For event marketers, December is a great time to take a quick breath between seasons. You’ve likely finished off your conferences for the year and have a bit of downtime before you are off and running for the 2018 conference and tradeshow season. However, we all know that “downtime” is best spent reviewing 2017 and seeing what went well, and what can be improved for the coming year. Comparing your own results to industry standards is a huge part of this and helps to make sure you are on trend for next year. Luckily for you, we’ve scoured the recently published Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report to help add some context to your 2017 results!
It may come as no surprise that half of all marketers participate in events to build leads and generate sales, along with community building. However, in today’s digital age, is there still a place for event marketing? We weren’t surprised to learn that, overwhelmingly, 95% of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person. There is something so special and unique about making an authentic connection with a person and brand that helps them remember your brand in a positive light.
Companies Continue to Invest in Events
Possibly due to the fact that events stand out when so much of marketing has turned to digital, 75% of marketers believe that live events will become increasingly important to their organizations’ success in the coming years, and 63% plan on investing more money and participating in a larger number of events.
Technology Is Continuing to Evolve
We’ve all seen new technologies hit the exhibit floor. Some stick and some go away as quickly as they came. The Event Marketing 2018 report asked other marketers which technology they believe will impact events the most and the study found:
- 30% of marketers believe that live streaming will impact events the most.
- 24% of marketers believe that social networks will impact events the most
- Only 20% of marketers believe that virtual and augmented reality will impact events the most.
- Only 13% of marketers believe that artificial intelligence will impact events the most.
Additionally, 84% event organizers said that audience engagement solutions (live messaging through event apps, networking capabilities through LinkedIn integrations, and other features provided by event technologies) are the biggest trends in maximizing the event experience.
Does Event Marketing Influence Purchases?
Your company attends events to sell your product or service to your target audience, so you want to know if your investment will be worthwhile and actually influence sales. Good news: the Event Marketing Institute found that it does! In fact, their 2016 survey found that 80% of attendees said that live demonstrations and free samples significantly helped define their purchasing decision and 98% of users felt more inclined to purchase after experiencing a brand at a live event. Overall, the majority of event attendees tend to have a more positive opinion of the company, product, brand or service after an event.
Digital marketing is very easy to measure. Clicks, Open Rates, Impressions. But live event marketing can be difficult. The Event Marketing 2018 report found that a little over 1/3 of marketers look at revenue generation to measure their success and about 80% of marketers say that their events do generate positive revenue for their company, accomplishing their goals. The majority of businesses measure ROI from event management software, which helps to quantify the numbers.
As an exhibitor, you get to take these learnings and put them into action on the tradeshow floor. Not only can you use this info as ammo to increase your budget for 2018, but you can also incorporate the new technologies and measurements to really make an impact next year. We’ve also got a few ideas to spruce up your booth in a cost-effective way and tips to prep for the upcoming tradeshow season.
To chat more about your marketing strategy and your exhibit space, contact our team and we’ll be happy to strategize together!