[Poll Of The Week] Are Conferences Really Necessary Anymore?


  • Yes, they still have a place
  • No, the format should rapidly change

I have always been a firm believer and I still am, that the conference and event industry will never die based on the undeniable need to meet face to face in business. We all know conferences have always had 2 main points of ROI,
1 - Knowledge Building
2 - Networking.
But as we look at the facts from recent event studies we know that upwards to 75% of modern conference attendees view networking as the main and greatest ROI from attending live events. And as content continues to become more and more easily accessible, the knowledge building factor at events becomes less and less relevant. So as we look at the traditional format and purpose of conferences, I have to wonder, are they still necessary or is this event format rapidly begging to dissolve?


Hi there! Interesting post. Conferences aren’t my field but I know of a number of trade exhibitions which are upweighting the conference element of their shows to increase the appeal to potential visitors so maybe we’ll see multi-format events rather than pure conferences.

I really agree with this. The content marketing boom has made high quality content so available to those that want to find it that you don’t need to be paying serious money to go and listen to someone speak it to you - in my role almost anything I want to know can be found through Google. I can’t see the ‘content’ side of conferences surviving in their current form much longer.

If the format is begging to disolve though, what’s next??

btw @Pheil do you mind if i make your topic title into a poll?

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I think the beauty of the conference is that the content is curated. It’s like buying a magazine or a non-fiction book - although we could get all this information by searching online, we still enjoy them as a curated content experience. Plus, we don’t always know what it is we’re looking for! What’s more, the conference has the added benefit of being able to interact and ask questions.

yes feel free to make it into a poll

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Perhaps conference organisers could to build in exclusives e.g. research findings announced and discussed, exclusive speakers, new products/services being unveiled etc. Agree with @Belinda_Booker re curation and think organisers will need to find something you can’t get online to keep this format alive.

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We need events, but events need to evolve as our audiences adapt and needs change