A Virtual Success Story. How Cognitive Publishing are utilising virtual events as part of their long term strategy

A Virtual Success Story. How Cognitive Publishing are utilising virtual events as part of their long term strategy

Blog Article Case Study

Here at Evessio we’re seeing so many stories of event organisers not only successfully replicating live events in digital formats but actually adding brand new digital events to their calendar. Many event organisers now see digital events as an integral part of their business and revenue growth. Due to the success of digital events many event organisers are now moving at least half of their event portfolio online for good. So how are so many events growing and increasing revenues using digital formats and virtual event venues? Cognitive Publishing is a great example of a business that has embraced digital change and sought opportunity in virtual even before the industry was forced to move events online. Cognitive Publishing are a leading UK business to business and events organiser who specialise in providing event services to the public sector. They connect thousands of global businesses with senior leaders from organisations such as the NHS and rail industry. Over the past 21 years Cognitive has given news brands access to the most senior leaders and politicians and created immersive and engaging virtual environments for their audiences.

Identifying opportunity in hosting digital events early on

Since embracing digital events and virtual event software, Cognitive Publishing has seen an impressive 13% increase in turnover. Like so many event organisers over the past 2 years Cognitive were forced to rethink their events structure and how to continue delivering high quality events to their customers throughout the pandemic. However, Media and Events Director, Roy Rowlands attributes a lot of their success to actually identifying opportunities in digital events before the industry was forced to make the transition as a result of the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic Cognitive had already planned to introduce digital events to their schedule. Hosting informative, high quality digital webinars was very much part of their marketing strategy to attract more attendees to their live events. The team had already anticipated a trend in digital events and could already see the benefits of hosting conferences and exhibitions online with the ability to have limitless attendees join from around the world. Hosting digital events not only generated revenue, it provided a platform to promote other similar online events taking place in the future.

Content is key

Roy Rowlands emphasises the importance of content when delivering virtual events. Providing valuable, engaging and insightful content is key in return attendance, attracting new attendees and maximising marketing efforts when promoting future events. When people know they’re going to get high quality content they’re more likely to stay engaged during the event and sign up to other events. Roy also emphasises the importance of relevant content. Cognitive Publishing put a lot of effort into seeking out insightful content. They go after high profile, relevant speakers so attendees really feel like they are learning something and getting value. Roy Rowlands contributes a lot of their success and impressive turnover to going after insightful content. Not only does quality content increase engagement during events, increase participation for future events but also helps attract high profile guest speakers and event partners.

Partner with the right event management software

Partnering with the right event management software is critical in delivering successful live, digital and hybrid events. Your event management platform should be your number one platform for organising everything from registrations to marketing communications, event operations and hosting the actual event. Not only should your event management software provide you and your team with effortless organisation tools but it should also provide you with a diverse virtual venue of which to host your event. The virtual venue should provide attendees with an engaging experience where they can enjoy content and easily connect with others.

A key component in digital event management software for Cognitive Publishing is the ability to easily capture data and ease of communicating with event audiences. Granular data capture and insights are invaluable when understanding attendee behaviour. Being able to see how attendees are moving around virtual rooms, connecting with others and whether they are engaging with the content is an integral part of the evaluation process afterwards.

Cognitive’s approach is a perfect example of disruptive innovation in a challenging time where so many events struggled to adapt with the change. Cognitive Publishing were so successful because they sought out opportunities in digital platforms beforehand and continue to embrace change. Cognitive prioritise providing relevant, interesting and quality content for their attendees over anything. They recognise that digital events should be just as inclusive and engaging as live events. Virtual attendees still need to feel like they are getting value for their time and money.

Cognitive’s digital events have been extremely successful and will continue adding to their digital portfolio. They plan to deliver live events and will not use digital events to replace them but they will use them as a gateway into their live events. Hosting successful digital events has actually increased participation in their live events which continues to contribute to their rapid growth and increase in revenues. Virtual is an integral part of building their event communities.

Claire Singleton

Marketing Manager


Claire is the Marketing Manager at Evessio, an industry-leading event management platform for awards, conferences and exhibitions. Claire has years of experience and specialises in marketing event software, marketing events and sponsorship. Claire has a proven track record of re-branding events and implementing strategies that doubled event participation. Claire made events that were breaking even or losing money highly profitable by increasing event participation and securing sponsorship from global brands.