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Chart of the week: is there a digital skills shortage?

The event industry is changing rapidly. Each week we illustrate how this is happening and what it means for your business.

More than three-quarters of event professionals believes there is a digital skills shortage when navigating the online transformation of the industry, according to a poll.

The Virtual Events Institute asked its LinkedIn followers whether they agreed that there is a lack of expertise in this area of digital and hybrid formats.

A total of 77% said there was, while 14% disagreed and 9% were unsure.

Behind the figures

Physical events have been and will remain an organiser’s highlight of the year, but the pandemic has forced a digital transformation of our industry.

Many producers tried to replicate their in-person offerings at the outbreak through purely livestreaming speakers, which commentators have said fell flat of usual expectations.

Leading organisers have spotted an opportunity to reinvent their business model by including high-quality and virtual-first content.

This includes on-demand sessions, sponsored webinars or professional 365 community engagement.

For more on this download ExpoPlatform’s Hybrid Blueprint ebook.

One big issue has been with making sure an organiser has the right workforce to pull it off successfully.

What does this mean for organisers?

Physical events are not being replaced, but hybrid and virtual events are not going away.

The benefits brought through opening up new engagement and monetisation channels through digital are clear: better brand awareness, more revenue and a pandemic-proof budget.

Organisers should take advantage of the potential found in this business model by rethinking who they build their company with – while those who don’t risk being left behind.

Luke Bilton, ExpoPlatform’s chief growth officer, told a recent In Case Of An Event podcast episode: “If you are serious about it, then I think a really useful exercise is to forget about the legacy contracts and to start with a blank sheet of paper.

“The objective being to create a pandemic-proof budget where digital is right at the core of packages – and probably represents about 25% of revenue.”

There are two schools of thought for doing this: specialists or generalists.

Specialists: a new generation has grown up online and with social media and know how to use it to reach a targeted audience. Bringing in specialists who know how to utilise emerging technologies could give your business a competitive edge. This can be done on a full-time basis or using freelancers ahead of an event to upsell customers. 

Generalists: Bring together your digital and event sales teams under one umbrella. allows for a unified vision when supporting customers, as well as simplifying things for them by making a sales account manager the single point of contact.

Here’s our complete guide to creating successful hybrid events.