As a marketer, you have no shortage of tools at your disposal—digital ads, print ads, social media, content marketing, email marketing—the list goes on. However, a recent report indicates that one marketing channel rules them all: live events.
For the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, we surveyed over 430 mid- to senior-level marketers worldwide. In doing so, we asked them tough questions about where event fits into their marketing strategy and how they see the events industry changing in the coming years. Although we did not expect it, the resulting findings illustrate that event-based marketing has never been more important than it is now. Not convinced? Continue on below to find 10 reasons why you need an event marketing strategy.
Note: Looking for more visuals? You can find a helpful infographic with the key findings from the Event Marketing report at the bottom of the page. But you won’t want to skip what’s in-between.
Why You Need an Event Marketing Strategy
1) Because event marketing is the single-most effective marketing channel.
Yes content marketing is indispensable, as is email marketing and many of the other marketing tactics available to you. However, most marketers (31%) say that event marketing is the channel to rule all channels. Why? You’ll have to keep on reading.
2) Because the majority of your peers and competitors view live events as critical to their success.
Events are more than just an additional tactic available to marketers—they are an opportunity for fomenting a powerful brand, driving revenue and building partnerships. With that in mind, it’s little surprise that the majority of marketers (80%) believe that live events are critical to their organizations’ success.
3) Because the most successful brands are committed to live events.
Apple, Google, HubSpot, The Wall Street Journal, Target, Adobe—what do all of these brands share in common? Aside from incredible success, each of these organizations is deeply committed to an event marketing strategy. In fact, the majority of organizations that view themselves as overperforming in relation to their business goals (67%) say that they are “very committed” to events. Clearly, organizations understand the their event brand can be just as powerful as their company brand.
4) Because people want to interact with your brand beyond screens.
One of the main reasons that live events are so valuable is that they provide a unique and valuable opportunity for engaging with your prospects and customers. In fact, 95% of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world. Digital marketing has enabled marketers to accelerate their efforts like never before, but in turn it has fueled a hunger for face-to-face experiences.
5) Because the majority of marketers plan on investing more in events.
In the coming years event marketing budgets are only going to grow. The majority of marketers plan on investing more in live events in the future both in budget (63%) and number of events (63%).
6) Because most marketers think events will only become more important.
Given all of the above, you might guess that marketers believe events will become more important. It’s a no-brainer. Specifically, 75% of marketers believe that events will become more important to events.
7) Because most brands are already spending a lot on events.
Frost and Sullivan report that events are currently a $512 billion dollar industry. An examination of the marketing budgets of organizations explains why. Most organizations (28%) are spending 20% or more of their annual marketing budget on live events.
8) Because events can help you generate more revenue.
Tied with community building, lead generation and sales is the number one reason that organizations run live events. As Cari Goodrich, Senior Director of Global Marketing Programs at Looker puts it: “I think they are critical. They end up having this effect across the board, across all of the funnels that you might not notice at first.”
9) The majority of C-suite executives plan on investing more in events.
It’s not just mid-level marketers who believe in events, it’s those at the top of the hierarchy, as well. Over 87% of C-suite executives (CEOs, CMOs, etc.) believe that live events are critical to their organization’s success and 84% plan on increasing the number of events that they hold in the coming years.
10) Because event technology has never been better.
At the end of the day, event marketing has never before been easier or more lucrative thanks to the advent of event technologies. Just like Marketo and HubSpot revolutionized marketing automation, new event tools like HeadBox and Bizzabo are giving marketers an unprecedented edge when planning events. In fact, 80% of marketers believe that technology can have a major impact on their event strategy.
Wrapping Up: The Golden Age of Event Marketing
That so many organizations have found success by optimizing live events illustrates that the future of event marketing is bright. Moving forward, leading marketers expect that technologies related to social media, live streaming, and virtual and augmented reality will impact the industry. While these new technologies are expected to bring people together more readily, we fully expect that in-person live events will continue to reign as the single most effective marketing channel in 2018 and beyond.
Brandon is the Content Marketing Manager at Bizzabo. Launched in July 2012, Bizzabo is the world’s leading event software. It helps organizers better manage, market and grow their events—all through a beautiful, user-friendly platform.
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