Virtual event, in person event, face to face meeting, attendees, what attendees want

70% of Event Attendees Prefer In-Person Meetings over Virtual Events

What 1008 VIRTUAL EVENT vs IN-PERSON ATTENDEES WANT: an Overwhelming Result we did not expect!

We’ve all been working from home lately, especially in the event industry. EventProfs have been using all kinds of virtual tools and online platforms. 

In this article we will analyse the surprising truth about attendees participating at virtual events versus face-to-face events we will have a look at a fascinating survey about what Virtual Attendees want versus what In-Person Attendees want, explaining in-depth detail their preferences.

At the end of this post, you will have the tools to plan your virtual or face-to-face meeting knowing what attendees prefer best so that you can set and plan your strategy and have a killer event!

This study is particularly interesting for all EventProfs, especially if pivoting your events from face-to-face to virtual.

The result is not what you may expect!


What VIRTUAL Attendees Want

We have to start from Virtual, as this is the current situation for Events for the majority of Event Professionals.

We’ve been using Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts and many other kinds of virtual platforms like Go to Meeting, Webinars etcetera. You name it!

In the survey, we found online is a research conducted for PromoLeaf by Censuswide, with 1,008 respondents in the United States who have been to a F2F conference and a virtual conference. They work across all kinds of industries and are part of different age groups. Censuswide surveyed on 9th April 2020.

The survey’s questions share everything from the ideal price to the typical day of the week to attend the event, as well as how long the meeting should be.

In a hurry? Check our video digest of What Virtual Attendees Want:


Virtual Event Ideal LENGHT

Virtual attendees, based on the study, by 59%, prefer two hours long, and only 19% prefers up to four hours event.


Virtual Attendees Preferred DAY of the Week

In terms of the most preferred day of the week, virtual attendees prefer Wednesday for a virtual event, with 34% of participants’ preference.

Tuesday was the second most preferred day of the week with a 25% preference, and Monday was the least favourite day of the week with 12 % preference, which is not such a big surprise if you think about it. Not everyone likes Mondays!


The Ideal TIME for a Virtual Event

Until now, we said that the most preferred virtual event would be on Wednesday, two hours long. But at what time is best?

50% of the survey participants prefer morning.

It makes sense because if you think about it. A virtual event on Wednesday morning is the perfect split in your week, and it doesn’t interrupt your workflow because then you will still have the afternoon to keep working.


Virtual Attendees Preferred PRICE

The preferences for the virtual event price were kind of surprising. 45 % of the survey participants preferred more than $100, and this is for a multi-day event of any length.

10% of participants preferred $300 or more, so this is for an event of more than one day, so we said that these are the prices for the multi-day event.

What about virtual events that last only for one day? 38% of participants prefer not more than $100 for a one-day online event based on the survey.

Therefore, you may want to focus on a single day fee that will attract a larger audience for a multiple-day event, to attract the most massive audience possible.


Do Virtual Attendees Prefer LIVE or ON-DEMAND for their Virtual Events?

And finally, the last preference of a virtual event is 46% of respondents preferred live events, because they can ask questions, so it’s more engaging that

And 40% of respondents preferred on-demand because they can re-watch it later on.



In summary, virtual attendees want their virtual event to be is:

  • two hours long
  • on a Wednesday
  • ideally in the morning
  • If it’s a multi-day event, you should charge virtual attendees between $100 up to $200
  • If it’s a single-day event, the price shouldn’t be higher than $100
  • The virtual event ideally should be live because that would drive more engagement, and people could ask questions.

what virtual attendees want, virtual event, in-person event, face to face, online meeting


So far, do you agree with the survey’s respondents? Let us know in the comments below.



In this study, we found out that most people prefer in-person events! Yes and surely most of us are very glad to discover this because not everyone was able to pivot to virtual. It’s good to know face-to-face events are preferred as they WILL be back.

The result of the survey was that an overwhelming 72% of the people that took the study prefer an in-person event.

There may be four main reasons why event attendees prefer in-person events instead of virtual events:

  1. Networking in person is much easier compared to virtual events.
  2. The audience identifies better body language and subtle communication.
  3. Demonstrations are more efficient in-person than virtually.
  4. It comes more natural to us to interact face-to-face. We are social creatures; that’s how our DNA is.

Although live events are not happening in many countries, we are sure most of us are very happy about this result. As Event Professionals, we mainly work on-site for in-person events, and only recently, we started working exclusively for virtual meetings.

Face-to-face meetings WILL be back, and it’s so good to know attendees prefer them over virtual ones.


See also: Events and Meetings Mighty Comeback: What’s the Current Situation?


The survey was over 1,008 participants throughout the United States, across all kinds of industries and age groups. So we can now have a look at what face-to-face attendees want for their in-person meetings.


What In-Person Attendees Want

What in-person attendees want is based on the same survey, conducted for PromoLeaf by Censuswide, with 1,008 respondents in the United States who have been to a F2F conference and a virtual conference. They work across all kinds of industries and are part of different age groups. The survey is from 9th April 2020.

In a rush? Check our video digest:


In-Person event attendees’ AGE

Here there is another quite surprising result from the survey. Participants with a higher preference for face-to-face meetings were between the age of 16 and 24 by 84%.

This result is quite surprising as people this young is the most technological. However, based on Censuswide survey, they prefer in-person events.

The reason why the younger age group prefers in-person events could be because they consider virtual tools to be used for fun and for their free time and they would struggle to use virtual platform fro work or to learn something new.

A study, by the community college Research Centre, shows that younger students who engage in online learning may be less likely to finish their courses and less likely to retain information.

The second and third age group that prefer in-person events are the groups between 45 to 54 years old and over 55 with both 73% of preference.

We then have 25 to 34 years old with a preference of 70% and the age group that least prefers in-person events is between 35 and 44 years old with 67%.

We are sharing with you a kind of data that gives you a clearer idea of which target audience you should work on for your in-person event compared to virtual meetings.


Preferred PRICE for face-to-face meetings

Until now, we discussed the advantages of in-person events and the age group between 16 up to 24 years old prefers that kind of format. What about the price?

Unfortunately, the survey explains a clear price for virtual events but not for in-person gatherings, based on the fact that there are simply too many factors to consider to price face-to-face meetings. This lack of information is due primarily to the type of industry and the kind of event.

However, you could calculate your event price by anticipated costs and attendance estimates. That will give you a rough idea

of how much your event your in-person event should cost.

Even if we can’t get a preferred price for in-person events, there is no question that the perceived value of both virtual events our in-person events will increase the attendants’ willingness to pay.

There are several price strategies that you can adopt, which this article explains very well.


The ideal LENGHT for face-to-face meetings

The preferred length for an in-person or face-to-face event is 1 to 2 hours by 41%. We then have 3 to 4 hours by 21%. In the third place, we have more than one day by 19% of respondents. And finally, we have 5 to 23 hours and more than one day with a 10% preference.

The time that in-person event attendees spend on the event should justify what they get out of it. This statement leads us to the conclusion that in-person events can and should be longer. 


Preferred DAY of the week for face-to-face meetings

The preferred day of the week by 1,008 survey participants is both Thursday or Friday, based on the survey.

For in-person attendees, Thursday and Friday are perfect days just to get to the end of the week because fewer people like to attend events and then go back to work before taking a good rest.






  • 72% of survey respondents prefer in-person events
  • the majority of the survey’s participants are more willing to pay for in-person events as they can see how the money was justified
  • in-person event attendees prefer face-to-face event if they are between the age of 16 and 24
  • the price depends on the industry and the event type itself
  • the ideal length should be one or two hours but for in-person events the longer, the better
  • the preferred day should be Thursday or Friday based on the study

what in-person attendees want, virtual event, in-person event, face to face, online meeting


Do you prefer virtual or in-person events?

Have you found some preferences that we did not discuss in this article?

Let us know in the comments below.

Remember that we are all in this together. We are here to help each other so, if you found this article interesting or helpful, or if you know anyone that may find it useful please, feel free to share it.

1 thought on “70% of Event Attendees Prefer In-Person Meetings over Virtual Events”

  1. How accurate could these numbers be…….you did this survey in the middle of a pandemic where not everyone was using technology to its fullest or had access and 2020 was when most of us were in the growing pains stage of trying to pivot around new processes of the way we do business. I would be very interested in seeing another survey completed and to compare the data, now that we had time to adjust to the use of tech.

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