An education marketer’s guide to
The era of large, in-person education conferences has been put on hold due to COVID-19. In our recent CB&A Expert Series Webinar, Irene Spero of NextChapter Consulting joined us to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with online education conferences, and what it means for your marketing strategy.
#1 Education companies prefer face-to-face conferences, but will continue to support virtual events.
- In our COVID-19 survey, 90% of respondents stated they would reduce conference activities due to COVID-19. On the flip side, respondents indicated COVID-19 prompted them to ramp up activities in social media, content marketing and email marketing.
- According to NextChapter Consulting’s survey results, 86% of education companies will continue to support virtual conferences.
#2 Education companies plan to participate in fewer conferences in 2020-2021.
- Early results for our 2021 Education Marketing Trends Survey indicate that education events and conferences will be less important in 2021 than they were in 2020.
- When companies take advantage of the opportunities that come with online education conferences, they will be more successful. For example, coordinating virtual media interviews during online conferences ensures valuable outreach opportunities aren’t lost.
#3 There will be a complete shift to online education conferences at least through January 2021.
- Most associations have made the switch to a virtual conference format through January 2021. For a list of upcoming online education conferences, check out the following:
#4 Associations are working to provide education companies with value-add benefits.
- Some of the strategies being implemented include session and speaker recordings that can be accessed after the event, virtual focus groups, email and social media sponsorship opportunities and extra promotional time at the event through a “Shark Tank” approach.
#5 The virtual world of conferences brings both opportunities and challenges for education companies.
- Opportunities: Reach a wider audience, expand your outreach and reinvent and transform the education conference experience.
- Challenges: Technical issues, reaching customers and building relationships.
#6 Registration, exhibitor and sponsorship costs are less for online education conferences.
- Associations are lowering the registration and exhibiting costs for online education conferences. Facility charges, food and beverage, exhibit hall logistics and AV needs are largely absent or minimized in the virtual environment.
#7 Online education conferences provide robust networking and interaction opportunities.
- Online events have a wider reach, often with a global audience. Attendees can connect via social media, video calls and real-time chat – or through immersive online environments, like The Education 4.0 conference from The Douglas Stewart Company, which was hosted through virBELA.
While the future of online education conferences is still slightly unclear, it’s likely that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. Our soon-to-be-released 2021 Education Marketing Trends Report will reveal additional insights to help you plan for next year. Register for our next CB&A Expert Series Webinar on Nov. 17 to secure an early look at this exclusive industry report.