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Pandemic has affected business engagement

Martyna Petrus
Martyna Petrus PR & Marketing

Half of the representatives of HR, sales and marketing departments say that the pandemic has contributed to a decline in involvement and a hindrance to cooperation - indicates the latest Antal and Eventory report "Company meetings and events in times of change", whose patron is BRIEF. 60% of respondents consider the form of in-person meetings as having the best impact on employees' willingness to work, and 47% indicate the hybrid model.

The decrease in the number of COVID-19 infections and the arrival of the summer season herald an increased number of live meetings. It seems that, however, despite more frequent returns to offices, hybrid work and the need for online cooperation will stay with us for longer ... Which form of events will work best in terms of building relationships in the post-pandemic future?

How has the pandemic affected brand engagement?

The outbreak of the pandemic had a huge impact on the functioning of companies. Almost all survey respondents noticed the impact of the pandemic on the level of employee, customer and partner engagement. The weakening of relationships in the work environment is the most frequently indicated (65%). That is why companies now place so much emphasis on building commitment, understood as the relationship of an employee, client or partner with a given organization. The surveyed managers also point to the need to reformulate goals and tasks for employees (57%) and to the difficult cooperation.

The pandemic has redefined building employee engagement. We can safely say that this area has gained in importance since we work remotely or hybrid. Previously, in most cases, managers, leaders or colleagues could approach and talk to another employee without hesitation. Today, in many organizations that work remotely or hybrids, everyday face-to-face conversations have ceased to exist - comments Agnieszka Tymoszyk, Client Manager, Antal HR & Legal.

The frequency of organizing events and building commitment

The main goals of organizing meetings and events from the perspective of HR representatives are education and training, recruitment and internal communication. Willingness to develop, expanding knowledge and acquiring new skills affect the effectiveness of business activities, which determines the possibility of achieving better results by the company. Human resource management departments can influence the improvement of the quality of services and products offered, incl. by organizing training courses for employees. Most often, meetings are organized in the areas of HR and sales. In the case of these groups, most respondents chose the answer that business events are organized "several times a week", 73% and 68%, respectively.

The respondents believe that in-person events are the most involved in building the involvement of participants, in the case of all target groups - current and potential customers, employees and candidates. The possibilities of hybrid meetings are also highly valued, especially in the case of interactions with employees and current clients - that is, in fact groups that the company is already well known to. Online events are mentioned by a third of respondents as a good way to reach potential candidates. - comments Agnieszka Kapłon, Head of Customer Service at Eventory.

By observing the current mood and talking to our partners, we anticipate two scenarios. In the first of them, when we finally manage to return to the reality from before the pandemic, we expect a sudden increase in participants' interest in stationary events. After a long time of online events, participants will primarily be hungry for human interaction. The second scenario is that a large proportion of people will prefer online participation. Time saving, travel costs and ease of access to the event are the overwhelming advantages of online participation. In the future, therefore, we must take into account the preferences of the audience and, when planning events, head towards hybrid events - adds Agnieszka Kapłon.

A future of hybrid meetings and events

Businesses can already see that online events and meetings have a lot of advantages. As the most important companies, they indicate better ranges, better attendance at events or lower costs. However, it is very difficult to 100% replace an offline event with an online event. According to the survey respondents, it was easier to establish relationships during in-person events and ultimately lead to a transaction.

58% of respondents choose a hybrid model of meetings in the future. Hybrid events allow you to combine the strengths of online and in-person events. This is probably why the respondents representing various areas agree that they will be organized most often in the future. In the case of HR representatives, as many as 77% believe that the hybrid will be the model most often used in the future, 54% of sales representatives and almost half (43%) of marketing and PR representatives share the opinion.

In order to provide all participants with the same opportunities - especially those who choose to participate online in the event - special attention should be paid to the digital part. Tools for conducting the on-line part of the quality reflecting the possibilities of the participant in the in-person part will be sought and desired. What does it mean? At a face-to-face event, the participant can simply walk up to another person to talk to. Therefore, in the hybrid model, the option of networking and talking to others should also be provided to the person participating in the event online - says Jakub Śmietana, Sales Leader Eventory.


About the research

The Antal and Eventory survey was conducted among 316 managers, including HR (32%), Marketing and PR (36%) and Sales (32%), using the CAWI method, on February 15-28, 2021. The report aims to describe the role that online, in-person (traditional face to face) and hybrid meetings and business events (live events with simultaneous online transmission, enabling remote participation) play in building an active attitude of employees, customers and partners of the company .

Download the report here: https://en.antal.pl/insights/report/company-meetings-and-events-in-times-of-change

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