Corporate sponsors look for face to face meetings to begin in third quarter

Corporate clients have shown an increased interest in new virtual platforms, but companies are still convinced that in-presence, face-to-face events offer a greater value.

AIM Group International’s Sponsoring events during the Covid Crisis surveyed 350 pharmaceutical and biomedical company representatives covering all major therapeutics areas.

The aim of the survey was to learn how open sponsors are to support events during this health emergency, and in particular to the new opportunities offered by digital and hybrid events.

More than half (58%) of respondents would sponsor traditional multi-sponsor or exclusive sponsorship of in-presence events, to be held between September and December 2020.

Nearly three quarters (72%) would be interested in a hybrid solutions that combines in-presence with digital events, while 78% would be interested in sponsoring fully virtual events.

Almost all (99.5%) said that the contents available on demand after the congress, ensuring greater availability for participants and greater visibility for sponsors, while 72% would like to see distance learning incorporated into the digital event, which would be available after the congress.

More than half (56%) of sponsors would like to invest less in virtual events, 34% would invest the same and 10% are willing to increase budgets if greater visibility is guaranteed.

“The unprecedented crisis and change in the meetings sector motivated us to conduct a dedicated survey to better understand if traditional sponsors of conferences (pharma and biomedical companies) are interested in digital events and how they would invest,” said Gaia Santoro, head of the sponsorship unit at AIM Group International.

“First of all, the high number of answers we received in a short time was notable. This highlights that this topic is hot for companies who want to communicate with their target audiences, despite the health crisis. It is also remarkable, maybe even surprising that the majority of corporate sponsors are keen to see the return of face-to-face events by the autumn.

“This underlines that sponsors consider in-presence events are at critical juncture and they don‘t want to see them being abandoned or considered obsolete due to the digital opportunities. Finally, we can infer that sponsors are ready to give support to realise new virtual experiences, provided that scientific content is relevant, participants are engaged and interaction with sponsors is guaranteed.”