The Q3 Bellwether survey has found that events budgets have increased by the largest amount since the final quarter of 2016.
According to the report, the net balance of events budgets is up by 9.4% on the previous quarter.
Furthermore, it is now four years since those budgets have been revised down between quarters, says the study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).
Pip Fann, director of client services, FreemanXP EMEA, said she hasn’t seen a lot of change between quarters but has definitely noticed a shift in the past few years.
"It ties in with the surge in digital technology and social media - people are communicating virtually more and more, and they have subsequently come to crave face-to-face interaction," said Fann.
"Companies are tapping into this by creating meaningful, relevant experiences that enable their audiences to build genuine relationships both with their brand and each other, and this can be said for the B2B space as much as the B2C space.
"Digital technologies have a large part to play too though – from pre-event communications to immersive product demos on-site and the ability to provide post-event insights about attendee behaviour - connected live and online experiences are now the key to successful event programmes."
The Brexit effect
Fann expects the upward trend in events budgets of the past four years to continue, as brand look for new ways to connect with their audiences, although she is also wary of the effect Britain leaving the EU could have.
"External factors will always impact on event and marketing spend, and I would not rule out that circumstances such as Brexit could influence spend over the next four years," said Fann.
However, one positive effect of a weakening sterling could be more events coming to the UK from abroad, said the Bellwether report.
"Many of our international clients are noticing that - from transport to catering, venue hire and everything in between, they can now take their budgets further in the UK," agreed Fann. "While the UK and cities like London have always been very much on their radar, it’s now more affordable for them to execute events here."
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