This originally appeared in Agility PR Solutions.

As the COVID crisis continues to shake up the business world, new research from tech PR firm ARPR reveals where tech PR and digital marketing efforts are headed in 2021. The agency’s new study, Marketing in a Post-COVID World, found that 49 percent of respondents said their companies are unsure whether or not they will attend trade shows in 2021, while another 7 percent have already decided not to.

“In the weeks and months that followed the initial wave of the pandemic, executives, sales reps, HR and even product engineers have looked to us—the communications experts—for guidance,” said Renee Spurlin, senior vice president of analytics and digital marketing at ARPR, in a news release. “With this report, we’re now looking beyond that initial wave at the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on how we communicate our brands and market our products and services.”

More than half of tech companies may pass on 2021 trade show circuit

What’s driving these decisions? It’s not just fear of contracting COVID.

In part, it may be because marketers are driving results in other channels, according to the survey. When trade shows first cancelled and outside sales reps faced travel bans, software marketers reallocated resources to digital efforts. The firm found that an overwhelming 97 percent of tech marketers said they’ve “definitely” or “somewhat” been able to prove the value of digital marketing to executives during COVID.

More than half of tech companies may pass on 2021 trade show circuit

“Our survey points to a moment of reimagination for software marketing departments,” said Anna Ruth Willams, ARPR’s founder and CEO, in the release. “Whereas marketing calendars used to be centered around live events, they’re now transforming into content-driven machines. We’re confident this report will help technology marketing teams make smarter investments for their marketing strategies in 2021.”

More than half of tech companies may pass on 2021 trade show circuit

Download the full report here.

The firm surveyed 100 tech marketers from enterprise brands, growth-stage companies and startups alike. The respondents represented technology companies such as Amazon, Cox Communications and Rackspace.

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