by Art Pfenning | July 01, 2004

Are web-based events changing the meetings market landscape? To find out, M&C surveyed 140 planners. The results of the online poll suggest web meetings will not replace face-to-face events anytime soon, as 68 percent of planners surveyed have not arranged any such events in the past 12 months.
     Of those who have held online meetings, 68 percent report that the number of such events has not changed over the past 12 months. Still, those who say online meetings have increased outnumber respondents who say they have decreased by seven to one (28 percent vs. 4 percent). 
     chartWeb-based meetings draw an average of 67 attendees, but 60 percent of the respondents have 10 or fewer online participants. The average is driven upward by the 8 percent who conduct virtual meetings with more than 200 people.
     Reflecting the relatively few web-based meetings being arranged by the respondents, a full 77 percent spend less than 10 percent of their time planning online meetings.
     Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of all respondents report online meetings have replaced some face-to-face events they used to arrange. Nevertheless, the majority of those polled (53 percent) say face-to-face meetings are considerably more valuable than online meetings.
     chartThe most popular types of events those surveyed are planning are training sessions (43 percent) and sales updates (35 percent).
     WebEx, cited by 40 percent of those surveyed, is the most popular program used to run online meetings.

By Art Pfenning, director, M&C Research;