Are you savvier than your fellow meeting planners about using technology, social media and email to boost attendance at your events? Which events are more likely to beat their attendance goals: fundraisers or training workshops?
The 2015 Global Event Industry Benchmark Study surveyed more than 2,200 executives, planners and marketers and found that planners and marketers are focused on the same issues: working with tighter budgets and needing to significantly increase attendance.
Besides generating benchmarks on issues such as budget, resource management, registration and attendance, event marketing, the on-site experience and collecting feedback and ROI, the study identified planner attitudes in four areas:
- 56 percent of respondents said they’re working to increase event attendance.
- The largest percentage of those respondents said they wanted to boost attendance by 22 percent.
2. Marketing spend
- 45 percent said they allocate 6 percent to 25 percent of their annual marketing budgets to meetings and events.
- 48 percent said email is their top promotion tool for event registration.
3. On-site engagement
- 65 percent of conference and trade-show planners use a specific hashtag to encourage attendees to post event content on social media.
- 43 percent use a mobile app for their events. Among those who don’t, 54 percent said they plan to an app in the future.
- 61 percent of event revenue comes from registration fees, followed by sponsorships (51 percent) and exhibitor fees (33 percent).
- The Top 3 metrics planners use to measure ROI are registration fees (37 percent), sponsorship revenue (32 percent) and number of new leads (25 percent).
- 94 percent of executives say their meetings and events are effective.
- 25 percent, the largest percentage, said they host from six to 15 meetings a year. Most common meetings types are conferences and trade shows (64 percent), training events and workshops (57 percent), internal meetings and events (56 percent), seminars and webinars (44 percent), fundraisers and galas (35 percent), sales events and road shows (26 percent) and incentive events and retreats (23 percent).
- Meetings and event budgets range from less than $10,000 (17 percent) to more than $5 million (5 percent). The largest percentage (25 percent) spent $50,000 to $249,000.
- 20 percent said they cut costs by reducing their F&B expenses. Other cost-cutting initiatives include negotiating with venues (17 percent), reducing printing expense (11 percent) and negotiating lower room rates (10 percent).
- Incentive events, seminars/webinars and trainings/workshops tended to beat their attendance goals by 1 to 2 percentage points, while each of four event types fell 2 percentage points short of their goals: conferences/trade shows, fundraisers/galas, internal meetings and sales events/road shows.
- 60 percent said they rely on spreadsheets, email address book lists and other manual processes to plan and manage events.
- On average, 54 percent of attendees downloaded an event’s mobile app.
- 86 percent measure attendee satisfaction and collect feedback, mainly through online surveys (57 percent), paper surveys at events (25 percent) and social media (10 percent).
To download a copy of the study, go HERE.