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Event Marketing
26 September 2017 

Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends

Brandon Rafalson

We recently surveyed over 400 mid- to senior-level event marketers about the future of the industry. The result is Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends.

Ready to dive in to the most comprehensive study of event marketing to date? Click the button below to download your copy of the report.

With contemporary digital marketing practices, brands have the ability to reach more people with more targeted strategies than ever before. Yet at the same time, nothing can quite compare to a face-to-face conversation. This isn’t a nostalgic longing for simpler days. It’s what the data says.

The average Chief Marketing Officer allocates 24% of their total annual budget to live events in order to connect with customers, educate attendees and generate new leads. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, GE, HubSpot, Salesforce, L’Oreal, Google, Ford and Wells Fargo all understand the value of live events and have committed themselves to marketing strategies that place face-to-face interaction front and center.

The Average B2B CMO's Event Marketing Budget

We are seeing unparalleled growth in marketing led events.

An increased emphasis on live events being essential to marketing strategy has been aided and abetted by a new generation of technologies that have made it easier than ever for event marketers to manage, market and grow their events. Chief among these is the “event management software” industry, which is valued at $28 billion and is projected to have a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.3% moving forward. And there’s good reason for the industry to be growing, given that B2B events account for $512 billion in annual spend.

With these figures in mind, we set out to grab an authoritative pulse of the events industry. We asked over 400 mid- to senior-level event marketers from across the globe about their perspectives on where events are now and where they see the industry heading in the future.

The results were staggering.

Over the course of this month-long study, we expected to see event marketers express some degree of investment in the events industry. What we did not expect was the sheer enthusiasm for and commitment to events that respondents reported across all levels of the organizational hierarchy. Below are key findings from the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report.

Key Event Marketing Benchmarks and Trends

1. Most event marketers believe that events are the single most effective marketing channel (31%) over digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing.


Event Marketing is believed to be the most effective marketing channel.

2. The majority of event marketers plan on investing more in live events in the future both in budget (63%) and number of events (63%). 

Event Marketing budgets are expected to grow in the coming years.

3. The majority (91%) of overperforming businesses place a greater emphasis on live events as a marketing channel than underperforming businesses or businesses that are performing as expected. They also plan on growing their event marketing budgets by more than the rest ($4,500 more).

Overperforming organizations invest in live events more and get more out of them.

4. An overwhelming majority of C-Suite executives (87%) believe in the power of live events and plan on investing in them more in the future.

The majority of C-Suite executives believe in the power of live events.

5. An overwhelming majority of event marketers (86%) believe that technology can have a major positive impact on the success of their events.

The majority of event marketers believe that technology can have a major positive impact on the success of their events.

Discover hundreds of more event marketing insights in the full report. Click below to download it now!

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