– One of the world’s oldest marketing channels—events—is still erroneously labeled as unquantifiable and unpredictable, until now. A new report released today by Splash, the world’s first end-to-end event marketing software, with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR-AS), confirms a new era for event marketers; one where high-performing companies are investing more in event technology and accurately tying event activity to actual revenues or profits,. Titled, “The Event Marketing Evolution: An Era of Data, Technology, and Revenue Impact,” the study surveyed more than 700 enterprise executives and shared impactful insights on their event strategies.
The report reveals more than 90 percent of companies prioritize hosting events for customers and potential customers, and nearly as many prioritize sponsoring events. Moreover, high-growth companies (those who have seen revenue grow 30 percent or more over the past two years) are increasing their event investment more than others.
Approximately 23 percent of companies say they are able to calculate return on investment (ROI) for events. These Event Optimizers are able to exceed business goals. In addition to experiencing more than 30 percent revenue growth, what these businesses had in common is investment in data-driven event technology, the ability to measure top and bottom funnel metrics, and a shift in strategy from sponsoring to hosting events. According to the study, the “best [technology] adopters are on average more likely to see business value from events and to consider themselves better positioned for future success.”
“More than ever before, it is crucial for businesses to go beyond the digital space to build meaningful relationships, through human, in-person experiences. However, measuring event ROI is challenging and until recently, it was nearly impossible. Now, with the growing investment in events, and the maturation of end-to-end event technology, event marketers have the ability to report on much more than anecdotal results,” said Ben Hindman, CEO of Splash.
Hindman continues, “The study confirms that high-performing companies are especially tapping into the marketing power of events and investing in technology that’s helping them measure the impact of their events down to actual revenue. We see these same trends at Splash in our own top-performing customers, who we refer to as Event Optimizers.”
Survey respondents reported their organizations host, on average, 73 events annually and sponsor another 62; respondents are also devoting significant resources to event marketing activities, with:
- One third hosting their own trade shows
- 51 percent employing between one and 10 full time event planning and management employees
- 27 percent employing 11 or more full time event planning and management employees
- One in 10 allocating more than half their marketing budget to events
- 30 percent allocating at least 20 percent of their marketing budget to events
- Four in 10 reporting that they’ll spend more on hosting events in the year ahead
“Creating in-person business relationships through events is becoming more crucial than ever,” said Alex Clemente, Managing Director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. “The study shows that, despite the prevalence of social media and digital growth-strategies, event investments are growing. This is corroborated by our survey respondents, which include senior marketing managers, who state that events drive more business value than other channels.”
Julie Hogan, global face-to-face marketing director, Facebook|Instagram, uses event marketing software that links to the company’s various CRM systems. This method has been integral to improving the company’s event-measuring capabilities over the last two years.
Hogan said in the report, “The face-to-face interactions that take place at events are incredibly powerful. And coming up with ways to measure the return on those interactions, and our investments in those events, is really incredible. We’ve certainly become much more consistent in our ability not only to calculate a return on our investment, but also to make our event team more productive, deliver a better customer experience, and understand how we can do better in the future.”