Event trends and marketing statistics that are still hot [2020 updated]

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Posted on August 28, 2019

Event marketing statistics published by the most respectful consultancies and market research institutes prove: people are changing their habits.

As per stated by Euro Monitor International, for instance, they now want experiences in physical venues rather than things. And let’s look at that carefully: nobody said that people are spending less or saving money. It’s actually the other way around. People want to spend more on what can be felt instead of what can be owned.

If you’re offering experiences, this post will help you benchmark them and to take advantage of this global moment. Let’s highlight 12 points to be worked on, with event marketing statistics of what’s been trending through 2019 and promises to keep growing on 2020.


Who is this competitive intelligence guide for?

This report with the must follow trends for the coming year has been created for:

  • Live Marketing Agencies owners and entrepreneurs who run live events in several venues a year, for clients and need to benchmark results.
  • Marketing Managers of companies who want to optimize budget usage.
  • Executives who need to ensure ROI.
  • Event Pros like Event Planners, Organizers and Managers.


Events as the center of marketing strategies

You may still be wondering if it is advantageous to invest in the segment, right? We can say yes and for the various reasons that we will highlight now.

Even in the face of crises, people continued to enjoy well-organized experiences, which kept not only the event companies active, but all aggregates, as it is a segment that depends on good partnerships to make a great event work.

In addition to being highly exploitable niches for the essential aspect of achievement – the people who dream about the moment – if you are willing to offer an differentiated moment on unique venues, be aware that there is a huge chance you’ll create loyal customers.

The success of an event depends on a number of factors that are not only tied to numbers. But it is critical to understand the scale and growth prospects of a segment to invest in a safe and balanced way.

What do we mean by that? You need to be cautious when investing. Planning is crucial to analyze each step taken, as the payback period of the investment depends on how you will manage the injected amount.

The massive expansion of the events industry

The expansion of the events industry, which generates US$ 1 trillion alone worldwide for corporations, hotels, PCO’s and other important stakeholders of the industry, is due to the need for news and differentials to serve an increasingly demanding audience.

Those in this market should be concerned with providing a unique experience to all customers and guests. Creativity and innovation are necessary as a surprise element and it is the new and young companies that have provided this new format, so we believe in the power of expansion.

In many segments, it is important to choose a niche and specialize in it to offer better services and unexpected event venues. Some of them are hot in the market and seizing the opportunity with engagement and willingness contributes to success. See below the most promising.

Corporate marketing has always relied on events as a means of drawing customer attention to the business. In recent years, more and more, the bet is solidifying.

Within the niche itself there are different types of approach that require the contractor to take care of the details so that the brand is well explored. For example: congresses, sales conferences, seminars, training and recruiting, trade shows, press conferences, conventions, etc.


Service design & customer experience & sustainability

We live in a society that is still based on the logic of the Industrial Revolution. That is, to prioritize production efficiency, to produce more in less time, to the detriment of consumer experience and satisfaction. Of course, the Industrial Revolution had its undeniable role in the development of humanity. What we are discussing here is that, even after centuries, humanity continues to transform and evolve, but most organizations remain bound by the standards of the time.

We still think industrially, based on the “produce and sell” mental model, and the world is a much more complex venue now and there are countless value exchanges in the purchase decision of each product / service. Today, the big companies in the market are those that can connect and adapt to the values, needs and thinking of different generations, innovating traditional service models and transforming the market. Some examples are Amazon, Airbnb, Spotify, and Apple.

When we simply think of products, we overlook the subjects involved and only design incremental improvements that may not improve the customer experience. Take the following test: List 3 possibilities for improving a chair. Now try to think about how we can improve the way a person rests. Notice the difference between the two? Certainly, the solutions designed in each one were completely different.

Experiences that add value or generating value on their own?

In practice, a service goes far beyond the product itself, and every sale of a product involves the provision of services. In this way, organizations need to develop a new mental model in order to change the logic of products to services. Rather than thinking about how to profit more or reduce costs, it is critical to think about how to improve customer relationships, not just how to profit more or reduce costs. Understanding this is the starting point for learning what service design is and how important it is to organizations.


Data vs Guts

Guts and personal judgement are necessary for any Marketer. But you
also need data and research to support your decisions. Firstly, because 54%
of Event Marketers believe that better event data analysis would increase
audience quality, as stated by one of the statistics of this comprehensive
guide. Secondly, because you’re probably working hard and continuously on developing all of the essential skills to become a complete Event Marketer.

Marketing is a science that has specific demands by its nature. And event marketing is not different. We need ongoing efforts to understand several diverse audiences. And of course, ensure that our projects meet the expected outcome.

We, just like you, are people who love being productive. It’s definitely
worth the effort when you are part of a project that proves to be successful
through it’s results. So, in this eBook, we’ve compiled extensive competitive
intelligence for you to know how you’re doing compared to the industry.


Industry Tendencies

In fact, there are many key trends to follow. But there are many that don’t matter as well. So we chose the most important game changers that don’t appear to be slowing down. Therefore, you can keep focused without being overwhelmed by amount of information you can find out there.

  1. Brand awareness is an important metric for 29% of Event Marketers.
  2. North American business meetings generated $381 billion in direct spending thanks to 329.7 million participants.
  3. For corporate event planners, budget is their biggest concern (82%), followed by new ideas (62%) and Return on Investment, or ROI, at 54%
  4. The priority of event attendees going to corporate live events in 2018 is networking (82%).

Souce: Event Industry Council, EventMB



Career and essential skills

  1. 85% of event planners are optimistic about their future job security.
  2. 75% of Event Pros agree that management, flexibility, and passion were
    important skills to have.
  3. Job growth for meeting and event planners in the US is expected to grow at a rate of 11%.
  4. The event industry in the 5.9 million jobs.
  5. 89% of Event Planners love their jobs.

Source: Oxford Economics and Event Industry Council, EventMB, Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Money and ROI

  • 67% measure ROI based on event attendees satisfaction.
  • 96% of small business owners say in-person meetings yield a return on investment.
  • The average ROI for events is 24% – 34%
  • 52% of Marketers say that event marketing drives more business value than other marketing channels.

Source: Statista, EventTrack, Marketing Charts, Event MB, Splash
and HBR
, Meetings Means Business



Social Media

Email marketing is still a leader tactic to reach out for customers. In the last decade, at some point, it seemed like it could disappear. However, with social media organic reach lowed down to zero, email marketing prevails is the cheapest and most efficient strategy for digital marketing.

Does that mean you should give up on your social? Not at all. You don’t need to pick only one of the choices. Use social media to attract and email marketing to nurture. Both are essential and complementary to drive sales.

  • 88% of event planners are using social media on event marketing to increase awareness about their events.
  • 52% of events have engagement on social media several times throughout the day.
  • 60% of marketers agree that extending beyond the live experience of an event is imperative to the success of their strategy
  • 95% of marketers agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.

Source: Bizzabo, Agency EA, HBR Event Marketing Revolution



B2B Marketing and Customer Experience

Ok, we’re all a bit tired of calling every single move of an experience. But dig into it a bit deeper and think about for how long this terminology has been in evidence. The point is: it’s not just a hype, overvalued word. Thanks to our age hyper connectivity, service design for events really turned out to be a major community builder. The consumer who becomes part of these communities get together every now and then to try and live new experiences, with people who have common interests.

Oh, and just a bonus trend here: Customer Experience is on its way to be replaced by Personalization. That’s because experiences are becoming so valued, that in some cases it could be even more important than the sale of the product itself.

  1. 54% of high-performing marketing teams undertake initiatives to customer / attendee experience.
  2. 82% of marketing teams use in-person events in physical venues in their B2B marketing strategy.
  3. Business-to-business (B2B) events generated more than $1.07 trillion of direct spending and drew 1.5 billion participants globally in 2017.
  4. Overperforming businesses are 3x more likely to use event software that integrates with other core business platforms than underperforming organizations.
  5. 29% of B2B marketing budgets are spent on events
  6. B2B businesses spend an average of 5-8 weeks planning an event.

Source: Salesforce, Event Industry Council.



It’s been ages since Marketing Managers and Event Planners struggle to prove ROI to their organizations. Even CMO’s have a hard time speaking to CEO’s and administrative councils about perceived value, goodwill, market share penetration and long-term solidity.

But guess what: a proper event-tech can fix that in a matter of seconds, literally. Thanks to mobile event apps, collecting data passively or via feedback surveys are now easy tasks. A good one should offer you the choice to customize your final reports, as well as provide you with standard ones.

  1. 54% of Event Organizers believe that better event data analysis would increase audience quality.
  2. 62% of Event Organizers use event data to measure overall event success and enhance future experiences.
  3. 74% of Event Organizers use event data to inform event strategy and planning.
  4. Over 60% of organizations use event data for overall product development.

Source: Freeman, EventMB


Prepare for the near future.

Euromonitor International states that in 2040, your event venues are gonna be more or less like this:



What’s weird is that we’re still 20 years away from that, but lots of the shown technology is already available! SuperBowl LIV, for example, had a contactless payments system for food & beverage services. Real time virtual reality (VR) is also so integrated to major events that it doesn’t scare anyone anymore. We can frequently see virtual speakers and entertainment options in sessions that go beyond the boring big data for scientists.

Are your event marketing strategies being already impacted by these event marketing statistics? Descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis are hard tasks, done, but they’re necessary. Good news is: we’ve prepared an extended version of competitive intelligence compilation. Download it below and enjoy your results!


Key takeaways

Measuring results can only make things easier for businesses that want to accelerate lead generation, sales and growth. You’re gonna spend some time and effort trying to cross this data and getting the precise insights you need.

But we can assure you that this is worth the effort. After all, there’s no way to develop a strategy without looking at what your rivals are doing. Here, at InEvent, working on data from our leads base and from the outside world, we got to know our customer profile way deeper. After learning who our clients are and what are the niches they work at, results have skyrocketed.

If you notice, our website has a direct link to the main buyer personas and industries we help on a daily basis.

In the technology era, business still neglect the power of data. Founders
and Senior Managers often struggle to understand this is not a matter of “Why shall invest on digitizing my operations?”, but “When will I digitize my operations?”.

If that’s the case in your company and you don’t know how to get buy-in from your boss, you’re not alone. Read our article that shows you how to convince your company about your ideas. Or simply let us know how we can help you on this task.



Keep learning. Don’t forget to check our event marketing resources to excel in your career:


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