80% of Corporate Sponsors are interested in investing in virtual events but they need interaction, according to a new survey by AIM Group


Event Africa Contributor 14/05/2020 Awards

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AIM Group International carried out a survey to understand if and how pharmaceutical and biomedical companies should invest in the sponsorship of digital events.

AIM Group International, a company specialised in congresses, events and communication, published today the results of the survey “Sponsoring events during the COVID-19 Crisis”. The survey was carried out amongst 350 pharmaceutical and biomedical company representatives covering all major therapeutic 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. The results reveal that the interest in new virtual platforms is high, but companies are still convinced that in-presence, face-to-face events offer greater value.

Here is a snapshot of the survey findings:

• 58% of respondents would sponsor traditional multi-sponsor or exclusive sponsorship of in-presence events, to be held between September and December 2020.
• 72% would be interested in hybrid solutions that combine in-presence with digital events.
• 78% would be interested in sponsoring fully virtual events.
• How a virtual event should be like, according to respondents? Interactive, flexible, 3D and in augmented reality (far from usual video calls or webinars) and able to track data.
• 99.5% consider useful that the contents available on-demand after the congress, ensuring greater availability for participants and greater visibility for sponsors.
• 72% would like to see distance learning (DL) incorporated into the digital event, which would be available after the congress.
• 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 – explains 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 a 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.

At this critical time, we are focused on collaborating closely with the medical community and sponsors in order to find the best solutions for their new needs – explains Rosangela Quieti, Managing Director of the Congress Dept of AIM Group International -. We have taken into consideration the findings of this survey in order to reshape and adapt the sponsorship proposals and digital solutions.

We understand that Virtual events are one of the most popular formats that stakeholders are ready to experiment with. We have just organised the first full digital congress for the scientific society, AIOP. We are delighted to report that the association board and participants reported high levels of satisfaction with this event. Inspired by this positive experience, we are more determined than ever to imagine new creative formats in the future, hybrid or multi-hub when it will be possible to meet again».