New Report: Virtual Events Surpass Both Hybrid and In-Person Events

Skyrocketing costs and dips in attendance have made in-person events harder to justify, while 73% of marketers classify virtual events as ‘important’ or ‘must have’, find surveys by Kaltura

New York, NY, Nov. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kaltura (Nasdaq: KLTR), the Video Experience Cloud, today released two new reports “The State of Events”, and “The State of Webinars”. The reports, based on global surveys of hundreds of marketers, provide a comprehensive overview of how webinars and virtual events are being utilized, as well as what improvements are still needed.  

2023 has seen an additional tipping point in the use of virtual events, as for the first time in the three years of Kaltura’s survey, purely virtual events surpassed both hybrid and in-person events. With the advantages of virtual events becoming clear, it is getting harder to justify the cost of in-person, with 89% of marketers experiencing a drop in attendance,  and 70% seeing a rise in costs.

Across all virtual events, from webinars to annual conferences, the impact of automation and AI is growing. While only 6% of respondents are early adopters of AI as part of their event strategies, eagerness to implement AI, for all types of virtual events is nearly unanimous (98% for webinars, 100% for virtual event organizers) as companies look to reap the benefits, from increased personalization and engagement to freeing up time for other tasks.

“From a marketing perspective, there are few activities that generate as much engagement and content as a virtual event,” said Lisa Bennett, EVP Marketing at Kaltura. “The long-term impact that virtual events provide for a company has made them mainstays of every marketing department, and as more companies begin using AI to strengthen them even more, this trajectory will only continue to grow.”

As the use of webinars and virtual events as a key demand generation channel increases, organizations find themselves in a race to keep up with the ever-advancing pace of content production, all while ensuring that this material effectively reaches its intended audience.

When it comes to measuring the return, companies are still struggling to effectively calculate ROI for their events, with only 28% of respondents always doing so. Of the 72% that do not consistently calculate ROI, 54% felt that it was hard or even impossible, demonstrating that many still do not have the right tools to do so. Even with these shortcomings, however, virtual events are achieving excellent outcomes for marketers across the board, including lead gen, attendance, and brand awareness.

Other key findings:

  • For most marketers, webinars play an important strategic role: 24% of marketers say that webinars are their most important tool for demand generation, while 49% say webinars are on par with other tools. C-suite executives are the biggest fans of webinars (36%) while managers are more reticent (23%).
  • Not only is it easier to book keynote speakers are easier to book for virtual events, but virtual event organizers meet DEI goals. 66% of marketers find booking a speaker for an in-person event harder than booking one for a virtual event, and 96% feel that due to lower barriers for participation, DEI goals become more readily achievable.
  • The use of AI and automation in webinars is quickly becoming universal, with 98% of respondents indicating that they plan to enhance webinars with these technologies in the coming year.

For a further breakdown of the reports, join Yair Neumann, VP Product at Kaltura, at the upcoming Virtually Live! 2023 by Kaltura for in-depth sessions covering the findings. The full “The State of Events” and “State of Webinars” reports can be found here.

Methodology: The State of Events surveyed 500 full-time employees across all industries, ranging in seniority from Events Managers and Directors to VPs and the C-suite. All respondents work in companies with more than 1,000 employees, and were screened for those who had organized at least one virtual or hybrid event over the past 18 months.
For the “State of Webinars” report 250 full-time marketing professionals who work across a variety of industries, ranging in seniority from managers to CMOs were surveyed. The screening process focused on companies that host at least 10 webinars per year and have held at least one webinar in the past 3 months.

About Kaltura

Kaltura’s mission is to power any video experience for any organization. Kaltura’s Video Experience Cloud offers live, real-time, and on-demand video products for enterprises of all industries, as well as specialized industry solutions, currently for educational institutions and for media and telecom companies. Underlying our products and solutions is a broad set of Media Services that are also used by other cloud platforms and companies to power video experiences and workflows for their own products. Kaltura’s Video Experience Cloud is used by leading brands reaching millions of users, at home, at school, and at work, for events, communication, collaboration, training, marketing, sales, customer care, teaching, learning, and entertainment experiences. For more information, visit


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