Marketing News: Event Industry Growth is Accelerating

Marketing News

Event Industry Growth is Accelerating
Event planners, marketers and attendees alike expect to see a strong rebound in in-person live events in 2022 and beyond.

Industry outlook and forecasting trends show that the events and exhibitions market is expected to grow by 20% year on year.

According to insight by Europe Events and Exhibitions Market, findings show that planning for live events in the UK and Europe is accelerating with 75% of UK event creators rated their optimism about the industry at 7 or higher out of 10.

The B2B segment accounted for the majority share in the study and companies are widely using B2B exhibitions to market their products and services to expand their business domestically and internationally, with 65% of businesses saying that in-person trade shows are an invaluable part of their marketing strategy.

Elsewhere across the globe attendees are now on par with 2019 levels, with meeting volumes from February to March 2022 increasing by 55%. Even more significant is a 428% increase over March 2021, which is very reassuring for marketers.

This year though, more than 80% of corporate meeting bookers plan to increase spending with exhibitions and venue holders feeling much more confident about their pricing discussions.
Add to that, UK marketers are moving away from virtual only events with 1 in 4 businesses planning to do in-person only events in the coming year, with hybrid formats dominating.

Despite the positivity towards ‘getting back in the room’ and the fact that attendance, conferences and exhibitions are returning to pre-Covid levels, evidently the prevalence of hybrid formats point towards a combination of inclusivity, seamlessness and sustainability as the key reasons why hybrid events will hold its ground, with 37% of delegates who were recently interviewed at International Confex at London ExCeL saying they expect to work on even more of these types of events in future.

As companies re-engage with their customers in a range of different ways at live events, the evolution of events and demands of delegates has also seen the need to develop innovative experiences to strengthen brand engagement with attendees and audiences.

Organisers are focussing on a 360o approach to the entire event experience since visitors now have higher expectations of events and how they can deliver an immersive, themed experiences.

Thanks to advances in technology, there are more opportunities than ever before in hybrid technology with digital experiences a big hit, such as mobile apps that bring together audiences at events, gamification that guests can participate in, virtual experiences and creative break out spaces where attendees can chat to each other.

And with many marketers getting increasingly creative with that scope, a hybrid model allows organisers to hold more sustainable events, attract additional visitors and also have a Plan B – just in case!

With the needs of professionals and consumers becoming more specific, event organisers and marketers now need to develop multiple touch points to attract audiences, build brand awareness and generate engagement.

Pre-and-post-event engagement platforms and activities will be key to executing successful events over the next 18 months. Events like webinars, half day conferences, social media networking groups, roundtables and PR, are now becoming part of the event organisation process to create a holistic approach to event marketing.

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