Virtual events – Have they virtually disappeared now that lockdowns have ended?
May 12th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Virtual events – Have they virtually disappeared now that lockdowns have ended?

The pandemic brought about significant changes in the events industry, prompting people to embrace the concept of virtual events during lockdown. But as the world gradually moves towards normalcy are consumers still participating in online events?

A recent YouGov survey reveals that although virtual events such as music concerts and stand-up comedy shows are not as widespread as the other types of activity seen in the chart below, they still maintain a steady following, with one in nine global consumers (11%) continuing to attend them. This indicates a sustained appetite for virtual events, but interest varies by age.

Among consumers aged 18-24 and 25-34 approximately one in seven continue to attend virtual events (16% and 15% respectively). This interest declines in adults aged 35-44, where one in eight consumers remain engaged in such activities (13%). In the 45-54 and 55+ age group, the inclination towards virtual events is less pronounced (9% and 5% respectively).

Digging into the data by markets, in Asia virtual events continue to generate interest. Nearly one in four consumers in India (23%) started to attend virtual events during lockdowns and continue to do so now. A close second is Indonesia, with roughly one in five consumers still participating (22%). The UAE follows closely with one-fifth of consumers maintaining their interest (21%). In contrast, the public in China, Hong Kong, and Singapore are less likely to be persisting with virtual events (15%, 13%, and 10% respectively).

Europe demonstrates a more diverse landscape regarding virtual event participation. Southern European countries such as Italy and Spain show slightly higher engagement, with about one in 12 consumers continuing to attend virtual events (8% each). In comparison Poland, France, Sweden, Germany, Britain, and Denmark have lower percentages (all at 5%).

In US and Canada, virtual event attendance is relatively low with less than a tenth of consumers continuing to participate in virtual events (7% and 8% respectively). Mexico shows a higher engagement with one in six consumers continuing to attend virtual events (18%). This suggests that the North American and European market may be less inclined towards virtual events compared to Asia.

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Methodology - YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2007 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.