Event Marketing Investments to Outpace Economic Growth in 2012; New Survey Unveiled

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The Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic release groundbreaking insights on where the industry is heading for brands, consumers and agencies.

“For the first time ever, event marketing professionals will have a 360-degree view of live marketing best practices and their impact on purchase behavior,” said Kerry Smith, President of the Event Marketing Institute.

In a groundbreaking study released today, The Event Marketing Institute (EMI) found that event and experiential marketing spending by companies is growing much faster than the overall economy. The EventTrack 2012 study, developed in partnership with experiential marketing agency, Mosaic, found that in a slowly rebounding economy, brands are expecting their event and experiential marketing budgets to grow by nearly eight percent (7.8%) in 2012, more than double last year’s rate of (3.6%).

The first-ever EventTrack: Event Marketing Industry Annual Forecast & Best Practices Study provides brand-marketing executives with directional data covering industry trends, benchmarks and never-before documented insights on the impact of event and experiential marketing on key business drivers.

Study data was obtained from separate surveys of major corporations and organizations with event programs and experiential marketing agencies in North America. In addition, data was drawn from a large-scale survey of more than 1,000 consumers how their purchase behavior is impacted by various marketing initiatives. In total, responses from more than 1,400 leading organizations and consumers were used to develop the analysis.

“For the first time ever, event marketing professionals will have a 360-degree view of live marketing best practices and their impact on purchase behavior,” said Kerry Smith, President of the Event Marketing Institute. “The data provide insights on the impact that event marketing has on key purchase drivers including loyalty, price sensitivity, advocacy and the frequency of purchase.”

Co-produced with leading experiential marketing agency Mosaic, EventTrack provides the industry with unique data and analysis, revealing where the industry is going with a wide range of trends, benchmarks and insights on the impact of event and experiential marketing. Brand-side survey respondents represent more than 100 of the Fortune 500 leading users of event and experiential marketing, as well as a range of smaller brands -- spanning both business and consumer events. Agency respondents represent the most active firms specializing in creating and executing consumer and business events, including most of Event Marketer Magazine’s top 100 leading agencies.

“Event and experiential marketing is playing an increasingly critical role in the rapidly evolving media and marketing industry,” said Aidan Tracey, CEO, Mosaic. “We were thrilled to work hand-in-hand, from beginning to end with EMI, to bring this study to life and to be able to share with marketers what is working today, as well as insights on the future of the industry.”

Key Research Findings:

Top Event Marketing Goals & Strategies

The primary event and experiential marketing goal of brands has shifted from creating awareness to generating sales – as indicated by four of five brand-side survey respondents (83%). The focus on sales indicates the growing importance of events. Event teams are being tasked to help deliver top-line growth as part of wider, integrated programs closely tied to other marketing campaigns and media. One way they are doing this is by closing the distance between the experience and the final sale. = In short, brands are making it easier to buy at their events and experiences.

Related to this trend, brands are focusing more directly on driving sales by developing highly targeted influencer events. Top brands are working with agencies to utilize social media to help identify top influencers and potential influencers online, and then further build relationships via live events and experiences. This is an emerging trend that was not as common three to five years ago.

Another key finding is that event marketers feel their event and experiential programs are important to their organizations, especially to senior management. Together, 84 percent of brand-side survey respondents say that events and experiential marketing are considered “very important/critical” or “important” by their organizations.

Social Media. Events and technology are part of a critical and evolving relationship. Brands and agencies are working to better connect event audiences with online communities of clients, prospects and influencers. Social media is mainly being used to communicate event information and reach a wider number of people.

The study indicates the relationship between events and technology is emerging. For example, 28 percent of brands say their social media efforts are “very integrated” with their event and experiential marketing currently, although 49 percent say these two mediums are “somewhat integrated.”

The study uncovers an emerging trend in using social media to assist with event program measurement. For example, nearly half (45%) of brands indicate that they use Facebook and social media activity as part of their measurement activities.

The survey of consumers found that two-thirds (66%) feel that social media is “very effective” or “effective” in helping make events and experiences more successful. The study also suggests that consumers are out in front of brands in terms of social media usage. Sixty-one percent of consumers said that brand and event Facebook posts and activity are influential in their decision to attend events and make related purchases.

Measurement. Seventy-one percent of brands measure their event programs, with the primary metrics being, total attendance, leads gathered and press coverage. Secondary criteria are sales related to events and social media and website traffic.

Event Marketing Effectiveness. The event marketing industry is growing because it is effective. A unique component of the study was an exclusive survey of more than 1,100 consumers who had recently participated in events and/or brand experiences. A significant 95 percent of the consumer respondents said that participating in a recent event made them more inclined to purchase the products being promoted.

Additionally, 71 percent of consumers felt more positive about the company, brand or product following their event experience. Fifty-eight percent of consumers said they purchased the product or service after the event, and a significant 86 percent said they subsequently became a regular customer.

About the Brand Survey Respondents

Fifty-five percent of the responding brands and organizations have event and experiential marketing budgets over $1 million. Fifteen percent have event budgets over $10 million. Eighty-six percent of the brands manage or participate in more than 10 events annually, and 31% run or participate in over 100 events. Seventeen percent of the brand respondents work for information technology companies. Fifteen percent are in the consumer products, beverage and retail sectors. Organizations in the entertainment and media industry and the medical and healthcare sectors are both represented by 12% of the respondents respectively.

About the Agency Survey Respondents

Sixty-seven percent of the agencies managed at least 100 client events in 2011, and 34% managed over 1,000 events and experiences. The primary industry sectors represented by the agencies' key clients are consumer products, consumer electronics/mobile technology, and automotive. Seventy-four percent of the responding agencies have total gross revenue over $10 million and 25% have more than $100 million in revenue.

About the Complete Study

This release covers only a portion of the results and analysis of the three surveys and overall study. Members of the Event Marketing Institute will be provided the complete study findings, including insights, charts, and deep data across all industry categories. Throughout 2012 additional reports analyzing the unique study data and analysis will be released to the event marketing industry. For more information on the study, contact Kerry Smith with the Event Marketing Institute at (203) 899-8420 or via email, ksmith(at)red7media(dot)com, or to request copies of the executive summary, click here or visit http://tinyurl.com/eventtrack.

About The Event Marketing Institute

The mission of the Event Marketing Institute is to help our members enhance their professional performance by providing comprehensive education, research, and analysis related to emerging trends and insights into event marketing strategy, as well as creating a growing list of productivity tools and professional networking opportunities to foster information exchange. Learn more at http://www.eventmarketing.com.

About Mosaic

Mosaic is among the fastest growing agencies in North America. With a clear vision of using People as Media™ to connect brands with consumers, it conducts thousands of consumer events and retail visits across North America every year. With more than 12,000 field employees and blue chip clients such as P&G, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Disney, Rogers Wireless and many others, Mosaic has established itself as a clear leader in helping brands connect with consumers in non-traditional ways, including retail events, community experiences, assisted selling, and online social media extensions. Learn more at http://www.mosaicxm.com


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