ʺOutdated, irrelevant, and boringʺ. This was the frank opinion of nearly half (46%) of the respondents in a survey we conducted recently on how UK employees view business events and conferences in their respective industries.

And it doesn’t stop there. Respondents also took aim at overcrowding (45%), speakers who sound too salesy (34%), inadequate venue facilities (28%) and events that are too long (25%).

As a B2B PR agency, our team attends a lot of events. While we can concur with some of the more negative points raised by the respondents (no one wants to spend all day at an event with long queues), it’s safe to say that we still value them.

The good news is that nearly half (49%) agreed that events and conferences are still one of the best ways to learn about products and services (49%), followed by trade publications (45%) and social media (37%). In fact, 9 out of 10 employees said they’d be more inclined to recommend a product or service to their boss after seeing it demonstrated at an event.

We wanted to learn what gets people to events and the most popular answer was rather practical – the location (58%). Following closely in second place was quality and relevance of content (50%), followed by industry speaker reputation (47%). When asked how they find out about events, most said via email (76%), followed by referrals from colleagues and peers (51%), and social media (46%).

We can’t underestimate the continued importance of traditional industry events, trade shows and conferences – there is still huge value in creating networking opportunities and interacting with prospective customers face-to-face. But event organisers need to remember the basics – choose a good location, make sure there’s enough space for everyone to move around comfortably, and choose your speakers wisely.

Need a great B2B PR agency to help you design and promote your event? Get in touch today.