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Sponsors want engaged online audiences, not boring old webinars

The vast majority of drug and biomedical companies would sponsor a virtual event – but they want engaging and creative formats, not bog-standard webinars.

Almost 80 per cent (273) company representatives said they would put their name to an online meeting in a survey by congress organiser AIM Group.

The survey – Sponsoring events during the Covid Crisis – asked 350 pharmaceutical and biomedical company representatives covering all major therapeutics areas.

The results showed that interest in sponsoring new virtual platforms was high, but companies still thought in-person, face-to-face events offered better value for money.

Here is a snapshot of the findings:

  • 58% of respondents would sponsor traditional multi-sponsor or exclusive sponsorship of in-presence events, to be held between September and December 2020.
  • 72% would be interested in a hybrid solution that combines in-presence with digital events.
  • 78% would be interested in sponsoring fully virtual events.
  • How a virtual event should be like, according to respondents? Interactive, flexible, 3D and in augmented reality (far from usual video calls or webinars) and able to track data.
  • 5% consider useful that the contents available on demand after the congress, ensuring greater availability for participants and greater visibility for sponsors.
  • 72% would like to see distance learning (DL) incorporated into the digital event, which would be available after the congress.
  • 56% of sponsors would like to invest less in virtual events, 34% would invest the same and 10% are willing to increase budgets if greater visibility is guaranteed.

Gaia Santoro, head of the Sponsorship Unit at AIM Group International, said: “It is remarkable, maybe even surprising that most corporate sponsors are keen to see the return of face-to-face events by the Autumn. This underlines that sponsors

don’t want to see them being abandoned or considered obsolete due to the digital opportunities. Finally, we can infer that sponsors are ready to give support to realise new virtual experiences, provided that scientific content is relevant, participants are engaged and interaction with sponsors is guaranteed.”