Spending on in-person brand experiences and events is going to increase. That’s according to a recent, global survey of more than 1,000 event planners, chief marketing officers (CMO), and brand managers from Asia, Western Europe, and North America.
The survey found that more than one in three CMOs expects to set aside 21 to 50 percent of their budgets for brand experiences, including trade shows, events, permanent installations, exhibits, virtual or augmented reality experiences, sponsorships, or pop-ups.
According to the global results, more than one-fifth of total marketing budgets will be spent on live experiences by:
- 23 percent of European marketers.
- 27 percent of North American marketers.
- 32 percent of Asian marketers.
Greater than half of the North American and Asian marketers stated that experiential marketing helps to increase sales.
This increase in event marketing is in line with overall trends that say people, especially millennials, are focusing more on experiences and would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event than buy something desirable. In fact, since 1987 consumer spending on live experiences and events has increased 70 percent compared to total U.S. consumer spending.
These findings are especially interesting considering that overall ad spending is expected to drop this year, as stated in an article from the Wall Street Journal. According to the author, the global ad business will see a slowdown to 3.6 percent spending growth next year, down from the 5.7 percent growth clip for 2016. Globally, this is the lowest growth rate recorded in 15 years, outside of the 2008 recession.
Taken together, the results indicate that CMOs are seeing more value in personal brand experiences that engage directly with customers and clients to build loyalty than in targeted, but impersonal ads.
These findings correlate with another recent study by the Event Marketing Institute that indicates experiential marketing spending will increase by 11 percent throughout 2017. While these numbers are lower, they still signify an increased dedication to live brand experiences.
Worldwide, marketers and CMOs agree. According to the new survey, 59 percent of global CMOs believe that brand experience is a way to create ongoing relationships with their main consumers, and 90 percent of global marketers feel that events create a captivating experience and better engagement with their target market.
Research also revealed that the most effective events are ones that create a personalized connection with the audience. The best way to do this is to engage as many of the audiences’ senses as possible.
Audiences crave personalization. However, only 25 percent of those surveyed are finding ways to involve the five senses at events. Technology, such as immersive tech like touchscreens and virtual reality, can be utilized to make live events feel more intimate and personal. Yet, only 22 percent of those surveyed said they’re using some form of touchscreen technology.
Live events are a great opportunity for a company to deliver their message directly to an engaged audience. This is especially true when comparing the amount of time someone spends with a company’s brand at a live event to the exposure a business receives from a 15- or 30-second commercial.
The importance of events and experiences are continuing to grow. Is your company doing enough to address this trend? Contact The Trade Group at 800-343-2005. Our decades of event management experience can help you create an in-person event that will have your audience talking and craving more.