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89 Experiential Marketing Statistics You Must Learn: 2021/2022 Consumer Preferences & Industry Data

Call it a marketing stunt, PR gimmick, or advertising pitch. However you name it, our experiential marketing statistics reveal that this marketing tactic gets the job done. From the consumers’ perspective, nothing beats coming face to face with and experiencing a brand. For companies, it can be as simple as product promos, which can easily be organized with event management software solutions.

We did our experiential marketing research to give you the latest developments in this particular field of marketing. We’ll present experiential marketing industry statistics and other important facts and figures. This includes data from pre-pandemic 2020 and post-outbreak situations. Consider this experiential marketing report as a ready reference in case you plan to pursue this type of marketing down the line, especially in the midst and beyond COVID-19.

key experiential marketing statistics

Industry Statistics

Campaigns using experiential marketing come in many forms. They can be in-person and in-store events, installations, product rollouts, and trade shows, among others. Most commonly, they are live events. You can organize these live functions using some of the leading event management tools. We’ll take a look at the event management software industry, the experiential marketing market size, and other related statistics.

Pre-Pandemic Event Management Software Industry Health Markers

  • Experiential and event marketing in the US is gaining popularity and expecting growth. In fact, 67% of B2B brand-side marketers anticipate growth in experiential/event budget in the next 18 months starting in 2019. (Agency EA, 2019)
  • Investment by UK companies in experiential and event marketing grew by 3.4% in Q1 2019. It has remained in growth the past few months, even with the cloud of uncertainty over Brexit. (IPA, 2019)
  • B2B brand-side marketers are looking at an average growth of 24% in events/experiential budget over the next 18 months. (Agency EA, 2019)
  • The average Chief Marketing Officer allocates 24% of their overall annual budget to live events. This is to connect with customers, educate attendees, and generate new leads. (Bizzabo)
  • The global event management software (EMS) market was valued at $6.89 billion in 2017. It will reach a projected value of $12.51 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 10.45%. (Research and Markets)
  • A big driver of the EMS market is the availability of the app for mobile use, enabling organizers to prepare events on the go. (Market Research Future)
  • 60% of industry professionals said that effectively reaching non-physical attendees (i.e., viewers or audiences watching live streams on social media) is critical to an event’s success. This is because businesses can no longer expect their audience to come to them, so they are instead bringing events/experiential activities to their audiences. (Agency EA, 2019)
  • The top 3 types of events produced, hosted, or participated in by marketers are conferences, tradeshows, and webinars. (Marketing Charts)
  • A good brand-in-hand experience leads to an 85% purchase intention and a 4:1 ROI. (The Drum)

Share of Marketers Replacing Live Events with Webinars Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

  • 49% – replace some (B2B Marketing Zone, 2020)
  • 12% – replace most. (B2B Marketing Zone, 2020)
  • 16% – not sure. (B2B Marketing Zone, 2020)
  • 16% – no plans. (B2B Marketing Zone, 2020)

Pre-Pandemic 2020 Corporate Event Spending Expectations

  • 45% of organizers intended to maintain spending on product launchers. 18% meant to increase spending and only 4% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)
  • 45% of organizers intended to maintain spending on VIP customer events. 17% meant to increase spending and only 3% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)
  • 42% of organizers intended to maintain spending on user conferences. 10% meant to increase spending and 6% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)
  • 40% of organizers intended to maintain spending on hospitality events. 13% meant to increase spending while only 4% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)
  • 35% of organizers intended to maintain spending on dealer and distributor meetings. 12% meant to increase spending and only 6% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)
  • 31% of organizers intended to maintain spending on roadshows. 12% meant to increase spending and only 2% wished to spend less. (Exhibitor, 2020)

Leading Channels and Tools for Trade Show Marketing Before the COVID-19 Outbreak

  • 69% – exhibitor invite program (PCMA, 2020)
  • 68% – paid social advertising. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 60% – remarketing. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 53% – attendee invite program. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 44% – marketing automation. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 37% – paid search. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 29% – geofencing. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 14% – chatbot/website chat. (PCMA, 2020)
  •   6% – other. (PCMA, 2020)

Source: B2B Marketing Zone, 2020

Consumer Preferences Statistics

How do consumers react and respond to experiential marketing? Here are some interesting insights we uncovered from our experiential marketing data.

  • 74% of consumers say that engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the promoted products. (EMI)
  • 98% of consumers create digital or social content at experiences and events. (EMI)
  • 100% of consumers share the content they create. (EMI)
  • 50% to 80% of word-of-mouth activity in any given product category is the result of a consumer’s direct experience with a product or service. (McKinsey)
  • 65% of customers say that product demos and live events helped them understand the product better than any other advertising method. (Event Marketer)
  • 91% of consumers have more positive feelings about brands after joining events and experiences. (Event Marketer)
  • For consumers, the top 3 advertising methods to understand product benefits are company website (44%), events & experiences (41%), and physical retail stores (29%). (Event Marketer)

Brand Experience Pays

  • If there is value, consumers are willing to pay to experience a brand. The fact is, 1/3 of consumers have paid to attend a brand experience. (Event Marketer)
  • 67% of consumers bought products straight from consumer experiences. (Event Marketer)
  • 48% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product if they can try it first. (Marketing Week)
  • 70% of consumers become repeat customers after an experiential marketing event. (EMI)
  • 85% of consumers are likely to buy after participating in events and experiences. (Event Marketer)
  • When asked what in-store experiences will drive purchases, 64% of consumers said exclusive discounts. Other runner ups include food/beverage offerings (30%), more personalized shopping experience (18%), live product demonstrations (18%), and special events/entertainment (17%). (Walker Sands)

top 3 advertising methods to understand products

Business & Marketing Statistics

What are developments in experiential and event marketing as far as businesses are concerned? Marketers and industry professionals place high importance on this marketing method for achieving business goals. Our findings confirm this.

  • According to industry professionals, the no. 1 most successful marketing tactic is experiential/events (38.34%). This is followed by digital advertising (19.69%), content marketing (12.44%), partnerships/sponsorships (9.33%), and traditional advertising (7.25%). (Agency EA)
  • 92% of brand-side respondents believe integrating experiential marketing within the overall sales and marketing funnel is vital to their success. (Agency EA, 2019)
  • 77% of marketers stated that they harness experiential marketing as a crucial part of any brand’s advertising strategies. (EMI)
  • 41% of marketers consider live events as the most critical marketing channel for achieving business outcomes. (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 9 out of 10 marketers agree that brand experience delivers more compelling brand engagement for customers. Furthermore, it also provides strong face-to-face interaction. (Freeman)
  • 96% of event professionals are using social media event marketing to increase awareness of their events. (Aventri)
  • 40% of event marketers believe email marketing is the most effective channel for promoting an event. (Endless Events)

Event Success & ROI in the Midst of the Pandemic

  • Pipeline opportunities and leads generated are the most commonly used event success metrics. (Marketing Charts)
  • Among the biggest concerns of event planners are budget (82%), new ideas (62%), and ROI (54%). (EventMB, 2021)
  • The average ROI for events is in the 25-34% range. 19% don’t know their event ROI. (Marketing Charts)
  • 67% of event marketers measure ROI on attendee satisfaction, 52% determine results based on staying within budget, and 51% measure ROI on the number of registrations. (EventMB, 2021)
  • 73% of planners were successful in pivoting their event to virtual. (EventMB, 2020)
  • 57% of attendees believe that they can reach the majority of their event objectives online. (Reed Exhibitions, 2020)
  • 43% of virtual event registrants attend live. Only 13% attend on-demand. (Intrado, 2020)
  • 34% of planners cite the increase in attendance as the most positive result. It is followed by lower overhead costs (27%). (EventMB, 2020)
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Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic

Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic
of planners were successful in pivoting to virtual : 73

of planners were successful in pivoting to virtual

%
Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic
of attendees believe they can reach most objectives: 57

of attendees believe they can reach most objectives

%
Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic
of registrants attend live virtual events: 43

of registrants attend live virtual events

%
Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic
increase in attendance as the most positive result: 34

increase in attendance as the most positive result

%
Virtual Events in the Midst of the Pandemic
lower overhead costs as the second most positive result: 27

lower overhead costs as the second most positive result

%

Sources: EventMB, 2020; Reed Exhibitions, 2020; Intrado, 2020

Designed by

Event Technology

  • 54% of businesses that use event software plan to give their employees more software access than they currently do. On average, businesses that use said software save 223 hours annually. (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • Nearly 60% of event management software users are able to measure their ROI. (Endless Events)
  • The most successful businesses spend 1.7x the average live event marketing budget.  66% of these businesses do not have problems proving event ROI, and they utilize event software systems integrated with their core business platforms. (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • 64% of companies incorporate event data into their overall product development and business intelligence activities. (Freeman)
  • 94% of marketers and industry leaders agree that technology has a positive impact on an event. However, less than 50% have seen success using emerging technologies. (Agency EA)
  • 90% of event technology adopters consider themselves well-positioned for future success as compared to 65% of non-adopters. (HBR)

Business Events

  • Business events, which are popular forms of experiential marketing, are economic drivers. In 2017, they generated worldwide over $1.07 trillion in direct spending. (Events Industry Council)
  • Business events around the world drew 1.5 billion participants in 2017. (Events Industry Council)
  • 62% of brands do not charge consumers to attend events, but 38% charge admission fees. (Event Marketer)
  • On average, globally, attendees shell out $704 per business event. (Events Industry Council)
  • 97% of consumers attend events to shop for new products and technology. (Freeman)
  • On a global scale, business events support more than 25.9 million jobs. (Events Industry Council)

Top Event Management Software

  1. Eventbrite. Create branded landing pages online using Eventbrite’s easy-to-use event management and promotions platform. Read more about its core features such as registration management, ticketing, payment processing, and more in our Eventbrite review.
  2. Cvent. Manage your company events with features like contact management, email marketing, reporting, budget management, and registration. Learn in our Cvent review how businesses of all sizes benefit from this event management tool.
  3. WebinarJam. Not all events are in-person and WebinarJam understands this. Learn how to pull off unique live casts, webinars, and streaming with features such as digital whiteboards, surveys, and moderation features among others in our WebinarJam review.
  4. Gather. Plan and execute your event with comprehensive features for online payment, CRM, lead tracking, and team management. Read more about its top-flight offering here in our more detailed Gather review.
  5. Wrike. Users love to deploy Wrike as an event management solution as it provides them with tools to manage crucial team task processes. Learn more about its collaboration and task management features here in our in-depth Wrike review.

Future of Experiential Marketing Statistics

What’s up ahead for event and experiential marketing? Let’s look at some potentials, possibilities, and predictions before and after the pandemic hit.

  • Among the top 5 investment areas for retail executives by 2020, in-store experiences rank high. The list includes data tracking/collection and management (68%), in-store experiences (55%), delivery systems (52%), loyalty programs and CRM (42%), and flexible purchase & returns (32%). (PSFK)
  • 62% of senior marketers plan to invest in more future live events, both in budget and number of events. (Bizzabo, 2019)
  • There were 101,000 smart augmented reality glasses shipped in 2018. The number is expected to grow to 19.7 million units annually by 2025. The market for smart AR glasses is already driven by industrial and enterprise applications. The technology will further see increased use in the consumer sector, expectedly as a tool for more immersive customer brand experiences. (Omdia)
  • 9 out of 10 event planners use some form of personalization. Personalized experiences are effective in increasing event marketing ROI. Hence there will be greater use of personalization for events, including invitations, registration, event communications, and scheduling, among others. (Marketing Insider Group)
  • Mobile tours and pop-up activations will be on the rise, and in-store retail experiences will be part of marketing conversations. Experiences will be Instagrammable. (dio USA, 2019)

Top Job Skill Required for Event Planners Because of Coronavirus Outbreak

  • 82% – designing digital event experiences. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 74% – designing live experiences in post-COVID environments with stringent hygiene standards. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 52% – developing sales and marketing approaches fit for the post-COVID market. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 47% – business continuity and scenario planning. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 33% – monetization of future events. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 32% – soft skills, including cultivating resilience in times of crisis (PCMA, 2020)
  • 5% – others. (PCMA, 2020))

Tob Job Skills Required for Event Suppliers Because of Coronavirus Outbreak

  • 70% – Developing sales and marketing approaches best suited to a post-COVID-19 market. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 58% – designing live experiences in post-FOVID environments with stringent hygiene standards. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 49% – designing digital event experiences. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 42% – business continuity and scenario planning. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 31% – soft skills, including cultivating resilience in times of crisis. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 24% – monetization of future events. (PCMA, 2020)
  • 3% – others. (PCMA, 2020)

top skills for event planners during the pandemic

It’s Time to Let Consumers Experience Your Brand

People have short attention spans. It has been reported that for Americans, it averages just six seconds. That’s not even enough for consumers to understand what you have to say about your brand. But they will likely have an idea of your brand when you let them have face-to-face time with your product or service.

There are many ways you can expose them to your business. Invite them to join your product events. Now, events can be quickly and meticulously organized to the last detail through events software. Of course, you need to know what events management software is.

Understand, though, that there are specific events solutions for venues and restaurants. You must consider the most appropriate location for your events.

While digital marketing statistics show the efficacy of Internet-based marketing, this should be augmented with strong experiential marketing. People need to connect with brands on a physical and emotional level. Win over consumers with unforgettable experiences, and not only will they be converted, but they will also become your brand ambassadors. As our statistics here show, experiential marketing opens people’s hearts as well as their wallets.

 

References:

  1. Agency EA (2018). The State of Experiential 2018. Retrieved from Agency EA
  2. Agency EA (2019, January 30). AGENCY EA REVEALS 2019 STATE OF EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING WITH NEW RESEARCH FINDINGS. Retrieved from Agency EA
  3. B2B Marketing Zone (2020). How COVID-19 is Impacting B2B Marketing. Retrieved from B2B Marketing Zone
  4. Bizzabo (2019). Event Marketing 2019 Benchmarks and Trends Report. Retrieved from Bizzabo
  5. Brenner, M. (2019, May 14). The Top Event Marketing Trends for 2021. Retrieved from Marketing Insider Group
  6. dio USA (2019, January 8). Experiential Marketing is the Biggest Marketing Prediction of 2019. Retrieved from dio USA
  7. EMI (2016). EventTrack 2016 Content Edition: Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report. Retrieved from Event Marketer
  8. EventMB (2021, February 2). 100 Event Statistics (2021 Edition). Retrieved from EventMB
  9. Events Industry Council (2018, November). Global Economic Significance of Business Events. Retrieved from Meetings Mean Business
  10. Event Marketer (2015). Event Track 2015 Consumer Report. Retrieved from Event Marketer
  11. Event Marketer 2018YEAR). Event Track 2018 Event & Experiential Marketing Industry Forecast & Best Practices Study. Retrieved from Event Marketer
  12. Exhibitor (2020). 2020 Vision: EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Economic Outlook for the Year Ahead. Retrieved from Exhibitor
  13. Freeman (n.d.). The Value of Brand Experience. Retrieved from Freeman
  14. HBR (n.d.). The Event Marketing Evolution: An Era of Data, Technology, and Revenue Impact. Retrieved from Splash
  15. Intrado (2020). 2020 Benchmark Report for Webcasts and Virtual Events. Retrieved from Intrado
  16. Marketing Charts (2015, December 8). Marketers Cite Positive ROI From Events, Despite Limited Measurement. Retrieved from Marketing Charts
  17. Market Research Future (2019, July). Global Event Management Software Market: By Software Type (Analytics Software, Event, Registration, Event Marketing, On-site Technology, Venue Sourcing and others), by Deployment (On-Premise and Cloud), by Application (Corporate, Education, Association, Government and others), by Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa) – Forecast till 2027. Retrieved from Market Research Future
  18. Omdia (n.d.). Technology research that connects the dots. Retrieved from Omdia
  19. PSFK (2018). The Future of Retail: A Unified Channel Strategy to Drive Brick & Data Retail. Retrieved from La Futura
  20. Rafalson, B. (2017, September 26). EVENT MARKETING 2018: BENCHMARKS AND TRENDS. Retrieved from Bizzabo
  21. Rafalson, B. (2017, November 2). 10 Jaw-Dropping Event Marketing Stats That Point to the Future of the Industry. Retrieved from Endless Evnts
  22. Reed Exhibitions (2020). COVID-19 and How it’s Changing the Event Industry. Retrieved from Reed Exhibitions
  23. Research and Markets (2018, March). Global Event Management Software Market – Segmented By Software (Event Planning Software, Event Marketing Software, Analytics and Reporting Software), Organization Size, Vertical and Geography – Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2018 – 2023). Retrieved from Research and Markets
  24. Russel, M. (2020). What Skills Will Event Professionals Need in the COVID-19 Recovery?. Retrieved from PCMA
  25. Stringer, M. (2018, December 6). 10 marketing trend predictions for 2019. Retrieved from The Drum
  26. Walker Sands (2018). The Future of Retail 2018: How Technology is Expanding the Scope of Online Commerce Beyond Retail. Retrieved from Walker Sands
Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.

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