The E2MA, in partnership with the CMO Council, has conducted a global event marketing study of senior marketers to benchmark the business value of trade shows and events as well as the ways in which marketing mindsets and intentions were shifting specific to event marketing investments. In this study, the CMO Council tapped into the peer-powered insights of more than 265 of its senior corporate marketer members, and leveraged the expertise of a leadership committee of experts and thought leaders from the E2MA. The result is a 98 page report which highlights where transformation must occur for both brand leaders and event organizers to capitalize on the full potential of trade shows and events. While events and trade shows are still a vital part of the marketing and customer engagement mix, senior marketers remain challenged to identify effective methods to measure and prove ROI.
The report highlights a number of important key findings, among them:
- 89% of marketers say that events still hold some level of importance and value for their organizations, with 31% considering them essential.
- Events are primarily viewed as revenue-driving opportunities, with 64% looking to source new prospects, 62% hoping to gather and cultivate leads and 61% seeking face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects.
- While marketing still finds value in events, 40% are cutting back on big shows in favor of more targeted gatherings, and 44% are choosing to host their own events.
- The top challenges faced by marketers with respect to events and trade shows are making a business case for investment (45%) and managing the escalated costs associated with them (39%).
The greatest challenge marketers face around trade shows and events is measurement, and this is primarily due to their lack of visibility into the conversion pipeline to determine how events are impacting sales and revenue. While they have CRM systems in place and a large number are happy with their systems (42%), the primary metrics that are being considered are referrals/introductions, leads and deal closures, and without true visibility into the sales process, marketers can’t measure what they don’t know.
Additional transformations are occurring in the event and trade show industry as valuable new technologies emerge, and while it was once feared that these technologies would rob events of some of their value, marketers are actually using them to generate additional attention and engagement around their exhibits—with personal technologies (34%) and mobile (24%) ranking high among the list of solutions that add marketing value while virtual networking holds little value (15%). While these new technologies are leading to new opportunities for engagement, additional tools are needed to fully maximize the value of events and integrate them into the overall marketing strategy.
The CMO Council Full Study is available on the E2MA web site. It’s a 98 page report which highlights where transformation must occur for both brand leaders and event organizers to capitalize on the full potential of trade shows and events.
An Executive Summary of the study, free to all E2MA members, is also available.
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