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2024 events outlook: The value of events is on the rise for marketers—with nearly 8 in 10 saying it’s their most effective channel

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Public Relations

While in some ways, business events, conferences and expos are still feeling the sting of the pandemic, this situation has also increased their value. And for the companies and marketers who have active event programs, the growth generated by events has been staggering—more than three-quarters (77 percent) of more than 1,200 marketers who are involved with events who were surveyed said events were the most effective marketing channel for their company in 2023, according to new research from event technology firm Splash

The company’s global 2024 Outlook on Events report, based on its survey of event-involved marketers in the US and UK, finds that event-led growth (ELG)—a key strategy for organizations looking to improve the efficacy of their events as a marketing channel—has an overwhelmingly positive impact on revenue.

2024 events outlook

And the data doesn’t lie: US-based teams that adopted ELG were 75 percent more likely than those who didn’t to see a growth rate of over 50 percent in 2023. What’s more, 84 percent of marketers report that events help their company stand out from the competition and 83 percent say events are critical for their business growth.

Yet, businesses fall short when it comes to measuring the ROI of their events

Notably, over half of marketers shared they don’t track opportunities created to measure event effectiveness, which means the most impactful revenue-driving tactic also has the potential to drive inefficiency and waste resources. Without these crucial data points, event marketers struggle to translate event impact, with 20 percent of respondents reporting they can’t directly attribute their events to company revenue, and 26 percent noting they’re unable to accurately predict their team’s progress toward event goals.

U.S. event types in 2023:

2024 events outlook

“While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for executing event programs, the impact on business growth is undeniable,” said Kate Hammitt, CMO of Splash, in a news release. “When event-led growth is properly enabled, we’ve seen companies scale their event programs, running hundreds of events globally per month across the organization. Companies harnessing event-led growth are tripling their pipeline, increasing their win rates by 10 percent and seeing up to a 45 percent lift in product adoption. The proof is in the data: businesses employing event-led growth are reaping the rewards and those that aren’t are missing out.”

Event formats in 2023:

2024 events outlook

Additional findings from the report include:

In an AI-obsessed and Zoom-fatigued world, audiences have a clear appetite for unique and intimate in-person gatherings. And marketers need to provide authentic experiences to engage with prospects and stakeholders, make their brand stand out, and capture first-party data in a world of hard-to-track buyers who are increasingly concerned with privacy.

That’s why traditional in-person events remain the industry’s bread and butter, with 73 percent of companies holding in-person events in 2023. More than half (60 percent) of those who hosted a blend of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events noted in-person get-togethers have been the most effective for generating revenue.

Read the full report here.

The 2024 Outlook on Events survey was conducted between December 13 and December 31, 2023. Splash surveyed a total of 1,255 respondents in the United States and United Kingdom who work in marketing full-time and have a hand in their company’s events program. The study was conducted at 95% confidence with a +/- 4 percent margin of error.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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