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B2B decision-makers relying on in-person events to drive demand before March 2020

Link to the research report

About this survey:

Survey question: Prior to the pandemic, did you rely on in-person events to drive demand for your company?

Survey period: March 2021 - April 2021

Notes on data:

The cancellation of in-person events has pushed the buyer’s journey further online, resulting in behavioral shifts for both buyers and B2B organizations.

Before the pandemic, of those surveyed, 84.44% stated that they relied on in-person events to drive demand for their B2B organization. Only 15.56% of the B2B leaders surveyed stated that they did not rely on in-person events to demand for their brands. During the pandemic, a significant shift occurred, and demand generation efforts moved to digital channels. 

Companies grapple with finding prospects outside of in-person events and must shift to qualified lead generation tactics to fill the pipeline. Instead of in-person nurturing, businesses must find a way to provide a relevant digital experience that addresses buyer needs. 

Whether out of custom or a lack of confidence, some B2B companies rely on outdated marketing and sales tactics to facilitate growth. When the pandemic forcibly pushed all in-person opportunities online, B2B companies automatically re-invested in digital events, even though they weren't sure it would drive growth.

Before the COVID-19 lockdowns, 85% of respondents relied on in-person events to help drive demand. That said, only 14.5% considered industry trade shows to be one of the most successful lead generation strategies. Despite the discrepancy, 28% still reinvested in virtual trade shows in 2020.

COVID-19 has forced organizations to take inventory of what is working and what is not. Because of that, the actual value of expensive trade shows has been questioned after years of lackluster results instead of persisting as a de facto way of doing business. Thanks to that shift, budgets are being reallocated to digitizing the buyer's journey.


Please note that some numbers have been rounded for simplicity and quick comprehension.

The 180 respondents were individuals with business and/or marketing decision-making capabilities at a B2B company. Respondents consisted of 50% sole decision-makers, 29% those who share decision-making authority, 18% that have input into decision-making, and 3% that have insight into decision-making within the organization. Most respondents indicated Marketing (30%) or Sales/Business Development (28%) as their respective areas of expertise in their current jobs.

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