Agencies need an enhanced role in brand management

A third of the UK’s top companies plan to spend more on events during 2005 compared to the previous year, with event marketing recognised as the primary means of building brand awareness. This is according to an Event Marketing Trends survey, being launched at Confex this month. Carried out by The George P Johnson Company, in conjunction with Meetings Professionals International (MPI), the findings follow interviews with marketing managers, directors or employees with direct responsibility for events, among 151 of the UK’s top companies. On average, the survey respondents employ more than 3,000 people with just a quarter employing less than 500. "The overwhelming result of this year’s survey is that events, which for large companies are primarily conferences, are now being recognised as the most effective way to build brand awareness," said The George P Johnson Company corporate communications manager Ingrid Brown. "Event marketing delivers the best return on investment and 46% of interviewees see its role increasing in importance." "This means agencies need to become an integral part of their clients’ overall marketing communication strategy when devising conferences. The mechanics of the industry are changing and agents who do not change with it will die," she added. -The full results of the report will be presented by Brown to all registered attendees at International Confex on 15 February at 11am at Earls Court. Her presentation will be followed by an analysis conducted by MPI international board member Paul Kennedy, of MPI’s Future Watch 2005 research. This report looks at some of the key comparisons between market trends in Europe and North America. The Statistics -One-third of events are for internal purposes. Large companies are the biggest users of internal events, with conferences receiving the bulk of the internal event spend. -On average, the companies studied have a marketing communications budget of £1.7m and devote almost a quarter of this budget to event marketing. -Two-thirds of companies have an internal event-planning department; one in ten completely outsources the function. -Almost one in five events is planned and handled with the help of an outside agency.

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