Investigating online vs face-to-face opportunities for event sponsors

Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing’s largest annual event, RCN Congress, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. RCN needed to investigate how event exhibitors and sponsors felt about live events with social distancing, online events, and the overall state of the market. They also wanted to understand how these organisations’ marketing plans might change as a result of the pandemic.

Ashridge developed a questionnaire for RCN’s sponsor and exhibitor contacts that was hosted on RCN’s online survey platform.  Telephone interviews were conducted by the Ashridge team to gather deeper, qualitative insight from a cross section of current and prospect exhibitors and sponsors.

Ashridge produced a detailed, written report that included a breakdown of responses by seven different types of exhibitor/sponsor. The report addressed the themes of the research and drew out key findings to enable RCN to plan for future events with confidence.

We have enjoyed a positive, collaborative business relationship with Ashridge over the last ten years. With their detailed understanding of our commercial clients (exhibitors and sponsors) and their research expertise, they have delivered valuable insights and findings on a number of occasions.  There was no hesitation in briefing Ashridge to investigate exhibitors’ views on the marketplace in the light of COVID-19. We are extremely pleased with the outputs which are playing an important part in shaping our future events offer.

Julie Ballard, Corporate Relations Manager, RCN