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April 6, 2008

Events still lack recognition at board level

Senior staff in many companies fail to appreciate the time and effort required to create effective events, according to a survey of visitors attending this year's Exhibiting Show. As a result, event organisers are crying out for more support and recognition.

The research, conducted by marketing, communications and design company Mayridge from its stand in the show, has shown that while event managers passionately believe in the effectiveness of the medium, their bosses do not.

Some 46% of respondents agreed that their bosses believed that anyone could put on an event. This is clear evidence that the hard work that goes into staging an event is not valued or properly understood by senior management. It also shows that live events are not given the appropriate status within the marketing mix, and that there is little understanding at board level of how effective they really are.

Respondents felt the same about the lack of Government support for live events. Over the years there has been much debate about the poor level of support for the event industry from the UK Government, and over half of visitors polled agreed that not enough was being done at this level to recognise the economic value and impact of the exhibition, conference and event sector.

What is clear from the survey is that event managers believe the events they hold are worth every penny. Respondents felt that events are “a great way to interact with customers”, “a good return on investment”, “a networking opportunity” and are “the future” of marketing.

Commenting on the study, Mayridge’s Jon Powell said: “These findings are hugely revealing and show the extent to which companies are missing the opportunities live events present. In fact, 54% of them don’t even set pre-event objectives, so there's clearly not enough strategic buy-in or understanding, which is why event managers aren’t getting the support they deserve. However, the positive comments from respondents – the people at the coalface – are extremely encouraging. They clearly believe that live events are highly effective and are the medium of the future.”

For more information about the survey, contact Jon on 44 (0)1789 451853.

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