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Bellwether Report Highlights Events as Top Marketing Spend Area

According to the latest Bellwether report by S&P Global, commissioned by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), events emerge as the primary beneficiary of a sustained increase in total marketing spend. The report, based on data collected from approximately 300 UK marketing professionals, serves as a crucial indicator of economic health.

The quarterly analysis of marketers’ confidence and budget allocations reveals a notable expansion in the ‘events’ category during Q1 2024, with a growth rate of +23.1%, up from +15.9% in Q4 2023. This trend underscores companies’ enduring preference for face-to-face interactions with customers, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of growth in events marketing and the strongest recorded rise in 11 years of data collection.

In comparison to other marketing forms, events outperformed with significant growth, surpassing direct marketing (+7%), sales promotion (+4.9%), market research (+1.4%), and PR (+0.6%). Conversely, main media marketing experienced a decline, driven by decreases in areas like OOH (-10.8%), published brands (-5.7%), and audio (-4.5%).

Despite fluctuations in specific marketing areas, total marketing budgets exhibited solid expansion in Q1, continuing a growth streak since the second quarter of 2021. A notable 24.4% of surveyed UK marketing professionals increased their overall marketing budgets, while 15% decreased them.

Looking ahead, events are expected to remain the primary focus for budget expansion in the new financial year, with a net balance of +18.7% of marketers planning to increase event spending compared to the previous year. This sentiment was followed by direct marketing, main media advertising, PR, and sales promotions.

The report notes, “Events and direct marketing have consistently shown strong performance in quarterly budget revisions, indicating a persistent interest among companies to invest in marketing tools that yield positive outcomes.”

Impact Analysis by BrainADZ Exhibits:

  • Industry Shift Towards Events: The Bellwether report’s spotlight on events as the leading area for marketing spend signals a significant shift within the marketing industry towards prioritizing face-to-face engagement and experiential marketing. This trend is likely to drive increased investment in event planning, management, and execution services, fostering growth and innovation within the events industry.

  • Reinforcement of Event Effectiveness: The sustained growth and strong performance of events in marketing budgets highlight the effectiveness of events as a strategic marketing tool for companies. This recognition is expected to encourage businesses across various sectors to allocate more resources to events, further validating the importance of live experiences in driving brand awareness, customer engagement, and business growth.

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News Courtesy: Exhibition World

 

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