EventView Report Confirms Events Play Increasingly Crucial Role in the Marketing Mix

Data shows decision-makers are turning to event marketing to drive purchase behavior and deepen engagement in the face of an intensifying worldwide financial crisis

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. & DALLAS – The largest and longest-running annual survey of corporate sales and marketing executives, EventView 2009, reveals that senior sales and marketing executives in North America believe that among all marketing channels, meetings and events are the discipline that can be leveraged now to best drive ROI, and accelerate and deepen brand relationships.

These findings and many others are uncovered in the annual EventView 2009: North America report, the first report in a year-long series that will also provide insight into marketing in Western Europe, Asia Pacific and a number of verticals including Healthcare, Technology, Automotive and Financial Services. Between December 2008 and February 2009, 1,000 senior managers from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific were interviewed via telephone with the goal of bringing clarity to the value and role that events play in the marketing mix.

EventView is produced through a unique collaboration among The Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation, the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) and George P. Johnson (GPJ). Early results from the North American report were published today at MPI’s “Meet Different” event in Atlanta, GA. The presentation and a “Top 10” of findings are now available at mpiweb.org. The full EventView 2009: North America report will be available for free download at www.mpiweb.org, www.eventmarketinginstitute.org and www.gpj.com later in February.

Three hundred senior sales and marketing executives – 41% of whom represent companies with revenues of $1B+ – weighed in to produce EventView 2009: North America. This first report reveals that face-to-face marketing activities are playing an integral role within the marketing mix, heightened in part by a downtrodden economy in which corporate marketers rely on every marketing dollar to deliver an increased and measurable impact.

“This first report of the 2009 series shows that CMOs and senior marketers believe events are the most effective medium to engage customers and move them to purchasing behavior,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI. “While we’ve seen event marketing mature as an effective marketing channel for several years, the benefits become heightened in an uncertain economy. Marketing decision-makers have clearly taken notice.”

Key findings in EventView 2009: North America include:

* 53 percent of respondents chose event marketing as the discipline that best accelerates and deepens relationships with target audiences
* 26 percent of respondents chose event marketing as the marketing discipline that drives the greatest ROI, a four percent increase from the 2008 results
* 29 percent of respondents say they will transition from event marketing to experience marketing (integrated live and online experiences that drive deep brand interaction through highly-relevant storytelling and brand immersion) in the next 12 months – 33 percent say they have already transitioned
* Among North American respondents, companies that integrate measurement into their programs and track results are more than twice as likely to receive increases in their marketing budget than those that do not measure
* 66 percent of respondents plan on implementing or have already implemented green initiatives within the event function – a 32 percent increase from the 2008 results. Of that 66 percent, 44 percent are doing so as a result of a corporate responsibility mandate and report that green accounts for 13 percent of their event budget.

“EventView 2009: North America indicates that more than 60 percent of respondents have already transitioned or are transitioning from event marketing to experience marketing in the next 12 months,” said Robert G. Vallee Jr., CEO of GPJ. “This is a pivotal trend, and it shows that in the current downturn, senior-level marketers want the immediate and measurable business impact that experience marketing delivers. CPM is no longer the measure of success. It’s about engagement and follow through… what experience marketing does better than any other discipline.”

“We are witnessing a seismic shift in the marketing landscape that is creating a new understanding as to the manner in which brands can reach and influence marketing-adverse audiences,” said Kerry Smith, Executive Director of the Event Marketing Institute. “With the advancement of technology solutions empowering consumers to block unwanted commercial messages, the significance of the live event and the need for experience marketing as a means to grow or sustain market share has come full circle.”

About the EventView 2009 Study

Now in its seventh year, the EventView study is the event and meetings industry’s longest-running, global report on event marketing trends. Between Dec. 2008 and Feb. 2009, more than 1,000 individuals in marketing management positions from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific were interviewed via telephone with the goal of bringing clarity to the value and role that events play in the marketing mix. The results of the 2009 survey have a +/-3% margin of error.

About Meeting Professionals International and the MPI Foundation (www.mpiweb.org)

The MPI Foundation powers the vision of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry’s largest and most vibrant global community comprised of more than 24,000 members representing over 80 countries worldwide. Contributions from MPI members, chapters and organizations are invested in high-impact programs to support a rich, global meeting and event industry and shape the future of the meeting and event profession. For more information, visit mpifoundation.org.

About George P. Johnson www.gpj.com

Established in 1914, GPJ is one of the foremost experience marketing agencies in the world. Named one of Advertising Age’s “Top 25 Marketing Agencies”, it provides a full suite of relationship-building event, exhibit and live experience solutions through which it helps Fortune 500 and other premier companies bring their brands, services and products to prospects, customers, employees, partners, media, analysts, shareholders and other audiences around the globe.

About Event Marketing Institute www.eventmarketing.com

The Event Marketing Institute is a think tank, educator, and global professional resource dedicated to the advancement and development of best practices, insights and business intelligence for individuals and companies using live marketing as a strategic marketing initiative. EMI serves as a catalyst for innovative thinking in event marketing strategies, tactics and measurement.