New survey shows sponsors keen to return to in-person events

Sponsors are eager to return to in-person events according to a survey of leading pharmaceutical and biopharma companies by AIM Group International.

The new survey captured the viewpoints from over 200 representatives of pharmaceutical and biopharma companies from across all therapeutic areas.

“We are at a turning point, with the reopening of in-person events from July and the planning of events for next autumn,” said Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, Vice President of AIM group international.

“At this juncture, we considered it would be useful to ask corporate decision makers who sponsor events to understand their attitudes and desires and devise solutions and projects more in line with the expectations of the market.

“The results of the survey are very interesting and encouraging because they reveal first and foremost that companies continue to believe in the benefits of in-person events and are keen to invest in this tool going forward.”

Half of the companies surveyed are ready to sponsor in-person events next autumn, only 16 per cent exclude it as an option, the remaining 37 per cent prefer to decide later.

The budget for events in 2021 will mostly be allocated to in-person or hybrid events (43 per cent) while digital-only events were preferred by one in three companies (35 per cent).

Assuming participation in a hybrid event, the majority would prefer to participate in-person (52 per cent), or both in person and online (31 per cent), only a small fraction (17 per cent) would choose to attend the event online only.

As for virtual events, a short duration is preferred, 76 per cent chose between six and 12 hours duration.

In the case of virtual events, sponsors definitely prefer to sponsor scientific sessions (82 per cent) or opportunities that give visibility to the brand (82 per cent).

Among the activities to make virtual events more effective, sponsors prefer short e-learning videos published before or after the event (60 per cent), followed by television format scientific sessions with a professional moderator/presenter (50 per cent), then Q&A sessions with key opinion leaders (48 per cent) and also forms of gaming (38 per cent).

“The pandemic will act as a game changer for the events market, where the experimentation, innovation, flexibility and courage evident during the pandemic, is now paving the way for new formats to evolve, adapting them even more to the specific needs of each target and client,” said Buongiorno.