Online experiences helped combat loneliness by driving hobbies, helping people learn and virtually travel; staying informed was a top priority for consumers; conservatives and liberals both turned to online events to remain connected
More than half of survey respondents said they plan to attend both virtual
and in-person events in the future
Eventbrite (NYSE: EB), a global self-service ticketing and experience technology platform, today unveiled its 2020 Inside Look Report, a comprehensive global study that explores human connection and the world of experiences. With nearly 75 million virtual attendees, 100+ million hours logged online, and more than one million virtual events in 2020, Eventbrite has continued to bring the world together during a year of social distancing through virtual experiences, which have proven to be critical connection points for consumers.
Eventbrite’s Inside Look Report provides insight into how consumers and the event industry at large have adapted to 2020’s unprecedented cultural, political, and social change, focusing on how the disruption of live and in-person events transformed daily behavior and connection. The report, available here, analyzes data from the more than one million global virtual experiences on Eventbrite in 2020 and a YouGov survey of more than 3,000 consumers across Australia, the UK and US. Additional key US consumer findings include:
Online events helped people combat loneliness, and in many cases thrive, via hobbies, virtual learning, and self-improvement
Stay-at-home orders made space and time for self-improvement and self-care, but many chose to work on themselves virtually, together.
- When looking at Eventbrite data specifically, half of all tickets issued to virtual experiences in 2020 were for seminars/talks or classes/trainings/workshops.
- Of those who’ve attended online events since the pandemic began, over one-third (36%) of respondents agreed that they’re thriving in the COVID-19 environment, compared to 27% of those who have not attended an online event in that time.
- Among those who have picked up new hobbies since the start of COVID-19, singles (21%) were more than twice as likely to pick up a hobby because they were lonely compared to those in relationships (10%). Men (22%) were more than twice as likely to have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic than women (9%) because they felt pressured to be productive.
- Nearly one in five men (19%) said that online events and social platforms have allowed them to forge social connections better than they would have made in real life.
The power of staying socially and culturally informed is more important than ever
People turned to virtual experiences to connect, get informed, have tough conversations, and ask challenging questions throughout the year.
- Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they have become more informed on social justice and political issues since the pandemic began, which mirrors behavior on Eventbrite.
- Three of the most attended virtual events on Eventbrite in 2020 centered on social justice, with the leading event issuing tickets to more than 277,000 attendees.
- We dug a layer deeper to look specifically at social media users through our survey and found 73% of YouTube users said they have become more informed/involved in political/social issues since the beginning of the pandemic, more than any major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok). This number is significantly higher than the 48% average response.
Conservatives and liberals might differ in opinion, but both turned to virtual experiences
During one of the highest politically charged years, people from both majority US political parties found a way to connect via online experiences.
- Since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, conservatives (32%) are nearly twice as likely to say they’ve attended a religious or spiritual event online compared to liberals (17%).
- Liberals (14%) are twice as likely to say they have attended a physical or mental wellness class online compared to conservatives (6%).
- Interestingly, 60% of Democrats agreed that online virtual events are a good alternative for live/in-person events, while only 37% of Republicans agreed
- Nearly half of all Democrats (48%) feel more positive about attending online virtual events now, compared to just 26% of Republicans
- While 72% of Democrats said it will be very important for any events they attend in the next year to follow proper COVID-19 safety restrictions, only 27% of Republicans agreed.
The power of human connection transcended distance
Even though many communities across the world have been practicing some level of social distancing since March, online experiences helped people stay connected.
- When asked whether online events make people feel more connected to others, 45% of online event attendees agreed.
- Roughly a third (32%) of those who have attended online events since the pandemic began said they made new friends through such events.
- Online event attendees also largely agreed (65%) that online experiences allow them to attend events in other countries without traveling there, which maps to behavior on Eventbrite. Virtual events hosted on Eventbrite in the United States attracted more than 30% of their attendees from other locations worldwide.
“Perhaps the silver lining of this pandemic is that online events have the power to globally engage communities in new ways, helping creators bring people together from small town America to far reaching corners of the world,” said Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite. “That’s something to celebrate as we continue to work toward the safe return of in-person events.”
Looking ahead to 2021
For the foreseeable future, virtual events are highly likely to remain both necessary and popular. Across the board, half of the respondents in the survey said they plan to attend both virtual and in-person events when it is safe to gather again.
 Methodology: All survey figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,009 (1,008 US, 1,001 UK, and 1,000 AUS) adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th November – 2nd December 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of US, UK and AUS adults (aged 18+).