Survey Reveals Operators Are Eager for In-Person Events

A few months ago, a collection of 10 industry partners put together a survey. The goal of the survey was to understand operators’ willingness to attend in-person and virtual events throughout the rest of the year.

Before we break down the results, here are a few quick facts about the survey:

Now, let’s take a look at some of the main takeaways from the survey. At the bottom of this article, you can find a link to access the full report about the survey.

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Likeliness to attend in-person events

One of the most important questions asked on the survey was about respondents’ likeliness to attend an in person conference in 2021. The question was asked two ways: willingness to attend an in-person event in the first half of 2021 (January-June) and willingness to attend an in-person event in the second half of 2021 (July-December).

First half of the year

About 23% of respondents said they are “VERY likely” to attend an event. About 40% said they “would likely not attend” or “have no interest in attending ANY” events.

The results here are mixed. This shows us that while some people are eager to get back to in-person events, many still don’t feel comfortable attending one in the next few months.

Second half of the year

There was a dramatic difference in the responses for the question about attending in-person events in the second half of the year. 83% expressed that there is a 50% or higher chance that they will attend an in-person event during July-December. This shows us that people are more comfortable attending these events later in the year.

Reasons for NOT attending in-person events in 2021

Next, respondents were asked why they would not attend an in-person event the rest of the year. By far, the top answer was budget related, with about 37% of respondents indicating that the costs associated with in-person events is the reason they would not attend.

The next two most popular answers were “I don’t want to travel” and “I don’t want to leave my business.”

Virtual events

Next, we asked about virtual events. Virtual events have become extremely common over the last year, so we wanted to know which events operators are planning to attend virtually in 2021.

Respondents were given a list of events throughout the rest of 2021 and asked which of these events they would attend if they were transitioned to a virtual format. Among the many events listed, Amusement Expo, Amusement 360, IAAPA Expo, TrainerTainment and FEC Success were the most popular answers.

Products and services of interest

Lastly, respondents were asked “Which services or attractions are you interested in learning more about at a tradeshow or virtual event in 2021?”

The top answers:

Final Takeaways

This survey showed us several important things. In-person events are just around the corner. We learned that many operators are ready and willing to attend in-person events. As we get into the second half of the year, interest in these events spikes.

The fact that 67% of respondents are interested in attending virtual events shows us that virtual events are not dead and will be a strong component of industry education for the rest of the year. Based on these numbers, we see the importance of hybrid events, which offer both in-person and virtual registration options. In fact, we’re planning on making our Amusement 360 Events hybrid for the foreseeable future.

Thank you to all who participated in the survey. We’re looking forward to a return to normalcy and seeing all of you soon at in-person events.

Download This Presentation to See the Full Industry Events Report

Download The Full Report