Category: News

New Research Finds Majority of Events Have Been Cancelled or Postponed

New Eventsforce Research Finds Majority of 2020 Events Have Been Cancelled or Postponed

London, UK – 22nd April 2020 – A new research study investigating the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the events industry has found that most organisers are postponing their events to autumn/fall this year. The survey also shows that 50% are moving their events online, with the majority opting for smaller-scale events with streamed sessions, virtual attendee engagement and networking.

The research study, titled ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings & Events’ was conducted by Eventsforce in April 2020 and is based on the views of 550+ event professionals based in the U.S. and the UK, representing corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings and Events

One of the main objectives of the study was to investigate the proportion of events that have been cancelled or postponed as a result of the outbreak, as well as when events are being rescheduled to. The findings show that 45% of organisers have postponed, 27% have cancelled and another 25% are searching for solutions to move their events online.

Most of the events that have been postponed have been rescheduled to the second half of the year, with 36% in the autumn/fall season and 11% in winter this year. Another 25% have moved their events to 2021, while 23% are still trying to decide.

“The results show that the Coronavirus outbreak has had a shocking impact on our industry with the cancellation of many major events this quarter. More than 50% have also postponed their events to later in the year – while others like Facebook and Microsoft won’t be hosting any large physical events until summer 2021,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.

“Although we expect things to improve over time, it is likely we’ll see more organisations follow their lead and postpone their large events for the second half of next year and move their smaller ones online.”

The findings show that deciding whether to cancel, reschedule or go digital is one of the toughest challenges organisers currently face in the job.  Other challenges include difficulties in planning things given the fluidity of the current situation (66%), changing contract terms with suppliers, sponsors and exhibitors (34%), dealing with refunds and cash flow issues (28%) and making sure delegate comms and expectations are managed in the right way (25%). Nearly 30% are also having to deal with job cuts and long-term financial loss.

Productivity is another area that is impacting some event planners – with 17% having difficulties in keeping teams motivated, and another 14% finding remote work a challenge.

The Need for Virtual Events

The research study shows that the current situation has forced many organisations to take the leap into virtual events – 50% of organisers are now moving their events online and another 30% are considering it.

When asked what would stop their organisations from hosting virtual events, 43% said it would be difficult to replicate their events to a virtual model. Other key barriers include uncertainty on whether attendees will come on board and a lack of experience in running online events.  Organisers also voiced concerns that the technology may not work as well as it should, which would have a negative impact on the event itself.

The study also looked at how organisers are making the move to virtual. Only 24% of event planners are moving their entire in-person event experience online – with the majority opting to run a scaled-down version of their existing events (38%). Another 32% are choosing to host their sessions online with some attendee engagement and networking – while 29% are delivering event content through webinars alone.

“The survey results show that most organisers are looking at virtual events as an effective way of continuing support for their stakeholders and wider communities. By using tools like Eventsforce, event planners can easily stream all their content online via live or recorded sessions, while managing things much in the same way they would for their in-person events,” continued Sirius.

When investigating the kind of technology organisers are considering for their virtual events – online meeting software like Zoom topped the list with 75% of respondents.  More than 40% are looking at solutions that would support live streaming sessions, while another 25% are considering video sharing platforms like Vimeo for streaming pre-recorded content.  Only 13% are looking at live streaming sessions through social media tools like Facebook Live.

The Impact on Event Planners

The Eventsforce study also found that almost 70% of organisers now have a lot more time on their hands as a result of the ongoing situation.  Many are focusing on education and personal development (54%), while others are making improvements to their event planning processes (50%) and marketing activities (51%).  Technology is another key area with 37% of organisers taking steps to evaluate their event tech and another 36% making improvements to the way they collect, manage and secure their event data.

For a more comprehensive look at the results of the ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Meetings & Events’ research study, please see infographic below:

New Eventsforce Research Finds Majority of 2020 Events Have Been Cancelled or Postponed

 

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides SaaS event management software that powers thousands of successful events each year. With offices in London (UK) and Denver (US), its customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Its highly customisable software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to on-site check-in, mobile apps, abstracts and awards management, real-time analytics and reporting.

For more information about Eventsforce and how it can help with your in-person and online events, please visit: www.eventsforce.com

Media Contact:

Taline Jones, Head of Marketing

Tel: +44 (7) 895623717

Email: taline.jones@eventsforce.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventsforce Helps Organisers Move Their Events Online

Eventsforce_virtual events

London, UK – 2nd April 2020 – Eventsforce has added new functionality to its suite of enterprise event management tools to support organisations making a move to virtual events. The new offering will allow organisers to deliver their event content and sessions online, as well as help them engage with audiences in the same way they would for their in-person events.

“Our industry is facing an unprecedented time of risk and uncertainty – and yet it’s been remarkable to see how event professionals around the world are coming together, sharing ideas and supporting one another in a remarkable show of unity. Many are also now exploring new ways of engaging with their communities and running their events online. Association members, for example, rely on events for their professional development and moving this education online is one way of addressing their needs,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.

“Instead of cancelling or postponing events, we can help organisers move their sessions online so that they can continue to support their stakeholders and wider communities. We’re also making things easier for remote attendees too – with tools that help them connect and learn in new ways.”

Initial findings from a new Eventsforce research study shows that 44% of organisers are currently considering a move to virtual events with more than 1 in 3 looking at hosting scaled-down versions of their existing events.  The integrated system from Eventsforce allows organisers to move their sessions online using popular video-streaming and webcasting tools like Zoom and YouTube Live, while managing all their registrations and delegate payments at the same time.

Virtual attendees can watch streamed sessions on any device and use tools like live Q&As, surveys and polls to ask speakers questions, share feedback and download presentations.  They can also see other attendees and message one another – or use the virtual breakout areas to discuss what was presented and make valuable new connections.

“As well as driving attendance and engagement, moving event content online can present a good opportunity for organisations to create new relationships with their sponsors, as well as potentially increase their income.  Sponsors can now look at these live-streamed sessions as a chance to engage with audiences remotely.  Even afterwards, they can sponsor recorded sessions and get a better return on their investment over time,” continue Sirius.

The Eventsforce system also helps with data management.  Organisers can track attendance of their virtual sessions and manage CPD accreditations a lot more effectively. Real-time insight on key metrics like registrations, attendance and session popularity can help in measuring performance and making more informed decisions. The solution also ensures that organisers can manage all their virtual and in-person event data in one place.

Eventsforce is currently running a research study with event planners investigating the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on meetings and events. The results will be announced in two weeks.


For more information on how Eventsforce can help with your online events, please click here or get in touch for a chat.

 

Eventsforce Expands US Operations After Simpleview Acquisition

Eventsforce expands US operations

London, UK – 17th March 2020 – Eventsforce will be expanding its operations in the US, following its acquisition by Arizona-based Simpleview, the travel and tourism industry’s leading provider of CRM and marketing software.

With new US offices in Denver, Colorado, the company will remain independent of other businesses within the Simpleview group.  It will also continue to be managed by its CEO, George Sirius and the rest of its executive team. 

“We have enjoyed great success in the UK and European markets over the years – supporting thousands of events with our powerful enterprise event management solutions and our commitment to world-class customer service. Together with Simpleview, we now have a unique opportunity to extend this success and bring something new to US event planners,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce. 

“We’re also making some big enhancements to our mobile offerings this year – and will launch a new event management platform which has been specifically designed to help organisers improve event experiences and engage better with attendees.”

Last year, Eventsforce introduced a number of new products designed to improve the attendee on-site experience – from sessions management and self-service check-in to attendance apps and badge-printing tools.  The solutions were showcased at this year’s PCMA’s Convening Leaders show in San Francisco, where it also unveiled findings from a new research study identifying a growing ‘tech skills’ gap in the events industry.  

Established in 2001, Simpleview has been providing CRM, CMS, website design, digital marketing, revenue generation and mobile technologies to more than 900 travel, tourism and convention marketing customers around the world.  Its acquisition of Eventsforce is part of the company’s commitment to provide advanced technology solutions that target both meeting planners and destination marketing organisations.


Have further questions? If you are an Eventsforce customer, please contact your Account Manager who will be happy to help or give us a call on +44-20-3936-4271

If you would like to know more about Eventsforce and speak to a member of our US team, please contact +1 202-827-6319 



New Research Shows Growing Technology Skills Gap in Events Industry

Research 2019 - are event planners struggling with event technology?

47% of event planners say they don’t have the right skills to make informed decisions on event technology

London, UK – 6th November, 2019 – A new research study has found that 47% of event planners say they have limited skills to make confident, informed decisions around their event tech investments, despite holding responsibility for it in the majority of organisations.  The survey also found that an overwhelming 91% of organisers say event tech is an important aspect of their job, but only 48% consider themselves to be tech-savvy.

The research study, titled ‘Are Event Planners Struggling with Event Technology’ was conducted by Eventsforce in October and is based on the views of 145+ event professionals based in the U.S. and the UK, representing corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies.

Importance of Event Tech in Event Planning

One of the main objectives of the study was to investigate the importance of event tech in the role of the event planner and identify some of the challenges they face when managing event technology. The findings show that 46% of those surveyed say event tech plays a very important part in their work as an event planner, while 68% believe being a tech expert is key for job success.  Another 30% believe that event tech skills are essential for their career progression.

Despite the importance of event tech, however, only 48% of organisers see themselves as tech-savvy. Another 75% also struggle to keep up with trends and new products in the market.  The results show that conversations with peers and colleagues is the most popular way event professionals try to keep up with event tech (78%), followed by industry blogs/news sites (50%) and trade shows and conferences (48%).

Challenges of Managing Event Tech

The Eventsforce study looked at some of the challenges event planners currently face when managing event tech for their organisations.  The biggest issue for 65% of organisers is the time it takes to complete the procurement, implementation and integration process of their event technology systems.  Other challenges include getting people to use the tech across their organisation (54%), limited skills to make confident investment decisions (47%) and managing the migration process from one system to another (42%).

The survey also looked at which event technology tools organisers most struggle with.   Data management topped the list at 47%, followed by live-streaming (34%), event apps (32%) and event management software (30%).

“The challenges of managing event tech are not going to go away for organisers – especially when you look at things like data management, reporting and analytics and the increasing use of tech tools that help them collect an enormous amount of data on their events and attendees,” commented George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.

“Our research shows, however, that organisers don’t necessarily have the time nor skills to tackle this head on – paving the way for a new ‘event technologist’ role in our industry:  An event professional whose job is to focus exclusively on all things event tech. Though the requirement of this role can vary from one event organisation to another, it is something we are starting to see more of – particularly across agencies and corporate organisations.”

The Future of Event Tech

The Eventsforce study found that 56% of event planners see the emergence of a new ‘event technologist’ role in the industry – though 82% claim that organisers should be the ones to hold responsibility and accountability for their organisation’s event tech investments.  The results also show that only 22% of organisers are confident that the next generation of event professionals (ex. fresh graduates) have the tech skills they need in the job.

The research study also looked at some of the new emerging tech that organisers are keen to use around their events in the future. Mixed reality platforms like AR and VR topped the list at 50%, followed by AI-enabled solutions that promote more personalised attendee experiences like chatbots and networking tools (43%).  Others include smart wearables, facial recognition, 5G connectivity and holograms.

For a more comprehensive look at the results of the ‘Are Event Planners Struggling with Event Technology’ research study, please see infographic below:

Infographic_Are Event Planners Struggling with Event Tech_Research 2019

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides SaaS event management software that powers thousands of successful events each year. With headquarters in London (UK), its customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Its highly customisable software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to on-site check-in, mobile apps, abstracts and awards management, real-time analytics and reporting.

For more information about Eventsforce and how it can help events with data security and GDPR compliance, please visit www.eventsforce.com or watch video.

Media Contact:

Taline Jones, Content Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 77856997

Email: taline.jones@eventsforce.com

Research Reveals Top Reasons Events Invest in Apps Despite Challenges in Measuring ROI

Session information and personalised agendas are most popular app features used by attendees

London, UK – 18th June 2019 – A new research study has found that engaging attendees is the top reason 81% of organisations are using event apps but difficulties in measuring ROI, low adoption rates and the complexity of launching apps are still limiting efforts. The study by Eventsforce also found that despite a 50-75% attendee adoption rate for most event apps, 67% of organisers don’t see any value in using apps once the event is over.

The findings of ‘The ROI of Event Apps’ study are based on responses from over 190 event professionals in the US and the UK and represent corporates, associations, government, PCOs and event management agencies.

“The popularity around event apps has evolved so much over the last few years.  Most people attending events these days expect an app and it seems most event planners want one too.  Our research, however, shows that despite attendee engagement being the driving force behind event apps, only 20% are enjoying adoption rates of 75% or more.   It also shows that a large majority are still finding the management of apps an issue,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce.

Current Uptake of Event Apps

The ‘ROI of Event Apps’ study found that 57% of organisers surveyed are using event apps, with the majority (45%) focusing on larger events that gather more than 300 attendees.  When investigating the reasons for not using apps, 35% stated that apps were too expensive, while others were discouraged by the time and effort it takes to launch one.  Other barriers include lack of management buy-in (26%) and difficulties in justifying the value apps bring to their organisations (16%).

The results also showed that the majority of those who do use apps enjoy an average adoption rate of 50-75%, with information on sessions and speakers topping the list of features attendees value the most.  Other popular app features include personalised agendas & calendar synching (60%), maps and floor plans (38%), live polling and surveys (35%), networking tools (33%) and push notifications (31%).

Pros and Cons of Event Apps

When investigating the business drivers behind using event apps, the study found driving attendee engagement was the main reason why 81% of organisations are using event apps. Another 57% are using apps as a tool to update attendees on changes in agendas and schedules. Other reasons include saving money on printed programmes (41%), driving traffic to sessions through push notifications (29%) and gathering data on attendee behaviour (21%).  Nearly 30% also said they use apps because their attendees expect them at their events.

The study also looked at some of the challenges organisers are currently facing with event apps.  Nearly half of those surveyed found that creating and launching apps takes up a lot of time. Low adoption rates is also a problem for 42% of organisers, as well as issues in measuring results (39%) and managing data transfers between systems (37%). When asked how they measure the ROI of their apps, adoption rates, feedback from surveys and in-app engagement stats (ex. page views and poll stats) were the top performance metrics used by most organisations.

Apps bring value to events only when they successfully connect attendees to the right content and right people at the right time. To do this effectively, organisers need to make sure that the information attendees see on apps is always accurate and up-to-date. Our research, however, shows that data transfers between apps and event management systems is a problem for more than 1 in 3 organisations.  Dealing with one fully integrated platform for registrations, sessions and apps not only eliminates this problem, but can also help boost adoption rates.  It will also give organisers a clearer picture on all their event data,” Sirius continued.

Promotion of Event Apps

How organisers market event apps was another area that the study investigated.  Email campaigns were seen as the most effective promotion channel for 91% of event planners, followed by event websites (64%) and social media (40%).  When looking at how much effort organisers dedicate in promoting apps, the results showed that a majority of 87% promote their apps one to three months prior to the event.  Despite this, most attendees only download the app one day prior or on the actual day of the event.  Only 20% promote their apps after the event but majority agree that this drives very little engagement with attendees.

For a more comprehensive look at the results of ‘The ROI of Event Apps’ research study, please see infographic below:

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides web-based event management software that powers thousands of successful events each year. With headquarters in London (UK), its customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Its highly customisable software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to on-site management, mobile apps, abstracts and awards management, real-time analytics and reporting.

For more information about Eventsforce, please visit www.eventsforce.com

Media Contact:

Taline Jones, Content Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 77856997

Email: taline.jones@eventsforce.com

 

New Study Finds Majority of Events Are Still Struggling with GDPR

London, UK – 28th May 2019 – A new research study from Eventsforce has found that 90% of event planners are still facing a number of challenges meeting GDPR requirements, one year after the EU data protection law first came into effect.  Though 81% believe they are complying to the new regulation, on-going issues include consent management, running GDPR checks with event suppliers and controlling how third parties are using attendee data.

The findings of the research study are based on responses from over 110 event professionals in the US and the UK and represent corporates, associations, government, PCOs and event management agencies.

“Our research shows that despite the on-going challenges event organisers are still facing around GDPR, the regulation has also brought about a number of positive changes to our industry, especially with regards to event marketing, data management and data security.  said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce. “Events are also starting to promote their data protection credentials a lot more than before in an effort to show attendees that they can be trusted with their most valuable asset – their personal information.”

The research study looked at what impact the legislation has had on the industry over the past 12 months, including the kind of changes organisers have had to make in the way they plan and manage events.  The findings show that 44% of respondents are now sharing a lot less data with stakeholders and suppliers (ex. hotels and venues) and another 41% have implemented more transparent and efficient processes to manage event data.  Data security is another key priority for many organisers with tighter security controls (40%) and new GDPR checks for suppliers and third parties they deal with around events (25%).

Event marketing is another important area where GDPR has made an impact with 36% claiming the legislation has improved the quality and creativity of their communication campaigns.  Other changes include more targeted communications (24%) and better-quality mailing lists (17%).  Surprisingly, only 12% have stopped buying mailing lists after GDPR.

The study also investigated the challenges organisers still face in meeting GDPR requirements.  Top of the list is the management of attendee consent at 36%, whilst assessing the GDPR compliance of tech providers, event agencies and suppliers is also a problem for 30% of organisers.  Other risk factors include difficulties in controlling what third parties do with attendee data (28%), not having the right processes in place to access or delete personal information (26%) and limited understanding internally of GDPR and the consequences of non-compliance (20%).

“The risk-factors unveiled in the research study show how important it is for organisers to manage their data effectively and deal with event tech systems that can support them with things like tracking consent, deleting personal information and securing access so that attendee data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.  Having these processes in place will not only minimise the risk of non-compliance, but also provide an opportunity to show attendees that they’re looking after their information properly.  Building this kind of trust is the whole point of GDPR and will be key in deciding which organisations people choose to deal with in the future,” added Sirius.

For a more comprehensive look at the results of the ‘Are Your Event Ready for GDPR’ research study, please see the infographic below:

-end-

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides web-based event management software that powers thousands of successful events each year. With headquarters in London (UK), its customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Its highly customisable software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to on-site management, mobile apps, abstracts and awards management, real-time analytics and reporting.

For more information about Eventsforce and how it can help events with data security and GDPR compliance, please visit www.eventsforce.com or watch video.

Media Contact:

Taline Jones, Content Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 77856997

Email: taline.jones@eventsforce.com

 

Eventsforce Survey Confirms Data Security Is a Growing Concern in Events Industry

80% of event planners put data security as top priority for 2016 – only 40% confident of policies

Addressing security concerns around event and delegate data was the key finding in a survey done by Eventsforce – the global experts in event management software.  The study, which was conducted across 50 organisations in the UK and the US, revealed that 80% of event planners marked data security as a top priority for 2016 yet only 40% felt they had the adequate security policies in place across their organisations.

“There have been a number of high-profile data breaches over the last year and though there have been no major incidents involving the events industry, it is something we need to prepare ourselves for.  Events deal with highly sensitive customer information, including names, emails, telephone numbers, employment information, disabilities and so on.  Ensuring this data is kept safe is critical – not just for delegates, but for those organisations storing this information,” said Steve Baxter, CTO of Eventsforce. “The survey exposes some key areas – like password hygiene, delegate payments and regulatory compliance – where event planners need to put greater attention to in order to prevent data from getting into the wrong hands.”

As part of its findings, the survey revealed that 81% of event planners do not change their passwords to their event management systems as often as they should (less than once a year) and a further 33% claim to have shared their passwords with other people.  This increases the risk of a breach and makes it difficult to accurately identify who has access to the system at any given point in time.

Another area that the Eventsforce survey investigated was security issues around delegate payments and PCI DSS compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.  Nearly half of those surveyed didn’t know if they were PCI DSS compliant, with 84% not being able to identify compliance requirements and a further 73% unaware of the fines for non-compliance (ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $100,0001).

Email communications was highlighted as another area of vulnerability. The survey found that 65% of respondents emailed their event data to third parties or other departments within their organisation after downloading the information from their event management systems. A further 36% admitted to emailing their API key – a form of authentication that allows third party systems like event apps access to data saved in event management systems. Sharing this key via email makes data more vulnerable as it is left exposed to anyone who has access to this key.

In addition, the survey highlighted how EU Data Protection regulations require extra security measures when dealing with ‘sensitive’ delegate data.  Personal information can include things like names, addresses and phone numbers.  However, sensitive personal data is any information relating to the delegate’s racial origin, political opinion, religious beliefs or mental and physical well-being.  The survey found that nearly 40% of respondents didn’t think race and religion were considered as sensitive and only 26% thought dietary requirements (which may indicate religious inclinations) as sensitive.

For a more comprehensive look at these insights and some of the other findings from the survey, please download the infographic below:

Infographic_How safe is your event data JPG FINAL

About Eventsforce

Eventsforce provides event management software that helps results-driven professionals deliver thousands of successful events each year. With offices in London (UK) and Denver, Colorado(US), our customers span 14 different countries and represent some of the leading names in finance, education, government, associations, PCOs and publishing. Our unique partnership approach and our highly customizable, modular software provides a complete end-to-end management solution that addresses every aspect of the event lifecycle: from event planning, marketing and registration, to abstracts and awards management, as well as post-event analysis and reporting.

For more information, please visit www.eventsforce.com

Media Contact:

Taline Jones

Content Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 77856997

Email: taline.jones@eventsforce.com

 

1 https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/pci-faqs-2/