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Almost 72% Are Ready to Return to Trade Shows and Conferences

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Are you sick of virtual events? Ready to start racking up (or using) those miles and points again to get out and see colleagues at trade shows and conferences? Want to actually get your hands on that cool new gear you've been reading and watching videos about? You're not alone. 

A few weeks ago, we launched a poll to gauge our readers plans for NAB, Streaming Media East, and other industry events that are returning in person this spring. And while the results aren't exactly statistically significant, they support what we've been hearing anecdotally: Most exhibitors, speakers, and attendees are gearing up for a return to something resembling the regular trade show and conference circuit. 

A whopping 71.2% of respondents said they will be attending events, and only around 8% said their companies still have travel restrictions in place. That second figure should come with an asterisk, though—we've heard from several very large companies in the video space that still aren't doing any trade show travel, and some regular fixtures at NAB (Avid, for instance) seem to be re-evaluating their long-term trade show philosophy entirely. 

About half of the respondents to our survey said they typically attend trade shows as a seller, while around 40% said they typically attend as a speaker, and about 30% are there looking for new tech and gear solutions.

But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that, as we suspected, people would much rather get together in person than attend a virtual event. Virtual and hybrid events certainly aren't going away, however, and based on the comments we received in the survey, both attendees and organizers have recognized the need to offer alternative ways for people to learn about new solutions and stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the industry—there will always be more people that want to attend an event than are actually able to do so, so event organizers are leaving money on the table if they don't include a virtual or hybrid component.

See the full survey results below.

Survey conducted March 9 - March 31, 2022. 59 total responses.

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