In a recent study conducted by Live Marketing, a firm that focuses on “integrated engagement”, they determined the current standing of hosting events and shows as a means of outside physical marketing.
Up until today, majority of the budget for the overall marketing efforts of a company is allocated for events. It’s one of the few surviving strategies that require marketers to actually go out into the field and engage with prospects. Because of this subsequent pressure (the company must gain positive ROI for its expenses in putting up such gatherings), it’s important to know how this strategy is still up to its hype.
Let’s see exactly how much companies have spent in the last year for events: an enormous amount of $24 billion. Take that for pressure.
Can we still rely on events and trade shows to meet our marketing goals?
First of all, what are these goals? According to the report, 83% say that the goal is to increase sales. Fair enough. However, 73% of them also say that it’s also about increasing the public’s awareness of their brand, and 53% says it enhances product knowledge.
The study also revealed the Business-to-Business (B2B) events capture the largest share of budget among companies who do this kind of marketing. It has become the second most prevalent and prioritized marketing tactic and is expected to grow more in the next two years.
What type of events do B2B marketers usually employ? According to the study, the most popular type is social gatherings, which could be golf tournaments, a mini-ball at a good hotel, or a simple get together at the local beach club. Next to social gatherings, marketers also host classes, workshops and seminars in different locales. Fundraising events and retreats are the least used types.
How do they promote events? As it turns out, Email is the most prevalent method of spreading the word about upcoming events, followed by word of mouth, and mailed invites. Magazine and newspaper ads are not so popular among event marketers. And even though social media is among the tools they use to promote their events, it’s not something that they put much of their efforts on.
Do they charge? Not likely. Only 10% of the respondents revealed that they charge a fee during events, and most of that 10% come from non-profit companies. B2B companies, on the other hand, almost never charge.
Lastly, it was found out that their biggest challenge is getting people to respond to invites and minimizing no-shows. Apparently, their experiences in managing the event, food/venue planning, or tracking the results leave them no difficulties – but they cannot always control their event turnout.