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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
event marketing on the rise story By Brad Foster Global research has revealed companies are embracing event marketing to differentiate their brands from competitors. international market has produced results that should have event marketers clapping their hands together. The study, EventView 2008, seeks to enable event, sales and marketing professionals to craft smarter event programs. George P Johnson says in times of instability in the global economy an unexpected opportunity has arisen in that companies are embracing whatever marketing channels differentiate their brand from the competition and engage with audiences to best drive sales – namely event marketing. EventView, now in its sixth year, is the longest-running research series specifically serving this group, providing the data and context necessary to anticipate event trends and capitalize on where the marketing world is headed. Key findings this year have determined that the marketing community is working its way through a “perfect storm” of financial maladies that began surfacing in 2007, including a global credit crunch, the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown, a slowdown in consumer spending and rising inflation. A quick look at the data reveals that while event marketing budgets have reached a plateau, the future importance of events within organisations continues to crest. The study also shows a striking correlation between measurement activities and budget increases. Experience marketing is increasingly being recognized as an advanced discipline within event marketing. And, if marketers receive a budget increase, they are putting those resources toward event marketing over other marketing channels. Between October and December 2007 more than 1000 senior executives in sales and marketing management positions in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific were interviewed via a telephone survey with the goal of illuminating the value and role of events in the marketing mix as it compares to other elements in a marketer’s arsenal. Interview participants were selected in industries including (but not limited to) automotive, technology, healthcare and finance. Thirty-per cent of respondents to the survey came from Australia, Japan and China. The top 10 facts in relation to the Asia Pacific market were as follows: • 18 per cent of respondents indicate that the role of procurement/ purchasing is increasing: 30 per cent rate that role as constant. • 53 per cent of respondents say they will transition from event marketing to experience marketing in the next 12 months. • 39 per cent of respondents plan on implementing green initiatives L eading global experience marketing agency, George P. Johnson’s co-produced research paper on the worldwide macroeconomic trends that are making headlines in the within the event function within the next 12 months; 33 per cent are doing so as a result of a corporate responsibility mandate. • When respondents experience a budget increase, 67 per cent report that event marketing gains the most from the shifting marketing dollars, while those who experience a budget decrease report that print advertising (80 per cent) will be first affected by the marketing budget cuts. • 52 per cent or respondents stated that education/training get the most budget of all internal events (followed by employee events); conferences get the most event dollars of all external events according to 91 per cent of respondents (followed by trade shows). • 30 per cent of the average event marketing budget is dedicated to internal events (training, etc.) 70 per cent is dedicated to external events (tradeshows, etc.). • nine per cent of the average marketing budget is spent on event marketing. • 34 per cent of respondents estimate the future importance of event marketing in their organisations will increase or increase strongly. Two per cent expect a decrease. • 30 per cent of respondents indicate that event marketing is taken under consideration along with other mediums and 46 per cent characterize events as a vital component of the marketing plan. 35 per cent expect a decrease. • Keeping loyal, profitable customers is the primary marketing concern for 40 per cent of Asia Pacific senior sales and marketing executives, followed by 18 per cent concerned with reaching new customers. Trade shows pack a punch External events such as trade shows, conferences and seminars, and sports/ entertainment sponsorship activities represent a significant portion of the overall event budget. This is likely due to the clear linkage between these event types and perceived return on investment (ROI). In an environment that places a premium on new customer acquisition, there is no confusion about where the majority of event dollars are going. Simply put, trade shows continue to represent the best opportunity to meet prospects. With this knowledge, it stands to reason why over half (54 per cent) of sales and marketing executives anticipate the future importance of external events to increase or increase strongly. For three years running, the majority of respondents to the EventView report have recognised external events’ significant impact on meeting marketing objectives. miceAsia.net 19