What Challenges do B2B Marketers Face Around Virtual Events?

Virtual events continue to play a key role in B2B marketing strategies, with 44% of CMOs seeing virtual events and webinars as their most important demand generation tactic.

The State of B2B Digital Event Experience report, produced by LXA in association with Jugo, surveyed CMOs about their views on virtual events, and the major challenges they face.  

What are the key challenges for B2B marketers promoting and producing digital events? 

Customer expectations

The audience for B2B virtual events has seen it all. They've attended many virtual conferences and webinars through the pandemic and beyond. 

The majority of CMOs we surveyed see this issue, with 71% agreeing that expectations around event experience have been raised. 

virtual event experience customer expectations

CMOs find it hard to deliver great virtual event experiences

While the CMOs we spoke to are producing virtual events on a regular basis, 64% agree that delivering truly engaging events remains a challenge.

Virtual B2B event challenges UK

Creating engaging digital event experiences requires careful planning, effective use of technology, and a focus on the attendee experience. 

In some cases, where organisations are putting on frequent events, there may be less time to step back and find that focus. In other cases, technology can limit the ability to improve engagement. 

Lack of technology skills

Producing engaging virtual events requires a broad range of skills, from planning and promoting events, to creating create content and finding great presenters and speakers, to using the technology. 

When we asked CMOs to asses their digital event maturity across a number of factors, we found that areas such as production design and delivery, and IT infrastructure were some of the weakest. 

44% of B2B CMOs see the lack of event tool adoption and usage as a key factor limiting the improvement of event experiences. 

tool adoption uk

This is a common issue around the use of martech. There is a skills shortage in the industry and this can mean that the features and functionalities of the technology aren't used to their full extent by marketers. 

Lack of events tech functionality 

Many CMOs (46%) see the technology itself as the issue which is holding them back from producing the best possible digital events.

While they have the technology that enables them to stage digital events, many feel that the limitations of the tools they currently use prevent them from elevating the experience. 

lack of B2B event tools UK

Our report finds that marketers want to provide more interaction in virtual events, from Q&As with speakers, to networking opportunities. 

They also want to move the visual experience beyond the usual virtual event interfaces, using presentation frames, and more advanced session and speaker views. 

Looking further forward, CMOs see disruptive technology as the key to providing more immersive, personalised, and engaging environments for attendees.

For many B2B marketers, technology will prove to be the key ingredient that will allow them to move beyond current 'vanilla' event experiences to produce more elevated and engaging virtual events. 

The LXA /Jugo State of B2B Digital Event Experience 2023 UK& UE report is available to download. A US version of the report is also available.