EventView Report: Companies Using Event Marketing to Drive Purchases, Build Engagement

Senior sales and marketing executives throughout North America believe that meetings and events can help companies drive ROI and deepen brand relationships with consumers, and are therefore a valuable component of the larger marketing mix, asserts the latest EventView survey, the industry's largest and longest-running annual survey of corporate sales and marketing executives.

A collaborative effort by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation, the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) and marketing agency George P. Johnson (GPJ), EventView 2009: North America surveyed 300 senior sales and marketing executives and found that more than half—53 percent—believe event marketing is the discipline that best accelerates and deepens engagement with target audiences.

"CMOs and senior marketers believe events are the most effective medium to engage customers and move them to purchasing behavior," MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan said in a statement. "While we've seen event marketing mature as an effective marketing channel for several years, the benefits become heightened in an uncertain economy. Marketing decision-makers have clearly taken notice."

Other key findings from this year's survey:

• 26 percent of respondents—a 4 percent increase over last year— say event marketing is the marketing discipline that drives the greatest ROI.

• 29 percent of respondents say they will transition from event marketing to "experience marketing"—which EventView defines as "integrated live and online experiences that drive deep brand interaction through highly-relevant storytelling and brand immersion"—in the next 12 months; 33 percent of respondents say they have already transitioned.

• Respondents who integrate track event marketing results are more than twice as likely to receive increases in their marketing budgets.

• 66 percent of respondents plan on implementing, or have already implemented, green initiatives within their events, a 32 percent increase over last year.

"We are witnessing a seismic shift in the marketing landscape that is creating a new understanding as to the manner in which brands can reach and influence marketing-adverse audiences," EMI Executive Director Kerry Smith said in a statement. "With the advancement of technology solutions empowering consumers to block unwanted commercial messages, the significance of the live event and the need for experience marketing as a means to grow or sustain market share has come full circle."

Now in its seventh year, EventView 2009: North America is the first in a series of EventView reports that will be released this year. Forthcoming reports will include survey results from Western Europe and Asia Pacific, as well as several industry verticals, including Healthcare, Technology, Automotive and Financial Services.