Planning for your event marketing budget for the year ahead is all about ensuring you give yourself the resources to effectively reach and build lasting, meaningful relationships between your brand and your customers.
The ever changing media consumptions and buying habits of the average consumer require a constant need to adapt your channels and tactics to live up to the increasingly savvy expectations that exist in the markets today.
Ad space is drying up
With infinite space to advertise but a finite market, it’s proving more and more difficult to get your content noticed. It’s no longer a question of if your marketing material is good enough to be seen, but whether or not your ads will be seen at all.
This over-saturation lends itself to more aggressive styles of marketing and the competitiveness has driven up prices for space everywhere. It’s not just marketing professionals that are noticing this, consumers are aware of this constant bombardment of irrelevant ads fighting for their attention. So, understandably, we see the rise in consumers using things like ad-blockers to prevent your content showing.
Event marketing growth
In recent years the events industry has seemingly been on the rise in popularity with both brand and consumers alike.
And marketers are taking notice, adjusting their budgets, between 2017 and 2018 the number of companies organizing 20 or more events per year increased by 17%.
The popularity and validity of live events, doesn’t seem to be plateauing anytime soon either, with Forrester Research, reporting events make up 24% of B2B marketing budgets and by 2020, 3.2M global professional events will be taking place on an annual basis.
With event season fast approaching, its time to question where your best efforts are being focused. With the most successful businesses right now spending 1.7x the average marketing budget on live events, coordinating your marketing efforts towards this growing area has the potential to be a hugely beneficial alternative to fighting for digital ad space.
What to consider when planning your event marketing budget?
Always begin planning from your SMART business goals and mould your budget to reflect these. Growing brand awareness and generating leads require different specifics that you will need to consider when planning your budget for the year ahead.
Be realistic with your estimates, planning events well and doing less of them throughout the year will prove much more successful than doing more and not representing your brand properly at each show. Think specifics, like printing sales literature, are all 1000 attendees who cross your booth going to take what you’re handing out? The costs for real estate at a trade show in the UK typically falls around £3000 for the size of a small exhibition stand. Then there’s budgeting for staff time and training, without this your efforts will prove fruitless as interactions between your brand and customer need to feel authentic and professional.
Pre and post-event promotion are going to be key factors in maximising ROI from your efforts with live events. In the run up how will you be promoting your appearance at a show? Will you keep it in house on owned social channels and rely on your organic engagements? Or budget for industry influencers to promote you at an event.
Then post-event marketing costs which are crucial as these will include your follow up processes to convert prospects into leads. The decision between follow up emails (automated or not) or phone calls, newsletter sign ups etc all need to be considered. A defined data capture and lead follow up process will ensure any follow up is compliant, quick and personalised.
Heading into the new year
So, what should be done if you want to maximise ROI with your 2019 marketing strategy? Experiential marketing, may sound daunting, but can be carried out with a few simple steps. Take a look at Inside Experiential Marketing: Big-Name Brands Share Secrets to Success to see how other companies have pulled events like these off.
Whilst engaging with your market on a personal level you will also have the chance to collect the digital currency that is customer data. Coupling these two things together you will acquire an understanding of who you’re selling to, opening up the possibilities for differing marketing tactics. For more tips of planning a successful event check out our post on how to Maximise ROI with a well-crafted live event marketing plan.
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