Event marketing

Event Marketing Fuels Revenue Growth, Harvard Business Review Study Confirms

Alex Clemente, Managing Director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services

According to new research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and event marketing software provider Splash, companies are increasingly linking event investments and activities to actual revenue or profits. The report, “The Evolution of Event Marketing: An Age of Data, Technology and Revenue Impact,” surveyed more than 700 business leaders.

Over 90% of respondents said they prioritize hosting events for clients and prospects, while slightly fewer prioritize sponsorship events. Companies that have seen their revenue increase by more than 30% in the last two years are increasing their event investments more than others.

When it comes to measuring the impact of the events themselves, less than a quarter of respondents (23%) say they can calculate the ROI of their events. According to the report, most companies that track ROI have also invested in data-driven event technology and shifted their strategy from sponsoring events to hosting their own. “Top technology adopters are on average more likely to see business value in events and consider themselves in a better position to succeed in the future,” the report concludes.

Respondents said they tend to invest significantly in events, representing companies that hold an average of 73 events per year and sponsor an additional 62 each year. A third of respondents organize their own trade shows and more than half (51%) employ between one and 10 full-time employees in event planning and management. One in 10 responding companies allocate more than half of their marketing budget to events, and 40% say they will spend more on hosting such gatherings in the coming year.

“Building in-person business relationships through events is becoming more critical than ever,” said Alex Clemente, managing director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. “The study shows that, despite the prevalence of social media and digital growth strategies, investments in events are increasing. This is corroborated by our survey respondents, who include senior marketing executives, who say events drive more business value than other channels.