Whatever metric you use, the event and experiential sector has rebounded strongly from the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent survey from event tech company, Bizzabo (The State of In-person B2B Conferences in 2023 | Bizzabo) reported that 80.4 percent of B2B Marketing professionals say in-person events are their organisation’s most impactful marketing channel. This is evident from the rise in recruitment with event teams expanding again, and hybrid events are now the favourite format say attendees.
The data gathered by Bizzabo resulted in these main takeaways:
- 75.9% of organizers believe in-person conferences are playing an increasingly vital role in their success.
- 86.4% of organizers are committed to holding in-person B2B events in 2024.
- 70.5% of organizers say their B2B in-person conference attendance grew or stayed the same in the past year.
- 78% of organisers agree or strongly agree that in-person events offer the most meaningful networking opportunities.
However, there was one quote from the report that stimulates a question about how these events are being positioned. It went: “…. this is why events are still the marketing budget’s single largest line item,” and was stated by the Chief Marketing Officer of Bizzabo.
Future-Focused Ways to Change the Conversation
The term “marketing budget’s single largest line item…” is quite possibly accurate but why the focus on the cost? Of course, prudent budget control is important, but the budget is merely the facilitator of the engaging power of a brand’s event experience.
In our experience, thinking about your marketing lines as purely costs can lead to poor decision making. If you develop and maintain a register of returns then this will drive better thinking and, ultimately, more value for your customers and business. Change the conversation at the C-Suite from “how much do I spend on…”, to “well how much could I spend on …” and still get those returns.
Brands need to have the focus and discipline to ensure that the experience they build is both relevant and salient. They must have empathy to meet the needs of the attending guests. In addition, the elevated design and content comprehension of any experience can only be achieved through exacting focus. They also need to have the same level of rigor in measuring the true impact or return of an event.
Through the application of focus, brands can celebrate and measure the value and impact that creative and engaging event spaces can generate. That should be the ultimate target.
For over 30 years Enigma has been putting Brands in Focus. You can take a closer look at our event marketing principles here, contact us here, or follow the link below for a practical guide to sharpening your own brand focus.