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Increased budgets signal a rise in face to face marketing

May 16, 2014 |

We have been digesting the news that UK marketers are feeling more confident and are enjoying the largest single upward increase in their budgets since the respected Bellwether survey began 14 years ago.

Excellent news for the events sector includes the revelation that marketing budgets for exhibitions, conferences, event sponsorship and experiential were revised higher for a second successive quarter in Q1 2014. And that the net balance for this category rose to its highest level in six quarters of data collection.

The increased budget allocation follows reports of sustained sales growth and confidence in the UK economy.

One emerging trend we’ll be keeping an eye on is the switch from internet spend to traditional media, such as television, newspapers and magazines. The latter performed better than internet advertising in the first quarter of 2014. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s something that continues across the year.

As we look to develop our own exhibiting plans for Marketing Week Live (we’re at stand B180), we hope to hear more about the marketing mood. We have our largest ever presence at the show with a 42sqm island stand. This reinforces our own optimism in the sector and we can’t wait to convey the virtues of exhibiting to marketers face to face.

Meanwhile it’s not just us feeling confident. Our clients are also reporting a renewed optimism. Among our recent projects, we’ve worked with the medical division of HORIBA UK Ltd, Sulzer Pumps Wastewater UK Ltd and Xn Leisure to enhance their brands and improve their market positioning through events.

For HORIBA we created a product-free stand with a creative digital solution in the form of a virtual town – Horibaville. Customers were able to access information on the company’s products and services in a fun way, by touching building hotspots which in turn led to options to view PDFs, watch embedded video content or mail documents to themselves.

Sulzer Pumps reported vastly increased awareness of their range of products thanks to our work for a recent in-house innovation day. Together with our on-site agency Creative Bridge, we developed a bespoke animation that took customers on a journey around the products and showcased their capabilities. We also produced a Wii-controlled triathlon game especially for the event. This created a buzz around the stand and added a competitive element to the day, as people kept returning to try to better their score in the hope of winning an i-Pad.

Meanwhile, Xn Leisure reported an increased number of visitors at one of their regular events, thanks to the work of our team in creating a bold, futuristic stand design that pushed boundaries, reflecting and evolving their brand for the next generation.

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by Markit Economics on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The report features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals, selected to represent all key business sectors, and drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1,000 companies. It first started in 2000.