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1 Benchmark Report Event Marketing: Sponsored By: 2014 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Introduction 18 Lead Volume Satisfaction 4 Executive Summary 20 Event Marketing Challenges 6 The State of Event Marketing 21 The Future of Event Marketing 8 Attending & Hosting Events 22 Analyst Bottom Line 10 Goals for Hosting Events 23 Acknowledgements 12 Event Marketing Effectiveness 24 About Cvent & Demand Metric 13 Event Marketing Tools & Technologies 26 Appendix Survey Background 15 Event Marketing Metrics & ROI

3 INTRODUCTION Events are a time honored way to connect with customers, prospects and partners. They serve a myriad of functions, including demand and lead generation, lead nurturing, customer engagement and building brand awareness. In today s digital environment, the manner in which events are being perceived and utilized by organizations is rapidly changing. Events are no longer silo ed; they are reaching across business units and having a real impact on the entire organization. For this reason, companies are putting greater emphasis on their event strategies and programs with a profound focus on getting the proper return from hosting events. Event marketing programs are typically comprised of a selection of the following types of events: tradeshows, conferences, roadshows, webinars, trainings, seminars, galas, user conferences, networking events, field marketing and virtual events. There s little doubt that all event details, from logistics to marketing to management, are changing rapidly and that marketers need to be aware of these changes as they market events. In a study sponsored by Cvent, Demand Metric conducted a survey to find out about the current state of event marketing. The study s goal was to understand the interest in and success with event marketing, gaining insights from which to derive best practices. 3

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This study s participants were primarily marketers in both B2B and B2C organizations. Participants represented a wide range of industry affiliation, company sizes and job roles. Responses were collected from those who both attend and host events. Our analysis focused on the effectiveness and ROI of events as well as the degree of satisfaction with events. Furthermore, we examined the strategies, tactics, tools and metrics used to produce successful events. The analysis of this study s data provides these key findings about the current state of event marketing: Participants consider events to be valuable as an attendee or as a host. Three-quarters of respondents indicated that events are a medium (38%) or high (41%) priority or area of investment. The two primary goals of event marketing are customer engagement and demand/lead generation. 71% and 70% of respondents, respectively, chose these two options as leading objectives for event programs. More effective events lead to higher ROI and lead volume. Events that are well attended provide value for attendees as well as new leads for sales to drive more revenue than those that are not well attended. ROI is related to hosting more events. Companies that host 6 or more events annually are more likely to report getting better ROI from their events. Best practice holds that event planning and management requires strong strategies and tools. The importance of marketing events to demand and lead generation is growing. 60% of those surveyed see events becoming more important in the next year.

5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The right tools make a big difference in satisfaction with lead volume generated. The primary tools that lead to greater satisfaction with lead volume are event management software, mobile apps, mobile marketing and CRM system integration. Measurement matters. Those who are not using metrics to track event performance are less likely to be satisfied with the volume of leads that marketing events produce annually. This report details the results and insights from the analysis of the study data. For more detail on the survey participants, please refer to the Appendix. 5

6 THE STATE OF EVENT MARKETING Figure 1: More than three-quarters of participants rated events as a medium or high priority. The Importance of Events in Demand Gen High Priority (Attend or Host Events) 41% Medium Priority (Attend or Host Events) 37% How important are events for Demand Generation? This study shows that marketers consider events to be valuable as an attendee or as a host. Low Priority (Attend Events Only) 22% As Figure 1 shows, a full 41% consider events to be a high priority area of investment and 37% consider it to be a medium priority. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 6

7 THE STATE OF EVENT MARKETING The value of events becomes clearer when participants discuss how events fit into their overall strategy for demand generation. Participants were asked to rank a given set of initiatives and the results of this inquiry provided the following list in rank order: 1. Marketing Events (conferences, tradeshows, webinars and virtual events) 2. Website Experience 3. Marketing 4. Content Marketing 5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 6. Social Media 7. Online Advertising 8. PR/Earned Media 9. Direct Mail 10.Telemarketing 11.Content Syndication 12.Other In this survey, events were the top priority, followed by website experience, marketing and content marketing. Participants were also given the option to write-in demand generation efforts not listed that are priorities for their organizations. Write-in responses included the following: app download, brand perception, internet aggregators, account-based marketing, paid search, paid social and word of mouth marketing. 7

8 ATTENDING & HOSTING EVENTS Figure 2: 98% of organizations are attending events regularly. 50% Annual Event Attendance While the majority of participants identified events as a medium to high priority for demand generation, this study endeavored to gauge the depth of their importance. 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 41% 31% 14% 12% 2% None 1 to 5 6 to to 25 More than 25 Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 In order to identify the level of importance of events, this study asked participants how many events they attend annually. The data for which is presented in Figure 2. Almost three-fourths (72%) of organizations are attending between 1 to 10 events per year. The remainder of companies are participating in over 10 events annually with only 2% not attending any events at all. It is clear that marketing events of all types are maintaining a high level of importance for most organizations, which aligns with the placement of marketing events as the demand generation initiative with the highest priority from the previous section of this report. 8

9 ATTENDING & HOSTING EVENTS Figure 3: More than half of companies are hosting between 1 and 5 events annually. 80% 60% 65% # of Events Hosted Annually Participating in events is an important way to develop longterm relationships with other vendors, customers and prospects interested in the same focus area. Likewise, hosting events enables organizations to target specific audiences and to encourage customer engagement. 40% This study sought to understand how often companies are hosting their own events to support demand generation. The results of this inquiry are presented in Figure 3. 20% 0% 14% 14% 5% 2% 1 to 5 6 to to to Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 More than half (65%) of companies participating in this study host between 1 and 5 events. Only 7% of companies are hosting more than 25 events per year. From this survey data, it can be inferred that the majority of organizations are most likely hosting one or two large events per year or on quarterly basis to maintain current client relationships and generate new contacts for the sales cycle. 9

10 GOALS FOR HOSTING EVENTS Figure 4: Customer engagement and demand/lead generation were the most commonly selected goals for an event marketing program. 10 Product Education & Training Build Brand Awareness Demand/Lead Generation Customer Engagement Primary Goals for Hosting Events Other Goals Product Launch Customer Upsell Lead Nurturing Build Loyalty 6% 18% 27% 36% 37% 43% 54% Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 70% 71% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% In order to guide spending for events, marketers must be clear on their purpose for building an event marketing program. Participants were given a list of goals for hosting events and asked to select all that apply (Figure 4). When asked to describe their primary goals for hosting events, 71% of the participants named customer engagement as the primary goal, followed closely by demand/lead generation at 70%. Our analysis indicates a relationship between event goal and satisfaction with lead volume. Those whose goal is lead nurturing or product education & training are more likely to be satisfied with the volume of leads their events produce annually. On the other hand, those focused on building brand awareness are less likely to be satisfied with the volume of leads that events produce annually. The conclusion we draw is that lead generation and brand building events have different event requirements that need to be managed differently for success. One size or type of event does not fit all goals.

11 GOALS FOR HOSTING EVENTS Figure 5: Companies seek to attract attendees that have decision-making power & buying authority. Target Attendees for Events Administrator Other Developer/Technical 15% 9% 10% Organizations are also establishing goals in terms of target audiences. Participants were asked to identify the job roles they target and the results are presented in Figure 5. User Product/Service Buyer Manager Executive (C-suite) Director 29% 41% 56% 61% 62% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% When it comes to the goal for the type of attendees companies want to attract to their events, the top attendee draws are Director (62%), Executive (61%), Manager (57%) and Product/Service Buyer (41%). As expected, this data verifies the commonly held belief that companies are looking to attract attendees with decision-making power and buying authority. Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 11

12 EVENT MARKETING EFFECTIVENESS Figure 6: 68% of participants believe events are an effective or very effective channel for meeting marketing goals. 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Event Marketing Effectiveness 64% 25% 7% 4% 0% Very Effective Effective Neutral Inffective Very Ineffective It is important to establish goals for an event marketing strategy; however, it is equally important to understand how effective marketers perceive events to be as an initiative. Figure 6 portrays how marketers perceive the effectiveness of event marketing programs. The analysis of this data clearly shows that companies consider events to be an effective channel for demand generation with 68% reporting events to be effective or very effective for meeting their marketing goals. Only 7% of participants responded that marketing events are ineffective at helping their organizations achieve marketing and demand generation goals. Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 12

13 EVENT MARKETING TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES Figure 7: marketing is the most commonly used event marketing tool/technology. Usage of Event Marketing Tools & Technologies Other Tools Mobile Apps Event Management Software Mobile Marketing Manual Processes Marketing Automation Excel CRM Marketing 8% 8% 17% 19% 20% 36% 44% 44% 87% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 In order to become somewhat or very effective at planning and implementing events in a digitally-driven environment, marketers must be aware of the newest and most sophisticated tools and technologies. When asked which tools are used for event marketing, the overwhelming choice was marketing. Over one-third of participants also chose CRM, Excel and Marketing Automation (MA) as tools in use for events. This data indicates the growing importance of MA as an Enterprise-wide platform that has spread beyond its marketing roots to encompass a greater role in the full range of marketing activities. Demand Metric believes this has occurred in line with the maturing of MA solutions, tighter integration of MA with CRM systems and the ability of MA systems to profile and personalize customer engagement. These attributes make MA a strong tool for event marketing. 13

14 EVENT MARKETING TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES When we compared the tools used to enable overall event effectiveness, the analysis showed two tools are clearly related to greater event effectiveness: marketing and CRM integration. This does not indicate that other tools are not effective, just that these two tools were particularly effective in enabling a successful event marketing program. What is clear, however, is that there is a growing importance for CRM integration with all marketing activities, including event marketing. Demand Metric believes that CRM integration is driven by a desire for increased customer engagement, which was named in this survey as the primary goal for events by 71% of participants. Better customer engagement requires better customer profiling and personalization, which CRM systems can provide. 14

15 EVENT MARKETING METRICS & ROI Figure 8: Attendance, leads generated and registration were ranked as the most commonly used metrics to measure event performance. Cost of New Customer Acquisition Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) Usage of Event Marketing Metrics Other Metrics Lead Flow or Volume No Metrics in Use Leads by Source Cost Per Lead/Qualified Lead Pipeline Created Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) Conversion Rates Open Rates Revenue Generated Registration Leads Generated Attendance 16% 21% 23% 25% 30% 35% 36% 38% 38% Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 9% 4% 7% 57% 63% 66% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% ROI has become a critical metric for all marketing activities and marketing events are no exception. To determine how event performance is measured, we asked participants to share their approaches and the key metrics being used by their organizations. Participants were given a list of common metrics and asked to select all that apply to their strategy. Figure 8 highlights the results. More than half of all participants are using attendance (66%), leads generated (61%) and registration (56%) to measure event performance. A total of 9% of participants do not use any metrics to track event performance. Respondents who chose the Other Metrics option were encouraged to include additional comments. Some write-in responses given were conference attendees (practitioners and not other vendors) completing a survey at the booth, content engagement, feedback post event and pipeline touched. 15

16 EVENT MARKETING METRICS & ROI Figure 9: 58% of respondents indicated a vague or non-existent understanding of event ROI % 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Understanding of ROI from Hosting Events 18% 40% 35% Unknown Vague Understanding Sufficiently Accurate Understanding Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 7% Very Precise Understanding Despite the importance of ROI to event performance, most participants were not confident in their ability to precisely predict the ROI of event performance. 58% indicated a vague or non-existent understanding of their ROI for events. Conversely, only 42% said their knowledge of event ROI was sufficiently accurate or very precise. In order to understand the impact of events on demand gen, the value, drivers and revenue impact of events were assessed between those who hosted fewer events and those who hosted many events. This analysis shows: ROI is related to hosting more events. Companies that host 6 or more events annually (Figure 3) are more likely to report getting better ROI from these events. These companies tend to be larger, have larger events and most likely larger budgets. They also may be using more sophisticated tools, such as event marketing software, which provide better tools for measurement. Hosting more events simply provides a company with more data for analysis. The combination of these factors likely contributes to a higher ROI on events.

17 EVENT MARKETING METRICS & ROI Tactics make a difference. Organizations that host 6 or more events annually are more likely to be using telemarketing, virtual events and webinars as tactics for marketing these events. However, the analysis also showed that simply hosting more events or spending more money did not automatically result in higher event marketing effectiveness. Proper planning, management and tools are necessary ingredients for effectiveness. In particular, tools and tactics have an important correlation to satisfaction with lead volume, as discussed in the Lead Volume Satisfaction section of this report. 17

18 LEAD VOLUME SATISIFACTION Figure 10: 35% of participants were satisfied or very satisfied with their lead volume from events. 50% 40% 30% 20% Satisfaction with Lead Volume from Events 43% 32% 22% Given that lead generation is such an important factor for event success, participants were asked how satisfied they were with the volume of leads they received from their events. A total of 35% reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the lead volume being product by their events. 43% remained neutral about event lead volume, and 22% were dissatisfied. Tools make a difference. Our analysis showed significant relationships between the tools used and the degree of satisfaction with the volume of leads produced, specifically: 10% 0% 3% 0% Very Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied Participants using event management software, mobile marketing, mobile apps and/or CRM as a tool were more satisfied with the volume of leads their marketing events produce annually. Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 Participants not using tools, but managing events manually, were less satisfied with the volume of leads their marketing events produce annually. 18

19 LEAD VOLUME SATISIFACTION Participants who are not using metrics to track events performance are less likely to be satisfied with the volume of leads their marketing events produce annually. Organizations may avoid using tools because they are concerned with not generating enough leads and producing enough revenue to cover the costs of more sophisticated event marketing technologies and software. However, in light of this data presented in Figure 10, marketers should evaluate their event tools and consider the investment in satisfaction-generating technologies, such as event management software, mobile marketing apps and CRM integration. 19

20 EVENT MARKETING CHALLENGES Survey participants were asked about the challenges to creating successful events. The results were in line with expectations. Here is the ranked list (from most challenging to least) of challenges presented: 1. Drawing attendees to events 2. Generating enough leads 3. Tracking & measuring impact 4. Better attendee engagement 5. Producing quality content 6. Enhancing the event experience 7. Promoting one-on-one meetings 8. Better brand awareness 9. Lowering cost per lead/qualified lead 10.Drawing sponsors to events 11.Better social media presence 12.Finding speakers 13.Drawing exhibitors to events 14.Other challenges The top challenge for marketers hosting events was drawing attendees to the event, followed by generating enough leads, tracking and measuring impact, better attendee engagement and producing quality content. 20

21 THE FUTURE OF EVENT MARKETING Figure 11: 95% of survey participants believe that event marketing efforts will remain the same or grow in significance in the next months. 50% Event Marketing Importance Over the Next Year 40% 30% 39% 35% Overall, companies value events as a marketing tool. This survey shows that most companies believe that events will become even more important in the upcoming year. 20% 10% 21% 21% of participants said that events will become much more important to their marketing efforts in the future; while 39% believe events will become slightly more important. Only 5% of respondents believe events will become slightly less important. 0% Much more important Slightly more important Stay the same 5% 0% Slightly less important Much less important Event Marketing Benchmark Study, Demand Metric, November 2014, n=161 21

22 ANALYST BOTTOM LINE This study proves that events are a key component of the marketers playbook; and marketing events are critical to effective demand generation activities. Event effectiveness is not dependent simply on hosting more events or spending more money. One event can be as valuable to your organization s demand generation efforts as a dozen. What does matter is: proper planning, management and tools. Best practice holds that event planning and management requires strong strategies, tactics and tools. Those companies that have invested in these have reaped the rewards in increased event effectiveness and higher satisfaction with lead volume. Thus, event marketers should evaluate their tools, in light of this data, and consider the investment in satisfactiongenerating tools like event management software, mobile marketing apps and CRM integration to increase effectiveness. Use this benchmark study as a guide to evaluate how effective your organization is with event marketing and to take steps to increase the value of your events for all participants. 22

23 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Demand Metric is grateful to Cvent for sponsoring this benchmarking study and for those participants that took the time to provide their input to it. Demand Metric acknowledges the advice and assistance of Dr. Tom Brown, Noble Foundation Chair in Marketing Strategy and Professor of Marketing in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, in facilitating and providing counsel on the analysis of these survey results. 23

24 ABOUT CVENT Cvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT) is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with more than 1,450 employees and more than 12,600 customers worldwide. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, marketing and web surveys. Cvent provides hotels with a targeted advertising platform designed to reach event planners looking for suitable venues. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events. For more information, please visit 24

25 ABOUT DEMAND METRIC Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 50,000 marketing professionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting methodologies, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence, boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit: 25

26 APPENDIX SURVEY BACKGROUND This Demand Metric Benchmark Study survey was administered online during the period of October 27, 2014 through November 11, During this period, 225 responses were collected, 12 of which were disqualified and 161 of which were complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. The data was analyzed using SPSS to ensure the statistical validity of the findings. The representativeness of these results depends on the similarity of the sample to environments in which this survey data is used for comparison or guidance. Summarized below is the basic categorization data collected about respondents to enable filtering and analysis of the data: Primary Role of Respondent: President, CEO or Owner (32%) Marketing (49%) Sales (8%) Other (11%) Type of Organization: Mostly or entirely B2B (69%) Mostly or entirely B2C (17%) Blend of B2B/B2C (14%) Annual Sales: $1 million or less (36%) $1 to $10 million (16%) $11 to $25 million (10%) $26 to $100 million (21%) $101 to $500 million (6%) $501 million to $1 billion (5%) Over $1 billion (8%) 26

27 Benchmark Report For more information, visit us at: Demand Metric Research Corporation 562 Wellington Street London, ON, Canada N6A 3R Demand Metric Research Corporation Demand All Rights Metric Reserved. Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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