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Event Horizon: Episode 3 - Learning

By Parul Shah


Hello and welcome to the third episode of Event Horizon, I’m Parul Shah.

Today’s episode is all about learning. I’m excited for today’s episode, because not only do I have new insights to share with you from the second round of the survey, but I am also planning to share our interactive dashboard.

This dashboard allows us to filter the data across a variety of layers, including region, sectors, roles, and so forth, and this is where we really start to see some interesting insights emerge. So let’s not waste any time and dive into the dashboard.

So, here is our dashboard. As you can see here we have lots of information here including these four tabs down here. Clearly I’m not going to have enough time to cover everything, but there are some key insights from wave two that I want to cover.

Let’s look up here and you can see that we are capturing attendees across a lot of different layers of demographic including age, industry, titles, we even captured political affiliation, and of course we can filter the data by any of these dimensions.

I work a lot with tech and healthcare clients, so I tend to slice the data specific to those sectors to see how they differ as well as overlap over the overall sample. So if you look right here the overall sentiment for the entire sample for wave one, which is about 3,500 people. You see words like "cautious" and "concern" start to rise to the top and 64% expressed a negative sentiment.

Now if I filter this specifically for healthcare, what you see are new words that rise to the top, like "anxious" and "worried," and that 64% jumps to 75% when it comes to a negative sentiment. Now this is not at all surprising considering healthcare professionals are in the front lines of all of this, and they are really experiencing this much more closely than any other sector. But again, I wanted to show you and give you a quick example how we can slice this data across a variety of different factors.

So what are we learning now that we have wave two? Two things.

Our first insight has to do with what attendees are concerned with, and in this wave of the study, what we saw was that most concerns are trending down, but compliance with social distancing is becoming a greater concern.

So, while the U.S. economy and uncertainty are still top of mind, each of these actually dropped by 4% and we saw an increase of 4% for social distancing not being followed. As we transition from shutdown to softening of social distancing practices, it’s not surprising that attendees are more concerned with those who are going to potentially not comply with safety guidelines.

And if we filter for the Northeast region, this 53% jumps to 64% — again expected given that that part of the country to some extent is still considered the epicenter of the pandemic. Without a vaccine or treatment, practicing social distancing and safety factors will most likely continue to rise to the top. And this leads me into our second insight.

We asked attendees what would keep them from attending in-person events even after events are permitted and the threat of COVID-19 has lessened. And what we see here is that attendees are most worried about traveling and others not following safety guidelines.

At this moment in time, as states slowly reopen, clearly safety is a table stake. While a lot of this is outside our direct control, what we can control is how we communicate with our audiences. Our tone and messaging need to align to their realities and most importantly we need to demonstrate empathy and recognize what their concerns are and communicate back to them in that fashion.

With both of these insights, what you need to know now is to expect to see greater online event participation — something that I mentioned in a previous episode. In fact, since wave one, we’re seeing an increase in online event participation among the sample. And we’re going to continue to see this until at least the end of the year until people start to feel really confident to attend in person events. And even into 2021, hybrid is something that will become part of every event marketers event portfolio.

So, again for now, we don’t unfortunately have time to look through everything, there is a lot here to unpack. So, if you want more information, we are happy to provide a private briefing to dive deeper into this.

As always, thank you for joining me today. Please visit to view our latest research or to request an in-depth briefing. Also, remember to subscribe so you don’t miss any of my future videos. Thanks again!

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