Freeman Event Research Reveals Increased Optimism About the Return to Live Events

October 13, 2020

DALLAS — October 13, 2020 — Freeman®, the world’s leading provider of digital and live events and brand experiences, today announced the launch of Freeman Event Research. These new research reports provide actionable insights based on data from a broad network of more than 1 million U.S. organizers, exhibitors, brand marketers, and event attendees, making it the most comprehensive offering of its kind in the industry. While Freeman has been monitoring audience insights on an ongoing basis, this marks the first in a comprehensive series of reports rolling out over the next year as the industry continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Data provides a blueprint for making more informed decisions

Freeman recognizes that analyzing attendee insights is the first step in getting the industry back on its feet following the arrival of COVID-19. Freeman Event Research provides visibility into the audience that drives the $110B events industry, along with safety and economic indicators. This offers a measured view of the pandemic’s effect on industry stakeholders in both the short- and long-term. While the event organizer business model has been evolving for some time, the pandemic’s impact on live events has rapidly accelerated its disruption. Organizers need new ways to diversify their revenue streams, build community through new mediums, and evolve business models as they integrate digital into their long-term strategy.

“As the industry leader, Freeman knows events. We also know the pain points organizers face and the opportunities ahead,” said Ken Holsinger, Freeman SVP of Data Solutions. “Freeman Event Research focuses on the most relevant and impactful takeaways for our customers as they adapt and evolve. This isn’t a singular report, but a dynamic one — we will continue to conduct new research and share updated insights to ensure industry leaders have the information they need to craft effective business strategies.”

The ongoing research also provides context into the evolution of event mediums and approaches, including the design of live experiences and the role of digital events. These insights allow business leaders to make more informed decisions based on data and confidently lead their teams into the future.

Example insights from this newly released report

While there is no denying that uncertainty still looms, Freeman Event Research shows that attendees are ready to get back to live events in a safe and prepared way. In the most recent report, Freeman identified key insights like:

  • Highest confidence and positive sentiment to date — with positive sentiment increased from 18% to 29%
  • Likelihood to attend in-person events highest to date — with 70% of respondents indicating extremely/very likely
  • Digital is convenient, but not connecting — only 31% of attendees believe digital events have helped them meet their goals
  • In an absence of live events, sales cycles have stalled — 35% noted their budgets ‘decreased’ and 42% ‘stayed the same’

“To best support our numerous client partners, it is critical to understand and appropriately forecast behavior of attendees and exhibitors,” said Susan Bracken, President & CEO, SPARGO. “Our partnership with Freeman has allowed us to make more informed choices about planning for future live events, operating in our current virtual landscape, and optimizing exhibition and sponsorship opportunities.”

A trusted partner with a proven track record of research

The Freeman Data Solutions team has conducted research and measurement on behalf of the events industry for over 50 years, spanning more than 5,000 events across six continents. Freeman places high priority on data privacy, hygiene, and accuracy, with only a 1.3 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level in the most recent report. Freeman also meets GDPR and CCP compliance standards and follows the Insights Association (IA, formerly CASRO) guidelines for privacy and research ethics.

“Freeman Event Research provides a true pulse on the most pressing issues facing the event industry, including big-picture changes over time,“ said Chris Brown, Executive VP, Conventions and Operations, NAB. “Freeman is a long-standing and trusted partner for NAB in strategy, research and logistics, and this new offering is yet another way they are supporting our business as we navigate the present landscape and plan for the future.”

To access full insights from Freeman Event Research, please visit

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