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New Research: Virtual Events a Better Fit for Attendees Than Exhibitors

Frances Ferrante

LONDON — New data from Explori reveals a dichotomy when it comes to virtual events: Attendee sentiment toward them ranks high, but exhibitor sentiment ranks low.

The event experts at Explori also found a difference in attendee satisfaction among different types of online experiences, with a +11 Net Promoter Score for in-person trade shows and +10 for virtual events, while the Net Promoter score for webinars was more than four times as high at +46.

In stark contrast, Explori found that exhibitor sentiment for virtual events ranked far lower, with a Net Promoter Score for in-person trade shows of -17 and significantly lower — at -48 — for virtual events.

“The research tells us that attendees believe virtual events are as good as in-person events for delivering content,” said Sophie Holt, Managing Director at Explori. “However, for both attendees and exhibitors, there is an overwhelming preference for face-to-face events when it comes to networking, overall experience, and doing business.”

Related. Major Industry Survey Predicts Fast Return to Live Events

This is even more pronounced for exhibitors whose main objective for participating in an online event is to generate new leads, Holt said.

“Much of the benefit of a live show is to be able to walk the floor and participate in sessions to identify potential partners, and to see past colleagues and clients,” said Bruce Bonyun, Vice President of Sales, PatientBond, who exhibits annually at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). “The benefit of attending, networking and meeting new people can’t be understated and realistically can’t be replicated in a virtual environment.”

Explori has been gathering attendee and exhibitor experience metrics for virtual events since March and has more than 3 million customer experience data points on in-person events.

Reach Sophie Holt at +44 (0) 20 3818 8230 or and Bruce Bonyun at (802) 585-6705 or


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