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Events Marketing Budgets Rising – The Bellwether Report

February 3, 2015 | Laura Baines


Like many other event marketers, I’m really pleased to hear that the latest Bellwether Report 2015 confirms a marked increase in the growth of marketing budgets especially across Events, PR and Main Media Advertising.

The reason for the increase in marketing budgets is that they have been bolstered in line with growing revenues. But, panellists also agreed that although turnover was up, profits for Q4 had cooled slightly so the outlook is one of cautious optimism. So before you pull out the party hats and prepare a Conga line around the office, let’s have a look at what the results mean for marketers.


It’s very encouraging to see that marketing budgets have been rising over the fourth quarter with events and exhibitions category increasing by 2.4%. In fact, looking ahead into 2015/2016, nearly 48% of companies interviewed anticipated a rise in their marketing budgets relative to last year. Events, PR and Main Media were the main channels to benefit from the uplift in total marketing spend.

For marketers, this means that companies are placing more importance on the area of events and exhibitions within their corporate marketing strategies – so if you’re not yet set on exhibiting, now is the time to get face-to-face with your customers before they turn to your competitors!

However, there was a slight decrease in levels of optimism towards the end of 2014, caused by concern about industry prospects and the wider slowdown in the economy, especially looking towards the crisis in the Eurozone and the uncertainty surrounding the next general election. While we work away in our marketing bubbles to increase our ROI, we’re all ever mindful of these external forces that can impact our everyday working lives and how we meet our bottom lines. It will be interesting to review levels of confidence at the end of this quarter and beyond.

It’s reassuring to know that overall the mood is positive. So maybe leave the Conga for another day, but the event industry at least deserves a pat on the back. Companies are still using exhibitions as a key channel to drive brand awareness and reach their target audience.

So our outlook remains very positive, growing on a record breaking 2014, as we continue to provide effective platforms for companies to engage with their customers at live events.

The IPA Bellwether report features data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals, who were carefully selected to represent key business sectors, drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1,000 companies – including Nimlok.