uploaded to the Reed Exhibitions website, helping to strengthen our position as an industry thought leader. Copies have also been sent to every participating exhibitor and visitor to thank them for their support.

Our challenge going forward is to convince our customers of the genuine opportunity digital event tools offer them to connect with their peers and prospects and do business, not only in the absence of physical events, but alongside them when they return. 

This White Paper will help us to do just that, and all employees are encouraged to read it and share its findings.