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Event orchestration | 12 December 2017

How the Most Successful Organizations Invest in Events

Brandon Rafalson

How do overperforming organizations perceive events? How much stock do they place in them and why? In this post we address the above questions and more.

Every detail matters and it all needs to connect. When thinking about the event it has to be a holistic approach. Every email, down to the appetizers you serve needs to feel on brand. If you hire an agency to help producers, make sure they truly get the vibe you are going for so the event stays true to its DNA.

—Michaela Alexander, InVision

There are good event strategies and then there are exceptional event strategies. As it turns out, there is a world of difference in how organizations execute the two.

We recently asked over 400 mid- to senior-level event marketers about the state of professional events and where the industry is heading. From that data, we looked at the organizations that identified as being most successful and how these organizations specifically approach their events strategy. The result is The Event Success Formula—a comprehensive report that covers how leading organizations approach events.  

 

Commitment
Since emerging in the late 90s and early 2000s, digital marketing has become the go-to marketing strategy for many organizations. However, the saturation of digital marketing has created a strong desire in both consumers and businesses (at least the most successful ones) to once again move the conversation offline.

Consider the following: 99% of marketers from overperforming organizations believe that events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.

99% of marketers from successful organizations believe in the power of events

Given this backdrop, it may seem unsurprising that 97% of marketers from overperforming organizations believe that live events can have a major impact on achieving their organization’s primary business goals.

At the same time, most marketers from overperforming organizations (37%) believe that live events are the most effective marketing channel for meeting key business objectives—more than digital marketing, email marketing or content marketing. This contrasts from underperforming organizations whose efforts are more thinly spread.

Marketers from successful organizations believe that events comprise the single-most effective marketing channel

The amount of investment and risk involved with in-person events may be one reason that underperforming organizations focus less on live events. For example, content marketing and email marketing strategies may be lower risk and cost to scale. However, once organizations invest enough in event marketing the advantages become clear.

The overwhelming majority of marketers from overperforming organizations (91%) believe live events are critical to achieving success, while a significantly smaller majority of marketers from underperforming organizations (63%) from underperforming organizations believe so.

The reason for this gap between how marketers from overperforming and underperforming organizations perceive events becomes clearer when taking into account alignment from the organization as a whole.

More marketers from overperforming organizations feel that their organizations are more committed to live events than do marketers from underperforming organizations (82% vs. 66%). Additionally, more marketers from overperforming organizations feel that their leadership team is supportive of their live events strategy than those from underperforming organizations (87% vs. 54%).

Accross the board, successful organizations invest more in events

Budget and Future Investment

Overperforming organizations stand out in their commitment to live events as a marketing channel. As we will see, this commitment is reflected in increased investment both now and in the coming years.

Currently, the majority of overperforming organizations (67%) allocate 10% or more of their marketing budget to organizing events. However, as mentioned above, more investment does not necessarily yield greater returns. It’s about investing wisely. This becomes clear when we take a look at how underperforming organizations invest in events.

Most successful allocations invest 10% or more of their marketing budget in events

While allocating the majority of one’s marketing budget to event is no guarantee for exceeding business goals, those organizations that invest more than 10% are more likely to be over-performers.

The correlation between investment and success holds true not only for the present but also for the future.

The majority of marketers from overperforming organizations (87%) believe that live events will play an increasingly important role in their organization’s success in the coming years. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of overperforming organizations (80%) plan on increasing their event marketing budgets more than underperforming organizations. They also plan on increasing their budgets by $4,500 more than underperforming organizations.

Successful organizations plan on investing more in events in the future

Wrapping Up: The Virtuous Circle

Overall, the more committed an organization is to an events strategy the more successful their event strategy becomes. No doubt, these organizations also are able to better measure event ROI, which helps earn backing from the rest of their organization. Having the support of their leadership team and buy-in from the rest of one’s organization are other factors that contribute to event success, which in turn leads to further commitment, which in turn leads to further event success.

As with any other channel, the success of in-person events relies on investment, optimization and alignment.

To learn more about how leading organizations approach their event strategy, download The Event Success Formula

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