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Events grow as marketing tools

Events continue to gain ground as a strategic tool for corporate America, with event marketing budgets expected to rise 15 percent to 20 percent this year, according to the “2004 Event Marketing Study” from PROMO Magazine, a sister publication to Special Events Magazine.

Last year's event marketing budgets averaged $827,911, and 36 percent of the survey's 305 respondents plan an increase this year, compared with 45 percent who expect budgets to stay about the same and 8 percent who project a decrease.

As budgets grow, so too does executives' interest in the events' return on investment. PROMO's survey found that counting heads (67 percent) was the favored method of determining ROI, followed by sales (49 percent), the number of samples or coupons distributed (35 percent), and hits or other measurable activity on the Internet (28 percent). Other methods used by respondents to assess ROI: feedback from attendees and clients, new clients, number of leads, premiums distributed, redemption, registrations, and retailer satisfaction.

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