New Freeman Event Research Shows Increased Optimism for In-Person Events

April 26, 2021

DALLAS, April 26, 2021 — Freeman, the global leader in events, shares a new research study indicating the timeline for the return to in-person events has moved up, with 85 percent of attendees and 86 percent of exhibitors expecting to return to in-person events by the winter of 2021.  When surveyed in February, only 74 percent of attendees and 78 percent of exhibitors expected to return by the end of year.

The report validates attendee and exhibitor sentiment that face-to-face experiences are the most valuable channels for commerce and creating meaningful connections. This is in line with expectations around travel bans easing as seventy four percent of attendees and seventy eight percent of exhibitors anticipate company travel bans will be lifted by fall of 2021. Online events have been successful in delivering content and deep learning, and attendees will continue to seek out online components as a part of the overall mix.

“We have already been a part of safe in-person events across the country this year in Atlanta, Dallas, Lake Tahoe, Tampa, and Orlando, to name a few. The research shows that the interest to return to in-person is increasing, and on an accelerated timeline,” said Bob Priest-Heck, CEO.

Other findings of the research include:

  • Overall positive sentiment towards attending in-person events increased from thirty percent to forty five percent and negative sentiment decreased from fifty one percent to thirty six percent.
  • The Confidence Index continues to trend up – 0.81 compared to 0.75 in February
  • The total number of people who plan to be vaccinated or already have been is seventy nine percent; forty eight percent of those respondents were already vaccinated
  • The research found that having the right information is the most important factor for determining attendance for in-person events. The needed information includes vaccine data, CDC recommendations, and event structure and agenda.

For more information and to purchase the research study, visit

About the Research

Conducted by Freeman’s Data Intelligence team — with more than 50 years of industry research experience — the research is based on data from more than 1 million U.S. event attendees, exhibitors, organizers and brand marketers and includes 20 percent international attendees making it the most comprehensive offering of its kind in the industry. With a +/-1  percent margin of error, the full report is also segmented into detailed findings for the technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and business services industries with insights on other industry sectors also available.

About Freeman

Freeman is a global leader in events. Whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, we are on a mission to redefine live for a new era. With a data-driven approach and the industry’s largest network of experts, our insights shape exhibitions, exhibits, and events that drive audiences to action. Our integrated full-service solutions leverage a 100-year legacy in event management as well as new technologies to deliver moments that matter.


April Walsh
[email protected]

This site uses cookies and other technologies, so we can remember you and understand how you and other visitors use our site. By continuing to browse, cookies will be set on your device. For more information, see our Cookie Policy.