Live Events Gaining Greater Executive Support, Bizzabo Study Finds

February 19, 2019

While event professionals have long touted the power of the events they plan, many have not previously had great support from leadership in this area. The good news is that the data shows that to be changing.

Recent event industry studies all indicate the industry is healthy and growing, and a big part of that is due to marketing. Findings from Bizzabo’s “Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarking and Trends” report show that today, face-to-face events are more effective for achieving business goals than ever before — and executives are taking notice.

Bizzabo surveyed more than 1,000 mid- to senior-level marketers responsible for an estimated $738 million in annual event spend. Participants included representatives from leading brands including Amazon, General Mills, KPMG, AppNexus, Digiday and Porsche.

Survey results show events are considered an important part of the marketing mix. Eighty-five percent of respondents indicated that events are essential to their marketing strategy, and nearly all respondents (95 percent) say they believe in-person events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form connections in an increasingly digital world.

The majority of executives surveyed (84 percent) say they believe live events are a critical component of their company’s success. When comparing data from its 2018 survey, Bizzabo discovered a 20 percent jump in commitment from leadership (up from 64 percent) responding that they are “very committed” to live events.

Yet event marketers still have work to do. Event ROI and leadership support are heavily correlated — and when event teams are unable to prove and measure ROI, business leaders are 2.2 times less supportive of events, the report shows.

Other key findings from the Bizzabo study include:

  • The primary reason reported for organizing events is to support lead generation and sales acceleration, closely followed by brand awareness.
  • Organizations using event software are more productive, more efficient and better able to prove ROI.
  • Integration is key to success: Organizations integrating event software with other core business platforms, such as CRMs, experience 14 percent less trouble proving event ROI.
  • The majority of businesses (62 percent) plan to increase their event budgets in 2019.

 For more data and insights, download the report here.

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