May 13, 2020

2020 Return to Live Events Survey Results

Surveying over 2,000 regular attendees to sports events, festivals, fairs, exhibitions, and business conferences, Enigma Research, together with the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE), Exhibitor Media Group, Northstar Meetings Group and SportsTravel, have released the results of their 2020 Return to Live Events Survey, uncovering the “new normal” of events, including timelines and motivation to return, opinions on precautionary measures, travel intentions, plus information for sponsors and governments.


1 Event attendees have greatly missed live events
  • 94% claimed they “very much” or “somewhat” missed attending live events
  • Results were consistent across all event types, geographic regions, and age groups
2 Event-goers described what they missed about events
  • Majority missed live entertainment or activities; most missed being with family and friends
  • Sights and sounds, energy from crowds also missed by many
3 Strong majority likely to return
  • 76% are “extremely” or “very” likely to return once large gatherings resume
  • Only 8% indicated they would be unlikely to return
4 Those unlikely to return provided reasons
  • Among the 8% who would not return, nearly all were concerned about the virus
  • Many also felt distancing rules and other measures would make returning to events unpleasant
5 Many will return quickly while others prefer to wait
  • Nearly half would return within one or two weeks of live events resuming
  • Remainder would wait longer, with 20% waiting more than 3 months
6 Safety precautions would make event attendees more likely to return
  • Three-quarters would be more likely to return if sanitation precautions were taken
  • Masks for workers and contactless systems would also encourage many to return
7 Some extreme safety implementations would be well-received
  • Two-fifths are more likely to attend if events perform body temperature checks upon entry
  • Smaller events and extended hours to increase social distancing also popular solutions
8 Various safety precautions would deter some event-goers
  • 27% would be less likely to return if required to wear masks
  • 23% less likely to return if social distancing among attendees was enforced
9 Promotions and incentives would also encourage return to live events
  • Most claimed that discounted admission would increase likelihood to return
  • In addition, packages including food, beverage, and merchandise would be popular
10 Those who previously traveled to events will travel again
  • 89% who traveled to events within the past 24 months would travel to another event
  • Discounts and travel packages would further increase the return to event travel
11 Many have strong views regarding the return to live events
  • 70% are very motivated to return and 25% would pay more even if attendance was limited
  • By contrast, 18% will not attend any live event until there is a vaccine for the virus
12 Nearly three-quarters believe streaming and virtual experiences are no substitute
  • Some feel free streaming events and virtual tours are appealing alternatives
  • Most event-goers have no interest in pay-per-view offerings
13 Event-goers highly appreciate brands that support cancelled or postponed events
  • Typically, 38% of event-goers feel “very favourable” towards sponsors and brands supporting live events
  • By comparison, 58% feel the same way regarding sponsors that support cancelled or postponed events
14 Fans are likely to conduct business with sponsors supporting cancelled or postponed events
  • 90% were “very” or “somewhat” likely to conduct business with brands that continue to support events
  • Results were consistent across all event types, geographic regions, and age groups
15 Comments and suggestions from event-goers uncovered wide variety of opinions
  • Hundreds of respondents left comments regarding the return to live events
  • Many remarks suggest that event-goers are very divided on the subject

Missing Live Events

See full survey results.

Copyright 2020 Enigma Research Corporation. All rights reserved. From

To view all articles, check out the Internet Travel Monitor Archive