Research Outline

Live/Virtual Keynote Speaking


To determine when will live, in-person “business” focused events come back 100% by looking at private corporate events vs. public ticketed events, to use data to make an informed decision about investment opportunities in the company in 2020.

Early Findings

The information related to in-person “business” focused events in the U.S. (and around the globe) is not readily available. Public ticketed events are limited to searching industry-specific conferences. To build a list of private corporate events would require research beyond the scope of the initial strategy.

Due to ongoing health concerns about COVID-19, several e-Commerce conferences have been either canceled or postponed. The blend of live versus virtual will we have a long term, financial effect on the event industry. While the industry is shifting to scheduling new meetings into 2021 and later, a Northstar Meetings Group survey showed that event planners are seeing increasing demand for all things virtual for the next 12-18 months. While attendee experience has always played a role in the decisions made surrounding live events, the rise of virtual events has shifted focus to the attendee experience.

  • Event planners seem to agree that most events going forward will have a component of a virtual audience- 62% of event planners say that the future of events is hybrid.
  • Once the widespread economic support of the governments most impacted will fade away, many companies will need to cut luxuries such as corporate travel to attend an event.
  • The last piece of information we have from companies such as Facebook and Microsoft is that corporate travel to events with more than 50 people won’t resume before Q3 2021, and looking at the current situation in North America, it won’t be crazy to assume that the date will be pushed even further.
  • Many keynote speakers are willing to speak for reduced fees, as much as 30-40% of their in-person fees, depending on the format or length of time of the presentation. However, high-demand and famous keynote speakers still are likely to command their top fee.
  • Keynote speakers have changed contract terms to include new sections related to technology needs, recording, whether a "studio look" in the background is required and special provisions about cancellations due to pandemic
Live Events in the Startup & Tech Sector
  • Digital Summit Seattle is moving online in 2020 – December 8-10 with a commitment to see people live in 2021.
  • Startup Growth Conference- LaunchScale- will host a live even October1-2 of 2020.
  • Saas Connect will host a live even October 5-6.
  • DataX- New York Event- will be held November4-5.
Scheduled Business Focused Live Events