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December 17, 2006

RESEARCH ROUNDUP 2: live marketing studies September to December 2006

September saw the publication of the British Conference Venues Survey by the British Association of Conference Destinations. It revealed an 8% rise in the number of conferences held in the UK in 2005, but a 12% drop in the estimated value of the sector, suggesting conferences were becoming more popular, but that companies were becoming more efficient in their use of them. This was the first time in a number of years that spend had declined so it will be interesting to see what the 2006 figures will reveal.

Jack Morton released it’s third set of figures in October showing the motivational power of events on employees, but the low percentage of companies that actually use events to achieve this. Of the 1,625 respondents, aged 18-65, in the UK, US, Australia and China, only 33% were satisfied with the quality and quantity of communications from their employer. However, 84% believed experiential marketing would influence their job performance. In an era, particularly in the UK, of a lack of skilled employees, staff retention and motivation has never been more important, so it appears many companies are really missing a trick here.

After all the positive research into live and experiential marketing, a week following Jack Morton’s statistics showing the underutilisation of internal events, a MICE Group study found that 43% of the people it surveyed said a lack of training was preventing the medium reaching its full potential, while 80% welcomed more guidance in this area – perhaps from external providers or professional bodies. On top of this the survey unearthed a fundamental lack of understanding among clients as to what experiential marketing actually is and what media it covers. This was a call to action for the live and experiential marketing industry if there ever was one. Despite all this, the future for the live and experiential sector looks bright, as 80% of respondents described their experience-based activities as being important within their marketing mix, accounting for around one third of their entire marketing budget - a percentage set to rise in the future.

Internal affairs
November saw a report by events technology company Crystal Interactive on the affects of companies’ poor ability to communicate with staff, highlighting a key need for internal events. The study indicates that while boards are adept at dealing with the City and commercial partners, over half (55%) struggle to get their staff communication right and 47% are poor or very poor at communicating with their most junior employees. The research goes on to show how this poor communication is hitting the bottom line. Organisations that are better at internal communications are far more likely to get new ideas from staff – 90% of the best communicators ideas come from staff compared with the average of just 20%.

Finally, having kicked off the year’s research on EVENTS:review, GPJ finished it off with the fifth annual EventView 2006 survey, which sounded a very positive note, suggesting that marketers are continuing the move into live and experiential marketing. Key findings were that 81% of marketers have tried some form of experiential marketing in the last 12 months, with 74% of these people stating that they would continue their transition to more integrated experiential marketing approaches over the next 12 months.


Read the full stories
BACD: Conferences on the increase, but companies tighten belts
The British Association of Conference Destinations responds to the results of its research into the state of the conference market. ER's Ian Whiteling digs a little deeper

Related video: Tony Rogers Interview
James Latham talks to British Association of Conference destinations chairman Tony Rogers about the changing face of the conference industry.

Jack Morton
: Communication breakdown
Recent research by Jack Morton has revealed some disturbing facts about the way many companies are treating their staff, Pete Roythorne digs into the report.

MICE Group
: Confusion and lack of training preventing the full experience
A recent survey by marketing services company MICE Group, reveals that while the discipline is certainly on the rise, there are still major issues that need addressing if live and experiential marketing is to reach its full potential.

Related video: IT WORKS: Experiential is making a big impression, but is it lasting?
More and more marketers are turning to experiential, but there are still major factors stopping it from reaching its full potential, according to recent research by MICE Group. The industry now faces a challenge to effectively define the medium and prove its worth. Pete Roythorne tackles the issue with MICE Group creative director John Young.

Crystal Interactive
: INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS: Making your messages Crystal clear
With tales of disseminating important company information via email and even text messages, Crystal Interactive's recent survey on internal communications reads like a horror story for those involved in internal events. Pete Roythorne takes a good look at the report and draws out the key issues.

Related video: INSIDE OUT: Internal communications and boosting the bottom line
Crystal Interactive’s Chris Elmitt talks to Pete Roythorne about how getting your internal events and communications right can contribute to the financial benefit of your company.

George P Johnson
: EventView 2006: 12 months in event marketing
The George P Johnson Group and MPI co-sponsored EventsView 2006 survey points to a bright outlook for events and experiential marketing.

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